We see plaintiffs asserting an ERISA claim for statutory penalties more frequently now.
These claims seek statutory penalties (up to $110 per day), alleging the plan administrator “fail[ed] or refus[ed] to comply with a...more
For many companies, employee performance reviews are often an afterthought. A recent survey showed that only 10 percent of employers actually found their current performance review process a “good use of time.” Many...more
You already know that contractual limitations provisions in ERISA plans are generally enforceable and can bar untimely claims.
But when does the court apply “equitable tolling” to extend the time by which a claimant may...more
You know that under ERISA regulations a claimant has at least 180 days to appeal a benefit denial. ERISA plans set out contractual timelines for appeals.
But what happens when that 180 day period runs out on a weekend?...more
You know that a court has discretion to award attorney fees under ERISA if a party shows “some degree of success on the merits.”
But how do you define “success”? A new third circuit case reminds one of that old Milton...more
When you see a claim for disability or life insurance benefits by a public school teacher, you might assume the claim is not governed by ERISA because of the governmental plan exception....more
When it comes to recovery of overpayments from ERISA beneficiaries…
money is a fungible commodity in the Eleventh Circuit, but is not a fungible commodity in the Ninth Circuit....more
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) just issued a “Fact Sheet” describing Fiscal Year 2014 civil and criminal enforcement activity under ERISA....more
You already know that ERISA regulations require the plan administrator to render a decision on an administrative appeal within 45 days....more
Does an arbitrary and capricious denial of ERISA governed disability benefits create a right to disgorgement of profits? NO....more
You already know that employee benefit plans established by governmental entities are exempt from ERISA.
But ERISA might apply if the employee benefit for the government employee is established through an association....more
Can a participant designate a beneficiary merely with a phone call? You need to look at the plan documents.
But are beneficiary designation forms ERISA “plan documents”? It depends, and it makes a difference....more
The “Bring Your Own Device” to work movement, or BYOD, has drastically changed today’s workplace. In a recent study, Cisco Systems found that 95 percent of the 600 companies surveyed permitted the use of personal devices at...more
As you know, ERISA plan administrators must consider Social Security Administration (SSA) disability determinations when making the disability benefit decision.
ERISA plan administrators are not bound by the SSA’s...more
You already know that when a claimant brings suit alleging wrongful denial of ERISA-governed disability benefits, the first issue the court looks at is: what standard of review applies. If the plan or policy includes...more
You already know that the primary responsibility for providing medical proof of disability undoubtedly rests with the claimant.
But does the plan administrator sometimes have an obligation to obtain medical records and...more
Can the Plan get reimbursed even when the beneficiary’s settlement funds have been disbursed or commingled?
Yes in the 11th Circuit. But watch out in the 9th Circuit....more
You already know that in ERISA cases a court may, in its discretion, award attorney fees if a party achieved “some degree of success on the merits.”...more
Here is a recent news item showing the scope of the employee disability problem.
In a nutshell...more
But what happens when the claimant refuses to perform tasks requested, or does not try hard enough during the FCE?...more
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were interns. Best companies use internships to win the war to recruit talent. The website Internships.com indicates that 56 percent of employers plan to hire more interns this year, up 9 percent...more
Medical providers often have a patient/ERISA plan participant assign rights under an ERISA health care plan to allow the medical provider to seek payment for medical services provided....more
You already know that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited recognition of same-sex marriages, was declared unconstitutional. United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013)....more
Sometimes determining the correct beneficiary for ERISA-governed life insurance benefits can present real challenges.
Can the deceased’s will prove the deceased’s intent designating the correct beneficiary? It...more
You already know that plans that contain “discretionary language” should enjoy a more deferential review by the trial court.
But when the plan administrator decides and funds the benefit decision, courts view this as a...more