ERISA: The Basics, the Details, and the Facts

Authored by:

Attorney William Green from Delfino Green & Green Law


William Green
Mr. Green has made a career of championing the rights of the most vulnerable members of society against the most powerful corporations, government entities, and insurance companies. Where most attorneys take on “a case,” Mr. Green takes on clients and their cause.

Reviewed by:


Delfino Green & Green
For over 30 years, the highly skilled and experienced attorneys at Delfino Green & Green have been protecting the rights of individuals throughout California. We work hard to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions that caused injuries, insurance companies responsible for their promises to pay disability benefits, and employers accountable for their commitment to protecting their employees in the workplace.


What is ERISA law? ERISA is an acronym for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This federal law was established in 1974 to set minimum standards for employers’ handling and paying out disability, pension, and other benefits. The act lays out your rights when filing a disability claim, which also includes the time period and proof needed for a prosperous claim. As an employee under ERISA law, you are able to recover the benefits that you are entitled to, but you are not able to regain any added reparations for the hardship you endured. In plain language, ERISA is designed to verify that you receive the benefits you deserve and were vowed to you by your employer. If you don’t, ERISA gives you the right to sue.

Who is ERISA Designed for?

ERISA pertains to private-sector businesses that offer pension plans, retirement plans, and welfare benefit plans to employees. The following private-sector areas are covered under ERISA:
  • Partnerships
  • Sole proprietorships
  • LLCs
  • S-corporations
  • C-corporations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Small businesses with only a couple of employees
If you work for a private employer or business, you are most likely covered by ERISA. However, ERISA does not apply to everyone. The following are not covered under ERISA:
  • Churches and religious institutions
  • Government employers and entities
  • Unfunded excess benefit plans
  • Benefit plans that are maintained only for complying with workers’ compensation, disability, or unemployment regulations
  • Plans serviced outside of the United States for the benefit of non-resident aliens
It is important to note that while ERISA covers a vast range of employers, only particular types of benefits are covered. In general, ERISA addresses the following:
  • Medical, dental, vision, and prescription insurance plans
  • Health reimbursement accounts (HRAs)
  • Disability insurance plans
  • Defined-benefit and defined-contribution funds
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Long-term care insurance plans
  • Business travel insurance plans
  • Scholarship benefits
  • Severance plans
  • Welfare benefits plans such as 419(e) and 419(a)(f)(6) plans

Save Everything

If you plan to file a claim using ERISA law, it is in your best interest to save all relevant materials as they relate to your case. It may be beneficial to review your employer’s ERISA plan document or insurance policy since it describes their claims process. The initial claim application, appeals process, and litigation plan (if needed) should all be included in your employer’s ERISA plan. ERISA law is highly complex, so no matter how confident you are of your case’s success, having an ERISA-knowledgable attorney on your side greatly increases your chances of a fruitful claim.

Don’t Get Discouraged

If you file an ERISA claim and it is denied, don’t be alarmed. There are ramifications you can take to receive the compensation you deserve. It can be frustrating to be denied for your claim when you know it is valid, but don’t become discouraged. The disability claims process is complicated. Don’t attempt to do it all yourself.

We Can Help

ERISA law can be complex. If you require an ERISA claim in the San Francisco Bay Area, it is useful to have someone on your side who is well-versed in this area of the law. The attorneys at Delfino Green & Green are highly experienced in ERISA law and have helped countless people receive the compensation they deserve. Backed by over 30 years of extensive legal moxie, we have an in-depth understanding of ERISA and long-term disability legalities. Consequently, we have reclaimed tens of millions of dollars for our clients in verdicts as well as settlements. We can help you, too. We offer free case reviews and consultations, over three decades of legal experience, extensive jury trial experience, state and federal court licensing, and experience negotiating buyouts. You have nothing to lose by contacting our firm today about your ERISA claim.

Call us at 415-442-4646 today about your potential case.

contact us