• David Martin

You Might Have an ERISA Case If... The Basics

Updated: Jun 18, 2019

People often discover too late that their case is governed by ERISA. And, that can make or break a claim. At a minimum, it can dramatically alter a client’s expectations.

Jury trials, punitive damages, and mental anguish damages are generally not allowed under ERISA. Therefore, that case that looks like a promising bad faith case, with the potential for a large recovery, may well be an ERISA case where damages are limited.

The good news is that it is still a worthwhile case!

Here are the basics on ERISA’s jurisdiction:

  1. There must be a plan, fund, or program.

  2. There must have been action taken to establish or maintain it.

  3. It must have been established or maintained by an employer or an association (like a teacher’s association).

  4. The purpose must be to provide a benefit.

  5. The benefit must be for participants or beneficiaries.

There are exceptions, of course, such as that in 29 U.S.C. § 1135, when an employer is merely involved with a welfare benefit plan but does not actually establish or maintain it. And, those plans provided by governments and churches are also generally excluded.

These are the basics. And as you can see, it doesn’t take much for ERISA to capture your claim.

#ERISAlawyerAlabama #ERISAlawyerMississippi #ERISA #ERISAdisabilitylawyer

Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

The Martin Law Group is dedicated to being your go-to ERISA attorneys and long term disability lawyers. Whether you are pursuing a long-term disability claim, life insurance benefits, or your pension or retirement benefits, we will meet with you face-to-face to discuss your claim at a location convenient for you. 


In an effort to make disability claims as easy as possible, we offer a free initial consultation. We often work with clients in Huntsville, Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery, Dothan, Tuscaloosa, and Florence, in Alabama, as well as with clients in Columbus, Meridian, Jackson, Hattiesburg, Tupelo, and Gulfport, Mississippi, and surrounding areas.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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