ERISA Lawyer Serving South Carolina and North Carolina
Facing an ERISA claim denial?
It might feel hopeless, but it's not.
John Peace and the Peace Law Firm are here to help.
We've successfully appealed numerous denials, and we'll help you too.
If you want to talk today, we're ready. Just reach out for a free consultation.
What is an ERISA Claim?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that regulates the administration of employer-sponsored retirement plans, insurance policies, and other group benefit plans. ERISA provides employees under an employee benefit plan with an array of rights and remedies for violations of these rights.
Employees can bring civil actions for ERISA violations. Common ERISA violations include:
- Breaches of fiduciary duties;
- Improperly denying benefits under an employee benefit plan; and
- Failing to follow the terms of or interference with the rights included in the employee benefit plan.
More About ERISA Claims and Denials
ERISA standardizes the claims procedures and provides some important legal protections to claimants. At the same time, employers and insurance companies have developed a wide array of tools and strategies to tilt the process in their favor. In practice, many ERISA claims are unfairly underpaid, delayed, or outright denied.
Recovery for Claim Denials
Few employees collect the compensation owed for improper employee benefits plan denials.
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), a government body responsible for the enforcement of ERISA, reported that it completed only 1,329 investigations for ERISA violations in 2018. It obtained compensation for plans in only 860 of these investigations.
These investigations make up just a small fraction of the total plans governed by ERISA. ERISA has oversight authority over 694,000 retirement plans, 2.2 million health plans, and 2.2 million other welfare plans. These plans cover around 143 million workers and their dependents.
Initiating an ERISA Claim
To begin the process, an employee files a claim for benefits under a plan covered by ERISA.
Once you file an ERISA claim, you will generally receive an initial response within 90 days. Under ERISA regulations, insurers must process most claims within 90 days. Though insurance companies are automatically granted a 90-day extension if they need more time to review your application. If the insurance company requires an additional 90 days to process your claim, you should receive a notification to that effect.
When a decision happens on your ERISA claim, you will receive a written letter. ERISA Companies may delay, underpay, or deny ERISA claims for a wide range of different reasons. If your claim is denied, the insurance company must explain the reasons for the rejection. Unfortunately, these explanations can often be difficult to parse — insurers frequently use vague and industry-specific language.
What to Do After An ERISA Claim Denial
You should get your denial letter to a Greenville ERISA lawyer for an immediate review. Our legal team will tell you exactly what the denial letter means and provide an overview of the specific steps you need to take to pursue your benefits on appeal.
Notably, you have very limited time to file an appeal in an ERISA claim. How long depends on the nature of your claim. With disability claims, applicants generally have 180 days to appeal. However, with life insurance denials, claimants generally only have 60 days to file an appeal.
In ERISA cases, you cannot file an immediate lawsuit for your benefits. Your initial appeal must be at the administrative level. This means that you file the appeal directly with the insurance company
We are a Full-Service ERISA Law Firm
If you are currently unable to work on a full-time basis, you may deserve disability benefits. If you have an employer-backed disability plan, then ERISA regulates your claim. John Peace has extensive experience representing employees and other beneficiaries in long-term disability (LTD) claims and in short-term disability (STD) claims.
After a disability claim denial, you need to take immediate action. You only have a limited amount of time to file your administrative appeal. For help with your case, please contact our law office today.
Life Insurance Denials
Many employee benefits packages include some coverage for life insurance benefits. If you filed a life insurance claim under an ERISA plan and you believe that your benefits were wrongly denied, you need to take immediate action. With life insurance claims, you generally only have 60 days to file an appeal. Our Greenville ERISA lawyer is standing by, ready to help you fight for your benefits.
Pension/Retirement Plan Claims
We also handle the full range of pension and retirement plan claims brought under ERISA. This includes:
- 401(k) claims
- Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) claims
- Individual Retirement Account (IRA) claims
- Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (SERP) claims
Regardless of the specific nature of your claim, we can help you determine the steps you need to take to secure retirement benefits. To get help with your ERISA retirement plan claim, please contact us today.
How Our ERISA Lawyer Can Help
ERISA claims are notoriously complex. There are many rules and procedures that claimants must follow in order to ensure that their appeal will be handled properly.
Unfortunately, employees and beneficiaries cannot rely on their employer or the insurance company for advice. Insurers are fundamentally focused on protecting their own financial interests. After a claim denial, you need an experienced Greenville ERISA lawyer on your side.
At the Peace Law Firm, we commit to serving employees and beneficiaries in the full range of ERISA claims. We never represent insurance companies. When you reach out to our law firm, we will:
- Conduct a free, comprehensive evaluation of your claim
- Explain your rights and options to you
- Gather and prepare all supplemental evidence
- Build a strong administrative appeal
- Negotiate for a fair settlement
- If need, pursue ERISA litigation
Successful ERISA appeals rely on a strong foundation of supporting evidence. In many cases, denials happen because the insurance company believes that the evidence provided is inadequate to support benefits.
ERISA lawyer John Peace will put together a strong, persuasive appeal on of your behalf. We know how to hold employers and insurers accountable. Whether the insurance company denied your long-term disability claim or denied full life insurance benefits, or you are struggling to access retirement benefits, our legal team is here to help.
Speak to Our ERISA Claims Attorney Today
At the Peace Law Firm, we represent individuals in ERISA claims. Our law firm does not represent insurance companies nor does it represent employers. If you're facing an ERISA claim denial in South Carolina, you need to take immediate action to preserve your rights.
To schedule a free,
Unfortunately, many ERISA claims are unfairly underpaid, delayed, or outright denied. An ERISA attorney can help you preserve your rights.
At the Peace Law Firm, John Peace represents employees and beneficiaries in the full range of employment-related group benefits cases. We know how to hold insurers and employers accountable.
John Peace will begin by conducting a free, comprehensive evaluation of your claim and explaining your rights and options to you. If you choose to proceed he will then gather and prepare evidence to build a strong administrative appeal. John will then negotiate for a fair settlement. If need, we will pursue ERISA litigation.