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San Francisco ERISA Attorneys 

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San Francisco ERISA Attorneys

When your employer offers benefits plans, this coverage is governed by federal law. The law known as “ERISA” seems to protect employees from unfair treatment under retirement or insurance benefits plans, but in reality, the law often complicates matters for plan participants and makes it more challenging for them to fight for the benefits they deserve. 

Discussing your situation with one of the experienced San Francisco ERISA attorneys from Roberts Disability Law can be especially valuable in achieving your intended outcome with your ERISA claim. Never hesitate to consult with our team about your claim today. 

What is ERISA?

ERISA is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which is a federal law that has established a set of standards for voluntarily established retirement and health plans in the private industry. Those employees who participate in these plans are protected by ERISA, and when their benefits are refused or incorrectly provided, ERISA presents an opportunity through which you can collect your benefits, though it is not a simple process. Under ERISA, plans are required to provide participants with plan information, such as key information about plan features and funding.

As an employee with a retirement plan or a long-term disability insurance policy, you might run into obstacles when seeking the benefits you need. In these situations, the procedures for appealing any benefit decisions are set out by ERISA, and they can be confusing and complicated. It is important to have the right legal guidance from an ERISA lawyer in the Bay Area.

Common Issues with ERISA Benefits

When your benefits claim – whether it is for disability, life insurance, severance benefits, or otherwise – is governed by ERISA, the provisions of this federal law preempt all state laws in California. This means that the rights to bring a legal claim or seek certain remedies are limited to those set out by ERISA, which differ from rights in many other private benefit disputes. 

ERISA allows insurance providers or the administrators of benefits plans to determine whether you are entitled to benefits according to policy or plan language and terms. If your claim is denied, you cannot simply take your appeal to the courts as you might after another private insurance denial. Instead, the law requires you to exhaust all of your administrative appeals and remedies first before turning to the courts. 

Once you receive a final denial from the company itself, only then can you file a lawsuit seeking your benefits. There are then some restrictions on the lawsuit process, including:

  • You can only file a claim in federal court
  • The court’s review will generally be limited to the claim file you had with the insurance company

When you request an appeal from the insurance company or plan administrator, it is critical that you build a complete record with all evidence you have to support your claim. This is because you generally cannot present new evidence directly to the federal court in your ERISA claim. 

Connect with a San Francisco ERISA Attorney to Help with Your Claim

To explore options regarding your ERISA benefits claim, schedule a consultation with one of the experienced San Francisco ERISA attorneys from Roberts Disability Law today. We can assist with an initial claim, the administrative appeal process, federal litigation, or all of the above. 

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