Representation You Can Trust From An Experienced San Francisco Retirement Claims Attorney
You have worked hard all your life in anticipation of the day you can retire. Depending on the type of job you had and the length of time you were employed, you may have a retirement plan or pension in place to help offset your costs and supplement the income you receive from Social Security. Odds are, these funds are vitally important in allowing you to travel and enjoy time spent with your family, while meeting monthly obligations and maintaining the standard of living you and your loved ones are accustomed to.
At Roberts Bartolic LLP, we understand the hard work and dedication that went into planning for this time in your life. We also know the shock and concern people face when their retirement benefits claim is denied or delay. Our experienced retirement benefit claims attorneys are here to help guide you through what can be a long and complicated process, while providing the aggressive legal representation you need to get the benefits you are entitled to.
Filing A Claim For Retirement Plan Benefits
According to U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines for filing a retirement benefit claim, one of the first things you should do is to get a copy of your summary plan description from your plan administrator, which will outline your benefits, as well as your rights and requirements. All plans have standards that must be fulfilled, such as working a certain number of years or reaching a certain age, although simply meeting these requirements is no guarantee your benefits will be approved. The process for filing a claim is as follows:
- Claim review: Once your claim is filed, your carrier has a minimum of 90 days to review it. You will be notified in writing if your claim requires an additional 90 days to uncover more information or address any specific concerns.
- Claim approval or denial: You will be notified if your claim is approved or denied within the 90 or 180-day period. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision.
- Filing an appeal: You have 60 days to file your appeal and provide any additional information requested by the appeals board.
- Review of appeal: Another 60 days may go by while your appeal is being considered, and an additional 60 days extension may be requested if the board requires more time to make their decision.
- Denial of appeal: If you have not received notice during this 120 day time frame, you can assume your appeal was denied. Once a final decision is made, you must be notified in writing as to the reasons why, and under what rules of your plan the decision to deny your claim was made.
When Your Retirement Benefit Claim Is Denied
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law which protects the interests of employees when filing retirement benefit claims. It governs the grievance and appeals process and requires those administering and managing the money within each plan to adhere to federal standards. It also provides those whose claims have been denied the right to sue for benefits or for a breach of these duties.
It is important for those filing a retirement benefit claim to understand that a lawsuit cannot be filed unless all of the above claims filing procedures have been following, including the denial appeals process. Your appeal must be filed within the timelines established, and you must provide all relevant information as requested. Filing a lawsuit will delay your benefits further, and the court is typically limited to the claims record available at the time of the final denial. Seeking experienced legal representation at the first denial of your claim helps to avoid the potential for a lawsuit, while helping you get your benefits in a more timely manner.
How Our Experienced ERISA Attorneys Can Help
If you or someone you care about has had their retirement benefit claim denied, contact Roberts Bartolic LLP today. Our experienced ERISA attorneys provide the professional legal representation you need to guide you throughout the appeals process.