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USA Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established retirement and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans.

ERISA also applies to private long-term and short-term disability insurance coverage provided by the employer. ERISA regulates employer disability plans including how disability benefit claims are processed, the timeline for processing a claim, and the individual’s rights if their disability claim is denied.

* Know your employers definition of disability (short them and long term can have different legal definitions under your employers plan).

* Request a copy of your disability plans from HR in writing. There will be two policies one for short term and one for long term.

* Apply for benefits and if denied get a qualified ERISA attorney to protect your rights.

* Know your LTD benefit will be offset by the amount of your initial social security disability benefit.

* Most LTD policies require you to apply for Social security as a condition of receiving benefits.

* If you receive a social security award with a back payment you will likely receive a bill from the LTD insurance company.

* taxable payments are considered a “supplemental wage” by the IRS so you can contribute to an IRA (Individual retirement plan). Treasury regulation 31.3402(g)-1

* LTD benefits have an end date most are 24 months or age 65. Be prepared!

View this Youtube video from a law firm that gives context and an explanation that may be helpful. Note: this is not an endorsement of this particular law firm.