ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and governs many employer-backed benefits and retirement programs around the United States. Employees who have had benefits denied under ERISA plans can benefit from the services of a skilled ERISA attorney, but they are not the only ones. It is essential to first verify whether or not your plan is governed by ERISA. It typically does not cover government employers or churches, for example.
Here is a look at some of the situations in which you may need to retain a Pennsylvania ERISA attorney.
Do you suspect that your company is mismanaging your pension funds? Is there a chance people are embezzling money from employees? Or maybe you think they are improperly investing in company stock? If you are concerned about major losses to your 401K or there are large fees associated with your pension plan, you may want to speak with an ERISA attorney.
Advisors and managers have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of all plan participants. If you report your suspicions and suffer repercussions, like getting fired, you may have additional protection under the Act.
Likewise, if you have made a claim for long-term disability benefits, life insurance benefits, or accidental death and dismemberment benefits under a benefit plan offered by your employer or that of a loved one, you may need an ERISA lawyer. Often, the insurance companies responsible for deciding and paying these claims make mistakes in the process of doing so. As a result, meritorious claims frequently get denied.
If an ERISA benefits claim is denied, you have a limited amount of time to submit an appeal of the denial (the amount of time depends on the type of claim). It is important to retain an ERISA lawyer during that appeal process so that he or she can build a detailed record of the reasons why your claim should be approved. If the appeal is denied, the courts often decide only to review the record that was created during the appeal process. Thus, the quality and completeness of that record is critically important.
If you are an employee or plan administrator who has ERISA-related questions, contact The Garner Firm, Ltd. today to schedule an initial consultation. Adam Garner has experience litigating ERISA claims in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland, as well as elsewhere throughout the United States.
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