Most private pension and health insurance plans are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This federal law was passed in 1974 to protect the rights and interests of the participants in such plans as well as beneficiaries.
Under ERISA, participants have the right to access and use their benefits under certain circumstances in accordance with plan documents and ERISA laws. However, employers and plan administrators sometimes attempt to prevent participants from using their benefits in an attempt to save money or reputation.
These actions are illegal in many circumstances and fully warrant taking action with an experienced ERISA attorney’s help. If you believe you are facing retaliatory actions for accessing or attempting to access your ERISA benefits, it may be time to consult with an experienced Texas insurance claim retaliation lawyer about your legal options.
In addition to setting up ERISA benefit protections within 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001-1461, lawmakers also included provisions for when employers or administrators attempt to keep plan members from receiving their own benefits. Under ERISA §510, if filing a retaliation claim, an employee only needs to prove that there were intentional efforts made to keep or punish them for requesting access to their benefits or for receiving benefits.
In fact, the claimant does not even need to prove that their employer was successful in their efforts to retaliate to have a valid claim, only that the efforts were made. Furthermore, ERISA §510 applies to both welfare benefit plans and pension benefit plans.
These protections cover employees who are attempting to or are receiving benefits under their plan as well as employees who may be testifying or taking part in an ERISA inquiry or proceeding. A Texas insurance claim retaliation attorney could be of significant help in interpreting ERISA regulations and determining how they apply to one’s situation.
In the interest of protecting their financial assets or even intimidating other plan members from using their benefits, employers or ERISA plan administrators may act in a manner meant to intimidate or punish ERISA claimants. Claimants who believe they might be experiencing retaliatory acts after filing an ERISA claim may find the services of a qualified ERISA retaliation lawyer in Texas beneficial.
Retaliatory actions may include but are not limited to:
To have a valid retaliatory ERISA claim, plan participants must prove that the retaliation was directly related to exercising their rights under ERISA or that it was done with the purpose of keeping them from getting their benefits under the plan. The intent of the employer or plan administrator must also have been to violate the retaliation statute or to hamper their rights under ERISA.
In a perfect world, all ERISA plan participants would be given their benefits without hassles or problems. Unfortunately, many such policyholders face retaliatory action after receiving or attempting to receive their benefits in compliance with the law and their plan.
If you believe you may be one of these unfairly treated participants, a seasoned Texas insurance claim retaliation lawyer could work to support your rights under federal ERISA law. Call today to schedule a consultation with an attorney who could be on your side from start to finish of your case.
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