Employee Retirement Income Security Action of 1974 (ERISA) is a Federal Law which regulates the employee benefits, nationally. When you receive your disability insurance coverage through work, or you belong to a pension plan that has a disability benefit, you are most likely covered under an ERISA Plan.
When litigating an ERISA long-term disability case, the case must be filed and litigated in Federal court. ERISA litigation is an extremely specialized area of the law that requires specific expertise.
There are very few exceptions to ERISA’s application to group disability plans. The most common exception include plans offered by employers who are governmental entities (local, county, city, state or federal) and churches (religious organizations).
ERISA plans have a mandatory application and appeal process which must be followed before filing a lawsuit in Federal Court to recover disability benefits. You generally have 180 days to appeal an ERISA denial.