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Dept. of Labor Proposed Delays on New Disability Benefit Plan Regulations

Picture of U.S. Department of Labor SignOn October 10, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its proposal to delay the effective date of new claims procedure regulations that were passed in 2016 for group disability benefit plans offered through employers.  These plans are governed by federal employee benefits law ERISA – the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.  Even though the new claim regulations are not scheduled to go into effect until January 1, 2018, the word is that representatives of the insurance industry asked the Trump administration to delay implementing the new regulation.

DOL’s proposed delay was announced as follows:

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

“The [DOL] proposes to delay for ninety (90) days — through April 1, 2018 — the applicability of the Final Rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits…. The Final Rule currently is scheduled to apply to claims for disability benefits under ERISA-covered employee benefit plans that are filed on or after January 1, 2018…. The [DOL] accordingly seeks public comment on a proposed 90-day delay of the applicability of the Final Rule in order to solicit additional public input and examine regulatory alternatives. If this proposal is finalized, the amendments made on December 19, 2016, would become applicable to claims for disability benefits that are filed after April 1, 2018, rather than January 1, 2018.”

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