How to Protect Your Personal Injury Settlement from an Erisa Lien
Imagine you have sustained injuries and you can’t go to work. Your employer may have provided health care benefits to you, and you received settlements from the at-fault party.
However, did you know that some third-party entities can claim liens from your case and take a part of your settlement? It includes your employer, who can use ERISA lien to reimburse the benefits they had provided to you.
Read on to know about ERISA lien, and find out how a reliable personal injury attorney in Burbank can protect your compensation from liens.
What Is the ERISA Law?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) governs employer-provided benefits plans for private workers. It regulates retirement, health insurance, and disability plans, among other benefits.
In general, ERISA plans exist in two types:
These are ERISA plans sustained by financial pools maintained by private companies. Companies take a portion of their employees’ paycheck to fill their ERISA funds. So, they use that source to provide benefits plans.
This ERISA plan type is only suitable for large enterprises. That’s because self-funded plans require a significant number of employees to sustain adequate funds.
This type is about having an insurance carrier providing the benefits funds for a company.
The company only needs to pay a premium for health plans making insured plans suitable for small to medium enterprises with only a few employees.
What Is an ERISA Lien?
Some companies include reimbursement clauses in their ERISA plan agreement. These clauses order employees to reimburse particular benefits that they enjoy under the ERISA health plan.
Consider the example at the beginning of this article. Your employer can take a portion of the compensation you receive from the at-fault party to reimburse the provided benefits.
The idea is that as you’ve already received compensation from your injury claim, you must return the benefits provided by your employer.
However, this may not be the case if your employer uses an insured plan.
So, check your employer’s health plan contract to know what to expect when you need to receive benefits because of personal injuries.
How a Burbank Personal Injury Lawyer Minimizes ERISA Liens
The only way to protect your compensation from liens is by hiring a reliable lawyer for your case. ERISA is a very complicated federal law, and only a legal expert with enough knowledge of ERISA can help you.
Determining the Funding Status of an ERISA Plan
A reliable; lawyer will first determine the funding status or type of a health care plan.
You do not need to worry about ERISA liens if your company has insured plans. So, you only need to contribute a part of your salary to the premium, and the insurer will cover your benefits without seeking reimbursement.
However, a legal expert will take extra precautions if your company has self-funded plans.
Checking Your Company’s Master Plan
Your attorney will thoroughly check your company’s master plan document (MPD) if you’re in a self-funded plan. The master plan carries all information about a company’s ERISA plans that you agreed upon by signing a contract.
They will pay extra focus to the reimbursement or subrogation clauses in the document. However, these points explain the liens that a company can take from your settlement amount.
Moreover, your lawyer will examine the MPD’s language to develop a good defense for your compensation.
For example, strong language in the document can be harder to defend. However, vague language can give your lawyer a chance to reduce the liens.
Hire a Professional Lawyer to Protect Your Compensation from ERISA Liens
ERISA liens can affect your personal injury case and take a portion of your rightful compensation.
Fortunately, the best personal injury attorney in Burbank can help reduce the liens’ effects on your settlement amount after checking your MPD