We note on our website at the established Delaware employment law firm of Martin D. Haverly in Wilmington that most benefit plans administered through private employers are governed by a comprehensive set of federal laws and regulations.

Those relevant rules and policies are detailed in a statute termed the Employer Retirement Income Security Act. Although many Americans are likely not familiar with that formal designation, they perhaps have some knowledge of the law through reference to its oft-used acronym.

That is ERISA. Plans administered under ERISA apply to scores of millions of workers nationally across a wide range of subject matter. ERISA-linked benefits span topics ranging from health and life insurance to severance packages and retirement,

And, centrally, disability. In fact, ERISA plans address both short- and long-term disability in detail.

Moreover, ERISA outlines specific steps that an employee must take when he or she is denied disability benefits and seeks to file a complaint to recover them. We note on our website that a worker contemplating filing a lawsuit “must first comply with strict ERISA rules, timelines and requirements.” Failure to do so will doom a claim. An employee must “go through each possible step for a nonjudicial remedy before a federal ERISA lawsuit is allowed.”

One key step is to fully comply with all rules relevant to administratively appealing a denied claim. That portion of the ERISA process must be fully attended to before a federal ERISA lawsuit ever becomes an option for a claimant.

A proven employment law attorney well versed with all aspects of ERISA can help ensure that a claimant duly follows every step of the process and creates a complete and accurate claims record (which might potentially be reviewed by a court) at the administrative stage.

ERISA claims concerning denied benefits are complex and highly regulated matters. They are most often won by employees who secure timely help from attorneys having a strong record of advocacy in ERISA litigation.