Portland ERISA Lawyers
What Is Erisa?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act – more commonly shortened to ERISA – is a federal law that is meant to make it simpler for employees to collect and use long-term disability (LTD) benefits when they are too injured to keep working. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies intend to make it easy for employees who need their LTD benefits now more than ever. It is not uncommon to hear from people who filed for disability using a policy they earned through their employment only to be shut down at the first step.
At Kantor & Kantor, LLP, our Portland ERISA attorneys take pride in being the first name locals trust with all sorts of ERISA claims. Whether an insurance company is complicating your case, or you just need help figuring out your options through ERISA and an LTD insurance plan, we can help. Our legal team is backed by decades of collective experience, so you can be sure that there won’t be anything about your case that catches us off-balance, no matter how complicated it might seem now.
How ERISA Works
ERISA has helped set federal guidelines that mandate how long-term disability (LTD) claims are managed and paid to claimants. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is one of the most notable amendments to ERISA, which allows certain workers to keep healthcare coverage for a limited period after experiencing unemployment.
A keynote to how ERISA works is that it requires disability insurance companies to manage all claims independently and any experts who assist with a claim investigation like a medical expert must be unbiased. When there is a discrepancy in how an LTD claim is handled, ERISA paves the way for legal action taken by the claimant.
Most of our ERISA clients in Wilsonville and beyond call on us after their ERISA claim has already been complicated by an insurance company. From our position as the area’s trusted name in legal representation, we have seen all sorts of different case types started from ERISA violations carried out by insurance companies and sometimes even employers.
Some of the most common types of ERISA violations include:
- Wrongful denials: There are always valid reasons for denying a long-term disability claim that involves ERISA law, such as the claimant’s disability is not covered under their LTD insurance policy. Issues arise when a denial happens without due cause. Some dishonest insurers might be tempted to outright deny a claim without investigating it at all in hopes that the claimant will just give up and move on.
- Lost benefits: The benefits promised to an LTD claimant must be delivered after a claim is approved. When benefits are overlooked, canceled, or otherwise lost, it could be an ERISA violation worthy of an attorney’s attention.
- Breaches of fiduciary duty: Many LTD benefits are paid through specialized financial accounts that must be managed carefully to ensure the funds are there when people need them. If an account manager acts negligently, or intentionally mishandled such an account, and the funds within it are lost or reduced in a way that impacts policyholders and claimants, then it could constitute a breach of fiduciary duty, which is an ERISA violation.
- Wrongful terminations: An employer who is looking to save a little money each month might be tempted to fire an employee who files for LTD benefits because this tactic could keep their disability insurance premiums lower. If you were terminated after you informed your employer that you were going to use your disability benefits granted through your employment, which makes those benefits covered by ERISA law, let us know right away.
Long-term disability benefits and related insurance policies are complicated. ERISA law is even more complex. Don’t try to deal with a subject so intricate and important on your own. Let our Portland ERISA attorneys from Kantor & Kantor, LLP help you navigate the process and stand up for you.