When you’re receiving long-term disability benefits, you may be surprised to discover a sudden reduction in your payments. Even worse, your benefits may be terminated altogether. It’s important to understand what options are available if you find yourself in this type of situation.
What type of law applies to your case?
Your long-term disability insurance plan will either be covered by state law or the federal Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Which law applies depends on whether you’re covered by a group plan.
A non-group plan is when your employer is responsible the funding and administration of its own disability plan. State law generally applies to these types of plans.
A group plan exists where an insurance provider, acting on behalf of your employer, funds and administers the plan. ERISA applies to group plans. Group plans cover most people who are receiving long-term disability benefits.
Insurance companies must follow ERISA regulations for group plans
If your long-term disability benefits are provided by a company that is governed by ERISA, the insurance provider must follow certain rules. The insurance provider must give you a reason for reducing or terminating your benefits. You also have the option to appeal the insurance company’s decision.
If you receive benefits through a non-group plan, you may still have some safeguards and protections via state law. You should discuss your options with a skilled legal professional.
Don’t delay taking action
You can’t afford a sudden change to your long-term disability benefits. The law also requires you to take swift action. Failing to appeal an insurance company’s decision in time could leave you without any further options and without benefits. If you need experienced legal guidance, contact Alan C. Olson & Associates.