• David Martin

ERISA Claims & 5 Mistakes Made When Filing - Mistake #3

Over the next few weeks, we'll be discussing five mistakes individuals make when filing ERISA claims for long term disability and short term disability, life insurance, pension or retirement, and sometimes large medical benefit claims.

The third mistake is failing to ask for documents.

ERISA has some disclosure obligations in connection with claims for benefits. Many people fail to ask for critical information in connection with their claim because they don't know about those disclosure obligations.

Documents to Request

1. Your Claim Record.

If your claim has been denied or adverse action has been taken on your claim, you are entitled to a complete copy of the claim record, so you can see all of the documents that were considered in connection with that claim denial.

2. Your Full Plan Document.

You must request your full plan document because it is the only document that outlines the full rules related to your claim, not the benefits booklet or the summary plan description.

3. Your Claim Manual.

If there was some sort of guideline or protocol utilized in connection with a claim and that was relied upon to make a decision, you are entitled to a copy of that guideline or protocol, so you understand why your claim has been denied.

ERISA claims must be handled in a very systematic and methodical manner. You must know all the rules and exactly why your claim has been denied to prepare an effective appeal. Letters denying claims sometimes do not contain the necessary specificity to understand why a claim was denied. Therefore, it's incumbent upon the claimant to make a request for these documents, and failure to do so is a critical mistake.

Whether you or your client needs advice before applying or appealing for ERISA benefits such as long term disability, short term disability, life insurance, pension and retirement, contact an experienced ERISA attorney at The Martin Law Group at 800-284-9309.

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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Birmingham, Alabama 35203
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