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At Kantor & Kantor LLP, our firm is dedicated to helping our clients recover benefits owed to them through their employer-provided retirement or disability or severance plan. If, for any reason, the benefits owed to you under your ERISA plan have been denied, give our ERISA attorneys a call today.
ERISA regulated plans can vary considerably. However, by law, all ERISA plans must give beneficiaries access to an official Summary Plan Description (SPD). The SPD will give you details regarding key aspects of your plan. Some of the most important things that should be included within your SPD include:
While every ERISA claim may be somewhat different, the general process and timeline usually proceeds as follows:
Step 1: Submit a Claim
In most cases, your claim will be reviewed for a period of 90 days. At that point, you may receive an initial decision. Though, in some cases, the insurance company will notify you that your claim needs an extra 90 days to review. If you receive your full benefits at this time, then you are done with your case. However, if your claim is denied, or you do not receive fair benefits, you need to proceed to step 2.
Step 2: Understand the Denial
If your ERISA claim was denied, you should receive a letter from the insurance company that explains the precise reasons for the denial. Please review this letter and ensure that you understand it. Then, take the letter to an experienced ERISA attorney. In some cases, such as life insurance benefit claims, you will have as little as 60 days to file an appeal.
Step 3: File an Appeal
Your appeal should be filed with assistance from a qualified Bay Area ERISA lawyer. A well-crafted appeal is a must. If you fail to submit additional evidence into the insurance company’s record (known as the Administrative Record or alternatively as the claim file) during the appeals process, then you will lose out on the right to use this information in any future lawsuit.
Step 4: File a Lawsuit
If your claim has gone through the full administrative appeals process and you still have not received your benefits, you will then have the right to file a lawsuit. To be clear, you cannot file a lawsuit in an ERISA case before you have completed your appeal.
At Kantor & Kantor LLP, our ERISA litigation attorneys have experience handling a wide array of different retirement plan claims. If you or a loved one is having any difficulty getting the benefits you deserve, please do not hesitate to contact us today to set up a free review of your case. Our firm has offices throughout the Bay Area, including in Alameda, San Francisco, and San Jose
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