ERISA And Disability: Common Questions

As a firm whose primary focus is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), we receive many questions about disability benefits. These are some of the most common:

Does my condition need to be permanent to receive disability benefits?

No. Benefits are typically split between short-term and long-term disability. Short-term disability tends to cover conditions that prevent you from working for up to three or six months. If you are unable to work for longer than that, you must apply for long-term disability benefits. Corporate insurance policies often cover both.

Is every disability policy covered by ERISA?

No. ERISA applies to voluntary insurance policies that employers offer to their employees. While a large percentage of disability benefits fall under this umbrella, not all of them do. If you are a church employee or government employee, then ERISA likely does not apply in your case. Similarly, if you purchase your own private disability policy apart from an employer, then ERISA generally does not apply either.

When determining your ERISA eligibility, the most prudent course of action is to consult with our attorneys.

Does my condition count as a disability?

Every insurance policy has its own set of definitions on what does and does not count as a disability. By reviewing the specifics of your policy, our lawyers will be able to determine whether or not you are eligible to receive benefits.

An important point to keep in mind is that insurance companies will do everything they can to deny your rightful benefits, including misleading medical summaries and posing deceptive questions to your physician. With our emphasis on ERISA claims, our lawyers are well-versed in discovering and countering these tactics to secure the benefits you deserve.

I have more questions. Can I contact you?

We would be happy to speak with you. You can contact our Berkeley office through our online contact form or by phone: 510-284-5662. We serve clients throughout California.