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My ERISA Claim Was Denied, Can I File A Lawsuit Immediately?

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Before you can file a lawsuit, you must “exhaust” any administrative remedies available to you.  The plan document will set forth what you need to do upon receipt of a claim denial.  Usually, you must submit at least one request for review (or appeal) to the claims administrator.  You cannot file a lawsuit until the deadline for the administrator to make a decision has passed or the administrator has finally denied your claim.  If you do not follow your plan’s claims procedure, a court will likely dismiss your lawsuit for failing to exhaust administrative remedies, unless you can prove that exhaustion would have been pointless.

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