• David Martin

The ERISA Deadline Devil


Missed a claim deadline on a long-term disability claim, life insurance claim, or pension claim? All hope is not lost. A claimant may yet escape the fatal grasp of the deadline devil!


One big concern with ERISA cases is the number of endless deadlines. Deadlines for providing notice of a claim, proof of loss, appeals, and even filing suit. It gets even more complicated when the insurance company or plan administrator tolls the deadline.


COVID had a temporary effect on ERISA’s deadlines. On March 13, 2020, Proclamation 9994 was declared by President Trump, invoking the National Emergencies Act, and allowing for the extension of time frames for various statutes and regulations including ERISA. Beginning March 1, 2020, and continuing until March 1, 2021, the deadlines were suspended. For deadlines that occurred in the time period, the clock was to restart and allow 60 additional days beginning March 1, 2021.


However, the deadline clock has not yet started. President Biden extended the proclamation for up to one more year, with an end date of March 1, 2022. It could be terminated before then, so we will still have to watch for that rascally deadline devil. But even when it does, there should be 60 days after the termination of the extension in which to meet the deadline. There may yet be hope for a claim that one thought was time-barred.