Which Claims Are Covered By ERISA?
“Some (people) want credit for (stuff) they’re supposed to do…
(They) say some (stuff) like ‘I take care of my kids’…
What you want a cookie?!”
Chris Rock (Comedian)
Unfortunately not everyone does what they are supposed to do. This is true for those who are supposed to take care of our retirement assets as well. Fortunately, there is “Chris Rock” government agency created to make sure to call to task welfare (benefits and retirement) providers in the United States.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is a federal law that protects the retirement assets of US citizens. ERISA’s job is to identify and enforce rules that qualified retirement plans will have to follow. The intent is to make sure that individual retirement plan trustees steward the assets of their respective plans well.
What ERISA Does Not Cover
Before we discuss what kinds of plans ERISA covers, it may be helpful to know what plans are not covered:
• Group health plans set up and run by governmental entities
• Group plans for church employees
• Plans only used to comply with applicable workers compensation laws
• Plans only used to comply with applicable unemployment laws
• Plans only used to comply with applicable disability laws
• Plans outside the US set up for nonresident aliens
• Any unfunded excess benefit plans
What ERISA Does Cover
The good news is ERISA covers all sorts of benefit claims. In fact, since ERISA has such a generous definition of what a “plan” is, some say ERISA will cover most any type of benefit. When employers offer health insurance or retirement, those benefit plans would fall under ERISA.
Here are the plans that qualify for coverage from ERISA:
• Sick pay
• Vacation pay
• Holiday pay
• Severance pay
• Retirement plans
• Disability benefits
• Accident benefits
• Death benefits
• Unemployment benefits
• Medical care
• Hospital Care
• Day care
• Scholarship funds
• On-going Education and training programs
ERISA claims are complex and filled with legal pitfalls. In fact, for this very reason, many attorneys have a difficult understanding how ERISA works. Handling disability claims is one thing, but working with ERISA claims is an entirely different challenge.
The ERISA Claims attorneys at Teal & Montgomery not only have the skill you need from your disability lawyer, but we have the storied experience it takes to set you up with the best strategy for your ERISA claims.
Start the conversation via email or call anytime. For Santa Rosa call 707-703-4038. For Sacramento: 916-472-0003.