If you work in Washington, D.C., you may be concerned about how to handle improper actions taken by your employer when they affect your benefits. There is a law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, that is designed to protect the interests of workers in their retirement accounts as well as other key benefits provided on the job. While ERISA is best known as protective legislation to prevent unethical behavior with employee pensions, it also applies to medical insurance, health reimbursement accounts, additional health plans, disability insurance and severance agreements.
ERISA guidelines apply to the vast majority of private employers across the country, including nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Even a "mom-and-pop" company is likely subject to ERISA's provisions. However, you may be unclear about how exactly you can make use of the protections under the law and how you can protect your rights as a worker. There are a number of specific provisions under the law that guide how a complaint should be made.
When making an appeal of an ERISA claim rejection, there is a specific time frame you must meet in order for it to be considered. If you are unaware of the specific documentation and timelines required, you could face a rejection of your claim even though your benefits are at risk. Working with an attorney may be an important part of pursuing an ERISA claim successfully at an initial stage to help secure your benefits without extensive litigation.
If you are concerned that your employee benefits may be at risk due to mismanagement, unethical activity or other problems, filing an ERISA claim may be important to protect yourself and other workers from financial hardship. If you would like to learn more about filing an ERISA benefits claim and how to respond to a an initial claim rejection, visit our page for more detailed information.