ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act — a piece of legislation that came into being in 1974. As a federal law, it establishes minimum standards for employee benefit plans held by employees working for private businesses. Among other matters, ERISA governs:
Initial claims are usually decided within four months — and often in as little time as one month. At this time, the claim will either be approved or denied. If denied, it is important to contact an attorney immediately.
From there, processing times can vary. Appeals may be adjudicated in a matter of months. If your case goes to court, however, the process can take up to two years.
It depends on the stage of your case. Many individuals are able to make their initial claims without legal help. If your claim is denied, however, a lawyer is crucial to a successful appeal.
An attorney will know precisely what types of evidence you will need to provide and will ensure that you file all your documents in a timely manner. Moreover, should your appeal be denied, a lawyer is crucial if you choose to take your matter to court.