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Department of Labor Announces April 1 Applicability Date for New Disability Benefits Claims Procedures

DOL Announces April 1, 2018 Applicability Date for the Final Claims Regulations for ERISA-Covered Plans that Provide Disability Benefits

On November 24, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) released regulations finalizing a 90-day delay in the effective date of the final rules governing claims and appeals procedures for plans that provide disability benefits. The 90-day delay was to give stakeholders the opportunity to submit comments on the costs and benefits of the final rule.

On January 5, 2018, the DOL announced that April 1, 2018 will be the applicability date for employee benefit plans to comply with the final rule under ERISA. The DOL received approximately 200 comment letters, with only a few responding substantively to the DOL’s request for quantitative data to support assertions that the final rule would drive up disability benefit plan costs, cause an increase in litigation, and consequently reduce workers’ access to disability insurance protections. The information provided in the comments did not establish that the final rule imposes unnecessary regulatory burdens or significantly impairs workers’ access to disability insurance benefits, according to the DOL.

The new rule provides new procedural protections for workers dealing with plan fiduciaries and insurance providers who have denied their disability benefits claims. Employers will need to update all relevant disability benefit plan documents to comply with the changes.

For notable provisions in the final rule, download the DOL Updated ERISA Disability Benefit Claims and Appeals Procedures InfoBrief.

Download the DOL Updated ERISA Disability Benefit Claims and Appeals Procedures Infobrief

Contact your OneDigital representative to find out more about the updated ERISA benefit claims and appeals procedures.