Philadelphia, PA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/30/2018 -- The Department of Labor is introducing updated regulations for ERISA Disability Claims to strengthen protections for workers in the private sector who are making claims for disability insurance benefits. These updated regulations have been in the works since 2015 and will officially become applicable April 1, 2018. Abell & Capitan Law is helping clients understand these new amendments and how they might be affected once the changes become applicable.
The proposed amendments to the disability claims process were initially released December 16, 2016. These regulations became effective January 18, 2017 but were not scheduled to become applicable to new claims until January 1, 2018. This date was recently delayed for a 90-day period to allow employers, insurance providers, and plan fiduciaries to make the necessary adjustments to comply with the regulations.
The purpose of the rule changes is to protect employees during the disability claims process and to promote a fair and accurate review of these claims. In the past, various factors worked against claimants, resulting in significant rates of claim denials. Conflicts of interest of claim adjudicators were commonplace as employers would encourage claim denials with bonuses and other perks. Under the new provisions, employers and insurance companies can no longer incentivize agents to deny claims, thus creating a fairer claims process.
Claimants are also now afforded the opportunity to review and respond to new information before an appeal denial is issued. This is a very substantial change to the appeal process where claimants were previously afforded no opportunity to respond prior to the insurance company relying on adverse information to uphold its denial of benefits.
Also, under the new regulations, disability claimants must receive a detailed explanation as to why their claims were denied. The denial notice must also clearly disclose rights and information related to the claim appeal process and use language that is clear and appropriate, so claimants can fully understand. This includes a new requirement that the insurance company specifies the exact calendar date on which the claimant's right to file a lawsuit expires if the mandatory appeal process has been exhausted.
These regulation amendments affect employers, insurance providers, and disability claimants alike. For more information about the impending changes, contact Abell & Capitan Law today at 800-689-1056.
About Abell & Capitan Law
Abell & Capitan Law represents individuals whose disability insurance claims have been wrongfully denied or terminated. The law firm can become involved at any stage of the claim process and handles all aspects of long term disability insurance, short term disability insurance, individual disability insurance, and a limited number of Social Security insurance claims for their long term disability insurance clients. The law firm operates out of offices in Philadelphia, PA, Newtown Square, PA, and Louisville, KY.
To learn more about Abell & Capitan Law, please visit www.LongTermDisabilityLawyers.com.
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