Pension & Disability Claims ERISA

Employers often provide employees with disability insurance and retirement benefits, including pensions based upon salary and years of service. When disputes arise over disability and retirement benefits provided by employers a complex federal law applies. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") is a federal statute that governs the administration of employee benefits plans and outlines the rights and responsibilities of employers, employees, beneficiaries, and insurance companies. ERISA allows for administrative appeals and once a claimant exhausts his or her administrative appeals, federal courts will have jurisdiction over a potential lawsuit.

Unfortunately, under the guidelines established by ERISA, filing a claim and obtaining the benefits to which you are entitled can be a complex process. In addition, ERISA cases are not decided under state law. Instead, complex ERISA standards will apply.

ERISA is unique. A disabled claimant or an employee in a pension dispute must prepare for, plan against and protect him or herself in order to have the best chance of prevailing. It is critical to design a successful approach early on in the process in order to provide a basis for prevailing in the denial of a disability or pension claim. Attorney intervention at the earliest possible stage is critical in order to maximize the chances of success. If an administrative ERISA appeal is not successful and a federal lawsuit is necessary, it is critical to understand that a federal court may not be able to review any other materials other than the insurance company or employer's pension file and the contents of any administrative appeals.

We have successfully presented clients in ERISA claims and would welcome the opportunity to assist you. Call us today at (215) 884-6664 or contact us online to discuss your legal options.