ERISA?stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a federal law that governs private (non-government) employers with 25 or more employees. Employers who choose to provide pension plans, retirement plans, and other plans must comply with?ERISA?standards.
ERISA?provides standards related to:
- How the people financially responsible for administrating the various plans carry out that administration (fiduciary duties);
- Disclosures of plan information to the participants;
- Procedures for employee grievances about plans; and
- Policies on how to file claims and appeals.
Enforcing Your Claim For Benefits
When you file a claim for benefits under one of the plans, the insurance company may deny your claim. If that happens, you will need to file an appeal. Appeals must follow established appeals procedures, set out in your employer?s required Summary Plan Description (SPD). Our knowledgeable South Carolina?ERISA?attorney will ensure that your appeal complies with these procedures.
If your appeal is denied, you can appeal a second time, either through the insurance company or a regional?EBSA?office. Your employer?s insurance company?s established procedure will determine which process to follow.?EBSA?stands for Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), a division of the Department of Labor (DOL), and is the governing body responsible for administering and enforcing?ERISA.
Enforcing Your Employer?s Failure to Adhere to?ERISA?Standards
Employers who fail to adhere to?ERISA?requirements can face civil and criminal penalties. Once you have exhausted all the administrative options required by the particular plan, you can then file your?ERISA?legal claims in Federal Court.
Damages are assessed on a case-by-case basis since?ERISA?does not set out penalties based on specific violations.?ERISA?allows employees to recover these sorts of damages:
- Benefits that were denied improperly;
- Interest that accrued while benefits were withheld or denied; and
- Attorneys’ fees.
Get Help from a Top-Rated South Carolina?ERISA?Attorney
Leave the paperwork and dealing with the headaches of bureaucracy to our qualified South Carolina?ERISA?attorney. If you could benefit from our expert advice, call?Wilkinson &?Magruder,?LLP?now at (706) 737-0771.