The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) law was signed by President Gerald Ford in 1974. The laws included in this Act were enacted to regulate the benefit plans provided by employers. In fact, ERISA went deeper than just pensions and included most employer-provided benefits.
Texas ERISA disability benefits can vary from one plan to the next. However, you may be able to increase your chances of being awarded benefits if you retain an experienced ERISA lawyer to help you file your claim.
In general, if a benefit is provided to an employee, the benefit is more than likely under the governance of ERISA. This means both employers and insurance providers must abide by the federal laws surrounding the administration of ERISA benefits.
For instance, 29 C.F.R. § 2560.503-1 (f)(3) sets forth the claims and appeals process that insurance carriers and benefits applicants must follow. However, there are no federal laws that spell out the types of benefits employers or insurance companies must provide.
Disability benefits can vary somewhat between different ERISA plans. Depending on the plan’s definition of disability, long-term disability insurance may only provide coverage for 24 months. Most plans also restrict claims placed on substance abuse, mental illness, or nervous disorders, although coverage for these types of disabilities may be available for an additional premium depending on the carrier and plan.
The amount the ERISA disability a claimant could receive if they are granted benefits would be determined by their individual policy. Generally, group disability insurance plans provide between 50 percent and 75 percent of the pre-disability income of the insured. Some carriers may cap these benefits at $5,000 or $10,000 per month.
However, if an insured party has an individual policy, they may be able to receive a benefit with a higher monthly maximum and a greater percentage of their pre-disability salary. An ERISA lawyer in Texas could help determine potential disability benefits with more specificity by working closely with individual potential clients.
Another common and important question about Texas ERISA disability benefits is when and how they are taxed. The taxing of benefits usually depends on the type of plan, as well as the practices and policies of the employer providing the plan.
With ERISA group plans, employers usually pay the premiums with pre-tax dollars. When the benefits are paid to insured parties, they are then taxed as if they were ordinary income.
If you were denied Texas ERISA disability benefits or do not believe you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to, a seasoned lawyer may be able to help. Our attorneys are familiar with federal ERISA laws and how they are applied.
If retained, your ERISA lawyer could work to make your employer or insurance company realize that they are not being ethical or compliant with federal law by denying or withholding your ERISA disability benefits. Call today to get assistance with your ERISA disability benefits, whether you need help filing an initial application, with first or second appeals, or even in taking your claim to litigation.
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