THE BUSHORN FIRM | Practice Areas
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PRACTICE AREAS

Long-Term Disability Benefits

The Bushorn Firm handles claims for long-term disability benefits against group long term disability insurance carriers and where appropriate against the administrators of the plans. The Bushorn Firm represents individuals suffering from all different types of medical conditions, including Radiculopathy, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Loss of Use of a Limb, Lumbar/Cervical Spine Deformities, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Chronic Dizziness, Depression, Anxiety, other Mental Health Disorders, and many other conditions.

401(k) and Pension Benefits

The Bushorn Firm represents individuals’ claims for retirement plan benefits, including defined benefit pension plans, 401(k), ESOPs, profit sharing plans, cash balance plans, SERPs, and other executive retirement plans. Such claims arise in many situations, including if you have unlawfully been denied participation in a retirement plan, your employer fails to make required employer or matching contributions, or your employer fails to deposit your elective deferrals into your 401(k) plan account in a timely manner. Contact The Bushorn Firm today to discuss your 401(k) and pension benefit claim issues.

Health Insurance Claims

The Bushorn Firm represents clients seeking coverage for health benefits against group health insurance plans. This includes getting health plans to pay for necessary services and in forcing employers and other fiduciaries to pay the costs of services due to misrepresentations made by the employer or plan administrator. The federal law ERISA usually governs these types of benefit claims and you should seek counsel from an attorney knowledgeable of ERISA. Contact Claire W. Bushorn at The Bushorn Firm today to discuss your health insurance benefit claim questions.

Benefit Overpayment And Recoupment

The Bushorn Firm represents clients who face claims by employee benefit plans for recoupment of overpayment of benefits. This may happen if you have been receiving LTD benefits before you were approved for Social Security benefits, if the plan determines that it wrongly approved your claim for benefits, if you receive an award in a personal injury case while also receiving disability benefits, and numerous other situations. If you have received notice that your benefits have been offset and/or the plan seeks reimbursement for benefits you have already received, it is important to immediately call an attorney knowledgeable of the offset and recoupment laws.

Life Insurance and Death Benefits

Not only does the death of a loved one cause significant emotional trauma, but it can be financially disastrous as well. Claire W Bushorn Danzl is a life insurance attorney representing individuals with disputes over life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment benefits under ERISA § 502. In addition to claims arising under ERISA, the life insurance lawyer Claire W Bushorn Danzl handles claims against insurers of individual policies as well.

Wage Theft

Wage theft occurs whenever you are not paid what the law says you should be paid. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state law establish standards for the minimum wage and overtime pay. The Act applies to full-time and part-time employees in both private and public sector work, with some exceptions. In all, over 130 million workers in the U.S. are guaranteed fair compensation by their employers under the FLSA. If your employer willfully violates the FLSA, it may be liable for back wages, an equal amount in liquidated damages, interest, and attorneys fees.

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FAQS

What Is ERISA?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA, is a federal law that sets minimum standards for retirement and welfare benefit plans in private industry. ERISA requires plans to provide participants with information about the plan; sets minimum standards for participation, vesting, benefit accrual and funding; ERISA establishes detailed funding rules that require plan sponsors to provide adequate funding for your plan; ERISA requires accountability of plan fiduciaries; gives participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty; guarantees payment of certain benefits if a defined plan is terminated, through a federally chartered corporation, known as the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Why Does ERISA Affect Me?

If you are a plan participant, beneficiary, “plan participant”, or a dependent, enrolled in an ERISA-governed “employee welfare benefit plan”, ERISA has a very direct and profound effect upon your rights to receive plan benefits. If you do not follow certain procedures, then you may lose entitlement to your benefits. This is why it is important that you speak with an attorney that practices regularly in ERISA law.

My Benefits Have Been Denied. Can I Sue?

ERISA provides for an exclusive remedial scheme for insureds who have been denied benefits. A plan participant may sue “to recover benefits due to him under the terms of his plan, to enforce his rights under the terms of the plan, or to clarify his rights to future benefits under the terms of the plan.” 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B). In addition, they may be entitled to attorney fees and interest, but these are discretionary. 29 USC § 1132(g). Before a participant or beneficiary can bring a lawsuit for benefits under the plan, the participant must exhaust the administrative remedies available under the plan, known as appealing an adverse benefits determination. It is important to contact an attorney before the time limit to file an appeal, usually 180 days, lapses.

What Is An Employee Welfare Benefit Plan under ERISA?

ERISA applies to two types of plans- Employee Welfare Benefit Plans and Employee Pension Benefit Plans. An Employee Welfare Benefit Plan is any plan, fund, or program established or maintained by an employer or by an employee organization, or by both, which provides any of the following benefits, through insurance or otherwise: – health insurance – group life insurance – long-term disability income – severance pay – funded vacation benefits, apprenticeship or other training programs, or day care centers, scholarship funds, or prepaid legal services; and – any benefit described in section 302(c) of the Labor Management Relations Act (other than pensions on retirement or death) “Payroll practices” (see ER3) and certain group or group-type insurance programs with minimal employer or employee organization involvement are not included.

What Is An Employee Pension Benefit Plan Under ERISA?

ERISA applies to two types of plans- Employee Welfare Benefit Plans and Employee Pension Benefit Plans. An Employee Pension Benefit Plan under ERISA isaAny plan, fund, or program established or maintained by an employer or by an employee organization, or by both, which provides retirement income to employees, OR results in a deferral of income by employees for periods extending to the termination of covered employment or beyond Employee Pension Benefit Plans include: – Profit-sharing retirement plans – Stock bonus plans – Money purchase plans – 401(k) plans – Employee stock ownership plans – Defined benefit retirement plans

What Are The Essential Elements Of A Plan?

Each plan has certain key elements. These include: – A written plan that describes the benefit structure and guides day-to-day operations; – A trust fund to hold the plan’s assets; – A recordkeeping system to track the flow of monies going to and from the retirement plan; and – Documents to provide plan information to employees participating in the plan and to the government.