New Department of Labor Rule regarding Claims Procedures for Disability Benefits

— April 2018

After much delay and uncertainty, the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed amendments to its regulations governing the claims procedures that companies must follow when handling claims for disability benefits are now effective. The new rule applies to all claims for disability benefits received on or after April 2, 2018.

The new rule applies to all employee benefit plans which provide for disability benefits, including both employee welfare benefit plans and employee pension benefit plans, unless the disability determination is made by a party other than the plan and for a purpose that is not related to the plan (i.e., a disability determination by the Social Security Administration), except that excess benefit plans, as defined in Section 3(36) of ERISA, are excluded from the rule.