Individual disability/life/health insurance benefits:
Your privately held insurance policy is governed by state law. Because of this, your state’s department of insurance has issued rules governing the administration of your claim. When your insurance company violates these rules, we will hold them accountable by taking your case to court. Under state law, if you pursue your rights under the policy in court, you are entitled to a jury trial. If your benefits are wrongfully denied, we will file a suit for breach of contract to recover your benefits.
E.R.I.S.A. disability/life/health/pension benefits:
Employer-provided disability benefits are protected under a federal law known as “E.R.I.S.A.” which stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Ms. Ravis is one of the few long-term disability lawyers in Kansas and Missouri that handles ERISA claims.
In 1974, Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) intending to ensure that benefits promised to employees were there if and when they needed them. ERISA was originally enacted to standardize employee benefit administration across the country. However, since 1974, the law that has developed under ERISA has become increasingly unfavorable for claimants/plaintiffs. There are no punitive damages available under ERISA to penalize the insurance company for their wrongdoing; discovery is limited, and in litigation, jury trials are not allowed.
It is important to know that ERISA requires that you participate in your insurance company’s administrative process prior to filing a lawsuit. Because of this, handling your claim aggressively and properly during the administrative process is critical. In addition, certain time limitations are applicable to your claim under ERISA – if those deadlines are missed, you will likely waive your right to file a lawsuit under ERISA. For these reasons, it is essential that you hire an experienced ERISA attorney to assist you in pursuing your claim for benefits.