ERISA Explained

As a Florida employee, you may have heard of ERISA. That stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and is the law that governs most company-sponsored health insurance, retirement plans, and other welfare benefit programs offered by employers. This single federal law governs a total of 684,000 retirement plans and an extensive 4.8 million health and benefit plans managed by private companies!

Understanding what it is and how it applies to your particular situation can be confusing due to its complexity and nuance — but don’t worry! This page breaks down exactly what ERISA covers and provides helpful information about filing disputes in case you should ever need it.

This page contains critical information for anyone who faces a denied disability claim or if an employer otherwise disregards their responsibilities. Don’t let fear or confusion stop you from seeking justice: read on for more details about ERISA.

Handicapped man meets with an ERISA dispute attorney

The Cliff Notes: Key Takeaways From This Page

  • ERISA Benefits are employee-sponsored disability plans, retirement plans, and other benefits which must be administered according to federal law standards for accuracy and timely payments.
  • Florida has its own unique regulations and requirements in terms of handling employee-sponsored disability disputes and ERISA claims.
  • Employers must abide by plan-driven rules when determining employee eligibility for disability benefits, making decisions about employee claims, and resolving disputes.
  • Florida employees can contact an ERISA dispute lawyer to learn more about the plan-driven rules as well as the procedures for filing an appeal.
  • The first step to filing a claim is to fill out a complaint form with relevant information - evidence should be submitted afterward.
  • Common reasons for denial include not meeting the definition of disability, not being under a doctor’s care, not following instructions/advice given by doctors, or failing to meet the hours/years of employment necessary to submit a claim.
  • Employees can make an appeal if their claim is denied - adjudication can take place in court if disputed over benefits amount or qualifications.
  • Our law firm specializes in ERISA litigation on behalf of clients.
holding out a clipboard with ERISA acronym and description

ERISA Benefits

Benefits through an employer, such as a private business or non-profit organization (except church or government entities), are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This federal law regulates employee-sponsored disability plans, retirement plans, and other benefits offered by employers. It sets standards for how those benefits must be administered, including providing accurate and timely payments of all benefits.

Strange Rules Under ERISA

Florida is known for having some of the most unique regulations and requirements when it comes to employee-sponsored disability disputes and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) claims. Florida courts adhere to strict rules regarding the handling of such disputes, and they often apply different standards than those found in other states.

For example, Florida courts have established that the exhaustion of an employee's internal appeals process must be done before the employee is allowed to file a lawsuit in court. This requirement can make it difficult for Florida employees to obtain the justice they seek.

Did Your Employer Follow The Plan-Driven Rules?

Plan-driven rules govern these employee disability cases and refer to a set of standards and regulations that must be followed by employers when managing their employee benefit plans. These plan-driven rules ensure that employers abide by the legal requirements under Florida state law and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Florida employers are required to adhere to these plan-driven rules when determining employee eligibility for disability benefits, making decisions about employee claims, and resolving any disputes that may arise. If a Florida employer fails to follow these plan-driven rules, they may be subject to penalties or legal action by their employees.

Employees in Florida can contact an ERISA disability dispute lawyer to learn more about the plan-driven rules that apply to their disability or dispute case.

Special Knowledge Needed

If you are an employee in the state of Florida who is having difficulty obtaining disability benefits, it is important to understand that there are specific laws and regulations that must be met in order to successfully navigate the process.

The Florida Statutes and Florida Administrative Code contain a variety of provisions related to employee-sponsored disability disputes. In order to ensure that you are in compliance with the applicable laws and regulations, it is imperative to seek legal advice from a Florida attorney experienced in this area of law.

Having an experienced ERISA dispute attorney on your side can provide a much-needed level of guidance and understanding when navigating the employee-sponsored disability dispute process in Florida.

An attorney with knowledge of Florida disability laws and regulations can provide the necessary legal assistance to help you understand your rights under Florida law, as well as the procedures for filing an appeal. Bill Demas has been practicing for over 25 years and is highly experienced in ERISA disability disputes.

Tips For Filing A Disability Claim

The first step in filing a claim for Florida employee-sponsored disability disputes is to fill out a complaint form. This form will provide information about your dispute, including details on what led to the dispute as well as any evidence you may have to support your case. Once your insurance company receives your complaint, it will review it for accuracy and send you a notice informing you that your dispute has been accepted.

The next step in the Florida employee-sponsored disability dispute process is to submit the relevant evidence for their investigation. This includes medical records, payment records, and other documents that may help your case. You should also collect any information about the company or employer that is involved, such as contact information and any policies related to their disability coverage.

ERISA regulations allow the insurer/administrator to take up to 105 days before making a decision on your initial claim. Do not be alarmed if it takes more than three months for them to reach their conclusion. If they haven't requested an extension after 45 days have passed, you can file a lawsuit right away.

man filling out a disability form

Common Reasons For Disability Claim Denial In Florida

When Florida employees submit a disability claim, they may be denied due to certain factors. Common reasons for denial include:

  • The employee’s condition does not meet the definition of “disability” according to Florida laws.
  • The disability is not connected or caused by a job injury or illness contracted at work.
  • The employee was not under the care of a doctor for the disability at the time of making the claim.
  • The employee did not follow all instructions or advice given by medical professionals in relation to their condition.
  • The employee’s employer sponsored disability plan specifically excludes certain conditions from coverage.
  • The employee did not meet the minimum number of hours or years of employment necessary to submit a claim.

If you find yourself facing a disability claim denial, you may want to consider filing an appeal or seeking out legal advice to help with your dispute.

The Florida Disability Claim Appeal Process

If you have a denied disability claim, you may be able to challenge the decision and request an appeal. Generally, the Florida employee should contact the employer’s human resources department or plan administrator to request an appeal. The employee should provide any additional information that may support the claim.

If there is a dispute over the benefit amount or whether an employee qualifies, Florida courts can adjudicate these issues. Employers may also be required to provide full disclosure of the plan’s terms and conditions when requested by an employee, as well as any other documents related to an employee's claim or dispute.

Employers must also provide information about any applicable appeal procedures in the event that an employee is denied benefits. With these protections in place, Florida employees can rely on having access to their rightful benefits.

After a Florida employee submits an appeal, the appeals process can vary depending on the specifics of the case. Generally speaking, it is likely that a third-party reviewer will be assigned to review the case, and a decision will be rendered after considering all relevant information.

Representation At Hearings

If a Florida employee's disability benefits are denied, they have the right to dispute the decision with a hearing. We have extensive experience handling Florida employee sponsored disability disputes and understand how to effectively represent our clients in a hearing to maximize their chances of winning. Our attorneys will look at all aspects of your case, from gathering evidence to developing a persuasive legal argument, to ensure that you receive the best outcome possible for your Florida employee sponsored disability dispute. We will work closely with you to make sure that all information is presented in a clear and concise manner so that the judge can understand your case and make an informed decision.

Compliance With Plan Rules And Requirements

The requirements of an employee sponsored disability plan vary widely depending on the specifics of the plan. Generally, Florida employers must provide notice to employees about the details of their disability benefits and eligibility requirements.

This includes informing them of any pre-existing condition limitations, waiting periods before coverage begins, and any time limits related to filing a claim or appeal. Compliance with a Florida employee sponsored disability plan rules and requirements is essential for successfully resolving disputes.

Results & Track Record

Florida employees who have experienced a dispute over employee sponsored disability benefits can turn to our Florida-based law firm for help in resolving their disputes. We specialize in ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) litigation can provide representation and legal advice as claimants fight for their right to the disability benefits they are entitled to receive.

Our Florida disability dispute lawyers are experienced in negotiating settlements and litigating employee sponsored disability disputes in Florida courts. We have a proven track record of success, having won numerous favorable decisions in Florida courts and obtaining significant financial compensation on behalf of our clients.

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Talk To An Experienced ERISA Attorney

If you are a Florida employee who is experiencing difficulties with your employer-sponsored benefits, it is important to contact a Florida employment attorney who specializes in employee disputes. An experienced Florida employment lawyer can review the facts of your situation and provide you with the best advice about how to proceed with your case.

It is important to note that Florida law provides employees with a number of protections, and a Florida employment lawyer can help ensure that those protections are being respected. From filing appeals to determining whether you qualify for the benefits you are entitled to, Florida employment lawyers can help employees navigate the complicated landscape of employee benefits and disputes.

At Herman & Wells, we understand the importance of protecting Florida employees' rights to employee-sponsored disability benefits. We are up-to-date on all Florida laws related to employee-sponsored disability matters and can provide the legal advice and representation necessary to protect your rights throughout the dispute process.

Our experience in Florida employee-sponsored disability disputes has allowed us to help many individuals receive what they are entitled to under ERISA law. If you or someone you know is facing an employee-sponsored disability dispute, please contact our firm at (727) 821-3195 for a free consultation today!