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ERISA Lawyers Near You

Joel Francis Murray avatar
Joel has a broad range of experience that includes administrative law, appeals and rulemaking, business and corporate law, consumer protection, government affai...
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Joel has a broad range of experience that includes administrative law, appeals and rulemaking, business and corporate law, consumer protection, government affai...
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Michael Samuel avatar
Michael Samuel is an experienced New York litigation attorney who has handled a variety of matters, including overtime and minimum wage claims, ADA defense case...
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Michael Samuel is an experienced New York litigation attorney who has handled a variety of matters, including overtime and minimum wage claims, ADA defense case...
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The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is a federal law that protects the assets of participants in employee benefit plans. Under ERISA law, employers must provide details of their plans to the Department of Labor (DOL) to ensure compliance. However, despite the requirements ERISA places on employers, many people fail to successfully claim the insurance benefits they are legally entitled to. If you are in the process of filing for an ERISA claim or have experienced a claim denial, you may want to contact ERISA attorneys near you so they can fight for your legal rights.

What Is an ERISA Lawyer?

ERISA is a complex area of law that requires specialized knowledge of the regulations and legal processes unique to it. Unfortunately, the number of ERISA violations is high despite the regulatory laws in place to ensure industry standards and protect employee participants. ERISA lawyers near you are experts in this complicated sector of law and assist individuals in preparing a successful ERISA claim. If your ERISA claim has been denied, an experienced ERISA lawyer can represent you in the often complex appeal process.

ERISA protects employees by regulating minimum standards for participation, benefit accrual, vesting, and retirement funding. Participants also have the legal right to sue for benefits and any breaches of fiduciary duty.

ERISA law covers many types of employee benefits, such as:

  • Retirement plans;
  • Severance plans;
  • Health coverage;
  • Disability; and
  • 401 (k) plans.

Insurance plans offered through government, religious organizations or private individual disability carriers are not covered by ERISA. In addition, ERISA does not cover plans outside of the United States that exist for the benefit of nonresident aliens.

What Does an ERISA Attorney Do?

ERISA claims can be challenging and time-consuming. An experienced ERISA attorney handles all aspects of your claim and protects your rights. If your employer breaches the standards set by ERISA, an attorney will assist you in filing an appropriate lawsuit to seek the benefits you are entitled to.

Standard services of an ERISA lawyer includes:

  • Fighting for benefits that have been denied;
  • Challenging decisions on your eligibility for a claim;
  • Demanding that your plan provides the documentation required by ERISA;
  • Investigating and reporting mismanagement of funds;
  • Obtaining additional necessary evidence to support your claim;
  • Negotiating a settlement or taking your case to court;
  • Handling all communication with the insurance carrier and other parties involved; and
  • Filing all the required documentation within the regulated legal timeframes.

When To Hire an ERISA Lawyer

Some individuals choose to file an ERISA claim on their own and only seek the services of a lawyer if their claim is denied. However, preparing a successful claim is time-consuming and complex. Engaging an experienced ERISA lawyer to assist you in preparing your application increases your chances of a successful claim.

If your ERISA claim has been denied, you must contact an attorney as soon as possible as there are strict deadlines and administrative procedures that must be followed in launching an appeal.

In addition, you should contact a lawyer for ERISA near you in the following scenarios:

  • Your pension or retirement plan has suffered significant investment losses;
  • You are concerned about your rights after an employer offered you an employment severance package;
  • Your ERISA claim was denied;
  • Your policy administrator incorrectly assessed your benefits;
  • You require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) concerning your ex-spouse’s retirement benefits;
  • Your plan administrator has breached its fiduciary duties; and
  • You need help interpreting your policy and legal rights.

In the case of a claim denial, you have 180 days to file an appeal, so you must engage an experienced attorney to start the process as soon as possible.

How Do I Choose an ERISA Attorney?

ERISA is a very intricate area of law that requires concrete knowledge of the procedural regulations and time limits involved. It is crucial that you choose the best ERISA insurance lawyer near you.

Here are four questions to ask when choosing an ERISA lawyer:

  1. How long have you been practicing in the area of ERISA insurance?
  2. Do you practice in other areas of law or specialize only in ERISA?
  3. What is your track record in achieving successful claim outcomes?
  4. What fee structure do you use?

How Much Does The ERISA Lawyer Average Cost?

Every law firm has a different fee structure. However, there are generally three possible fee options when hiring an ERISA lawyer:

  • Contingency fee agreement (no cost unless the attorney is successful in the claim);
  • Hourly fee; and
  • Fixed flat rate

Most ERISA attorneys will offer a contingency fee agreement and recover a set percentage of your claim should your case be successful. In some cases that are particularly complex or have a lower chance of success, the law firm may ask you to make an upfront payment as a retainer and then pay on an hourly basis. In addition, ERISA does provide the judge with discretion to award attorneys’ costs to either party in the case.

Do ERISA Attorneys Charge For Consultations?

The majority of ERISA attorneys do not charge for initial consultations. An experienced law firm will consider your current circumstances and inability to work and provide a free consultation to discuss your unique case. This free consultation can often be completed over the phone or video conference and allows the attorney to assess your case and provide guidance on the next steps you need to take.

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to apply for disability benefits. What can I do to improve my chances of approval?

First, you should request a copy of your disability insurance policy. Every policy and plan will be different and it is essential to understand the requirements involved in making a claim through your particular provider. These plans can be confusing so obtaining the professional guidance of an ERISA lawyer is a good idea. An experienced attorney will be able to prepare the necessary evidence for your claim and ensure all legal deadlines are met.

If I have been denied short-term disability benefits am I still able to apply for long-term disability benefits?

Yes, you can still apply for long-term disability benefits in most cases after being denied short-term disability benefits. Occasionally a plan may state that receiving short-term disability benefits is a prerequisite to applying for long-term benefits. However, this is not common practice.

If you believe you may be out of work for an extended period, you must apply for long-term disability, even if your short-term disability benefits claim was denied. If you fail to place a claim in the legally specified timeframe, you may be unable to sue to recover long-term disability benefits later.

Is it true that my disability benefit plan may follow me on social media or obtain video surveillance of my daily life activities?

There is a strong possibility that your disability insurance carrier will perform a social media search. If you are concerned, you can increase the privacy settings on your social media accounts to provide some protection. However, you should be aware that some companies are also using facial recognition software to identify photos and video footage of you on your friends’ social media accounts. An insurance carrier may also seek to obtain video surveillance of your daily activities in the course of your claim.