Who Qualifies for ERISA?

Tucker Law Group
January 15, 2020

ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. This federal law provides regulation for benefits offered by a private employer. ERISA also protects employee benefits in the event that an employer mismanages them. All private employers who offer certain benefits are subject to ERISA.

Do I Qualify for ERISA Benefits?

If you take part in a benefit plan through a private employer, then certain benefits within your plan are subject to ERISA. Private employers include any private company regardless of structure. Most non-profit organizations and charities also count under ERISA.

If you or the primary owner of your insurance policy purchased your policy outside of work, ERISA does not cover it. This does not mean that you cannot file a disability or insurance claim. Our disability attorneys can help you understand your options for filing a claim if you have an individual insurance policy.

Which Employers Are Not Subject to ERISA?

Though most employers are subject to ERISA, there are a few exceptions. These exceptions include:

  • Government entities and employers
  • Churches

If you need help determining whether you can file an ERISA disability claim, call our disability attorneys. Even if your benefits are not covered by ERISA, we can help you determine your best legal options for securing disability benefits.

Which of My Benefits Qualify for ERISA?

ERISA covers two main types of fringe benefits: pension plans and welfare plans. Fringe benefits are any extra benefits that supplement your salary.

Pension plans can include:

  • Traditional pension plans
  • 401(k) plans

Welfare plans can include benefits such as:

  • Disability insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance
  • Short and long term disability
  • Long term care insurance

Other types of welfare benefits can also be subject to ERISA. These benefits can include, but are not limited to:

  • Severance benefit plans
  • Unemployment benefit plans
  • Vacation benefit plans
  • Pre-paid legal plans

Under ERISA, private employers must base their benefit plans on the sole interest of the plan’s participants and beneficiaries. Even so, ERISA does not require a private employer to cover all or certain benefit plans. For example, if your employer offers disability benefits, they may exclude whichever disabilities they want to exclude in the plan.

Our ERISA attorney recommends that you ask your employer for their Plan Document and Summary Plan Description. These documents will give you important information about your benefit plan.

Which of My Benefits Do Not Qualify for ERISA?

There are some exceptions to ERISA. The following benefits are not subject to ERISA:

  • Adoption assistance plans
  • Cafeteria plans
  • Medical clinics that only provide first aid services
  • State-mandated disability plans
  • Tuition reimbursement plans
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Safe harbor plans

Some of your benefits may also fall under a “payroll practice” benefit. These benefits may include vacation or paid time off (PTO). An employer pays for payroll practice benefits with their assets under certain circumstances. Therefore, ERISA does not cover payroll practice benefits.

Our ERISA lawyer understands the challenges claimants face when trying to determine whether benefits fall under ERISA. If you have questions about ERISA and disability insurance, call us at (866) 233-5044. We help our clients distinguish which benefits they can claim using ERISA.

Will ERISA Affect My Disability Insurance Claim?

ERISA disability insurance claims are handled differently than other types of disability claims. This is because ERISA is a federal law with its own specific guidelines and procedures. In addition, ERISA does not require private employers to include certain benefits in their plans. Because of this, your claim may be evaluated based on your employer’s plan.

Disability insurance should protect you in the event that illness or injury interferes with your ability to work. At Tucker Law Group, we help claimants throughout the entire ERISA claim process. An ERISA lawyer at our firm can help you gather the information and evidence you need to file a strong claim. We can also help you with appeals and litigation if necessary.

Contact Our ERISA Attorney for More Information

ERISA is a substantial law and navigating it alone is challenging. If you need help filing a claim, our disability attorneys can help you understand your options.

If you have already filed an ERISA claim that has been denied, contact our ERISA attorney today. We help claimants across the United States appeal and litigate their ERISA claims. Call us today at (866) 233-5044 or reach out to us online.