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Statute Of Limitations For ERISA Claims

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) dictates how employer-provided benefits are managed and administered while detailing the appeals process and your rights in filing a lawsuit. As with any legal matter, there are strict time limits involved. These are referred to as statutes of limitations. Not being aware of the statute of limitations for ERISA claims could jeopardize your rights to benefits.

Your Rights Under ERISA

Employer-provided benefits help to protect you and your family both now and in the future. They generally represent a considerable portion of your overall compensation package. Unfortunately, it can come as a shock after working at your job and paying into these programs for years to find your benefits denied or disputed. When this happens, there are complex federal laws that apply.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) does not require employers to provide benefits, but it does set minimum standards in regards to how plans are managed and administered. This includes granting employees certain rights in reviewing policy-related documents, processing claims, and appealing denied benefits.

ERISA dictates the appeals process and gives you the right to file a civil lawsuit against the insurer, plan administrator, or others involved if your claim continues to be denied. However, you must adhere to any statutes of limitations that are in place.

ERISA Statutes of Limitations

There are many reasons why employer-provided benefits may be disputed. In addition to denied claims and delayed benefits, employees may be entitled to file a claim in the event plan administrators fail to adhere to fiduciary duties in managing benefit programs and acting in the employee’s best interests. ERISA statutes of limitations vary depending on the exact circumstances involved:

  • For fiduciary claims: You have the right to file a lawsuit against those involved for a breach of fiduciary duties. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that you have six years after the last breach or three years after you become aware it occurred.
  • For denied benefits: If your benefit claim continues to be denied after going through the appeals process, you have the right to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations is based on state law rather than ERISA. However, a standard three-year time limit may have been included as part of your contract.

Request a Consultation With Our Chicago ERISA Attorney Today

At Bartolic Law, we defend your rights to employer-provided benefits. To ensure your claim is filed within the required time limits, contact our Chicago ERISA attorney and request a consultation today.

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