Is There a Statute of Limitations in ERISA Cases?
ERISA doesn’t provide for a statue of limitations for suites under section 502(a)(1)(b) to recover benefits. The federal court looks at the most closely analogous statute of limitations, unless the Long Term Disability contract has a specific limitations.
In otherwords, the ERISA plan is nothing more than a contract. Under Florida Law, if the policy language can be given more than one interpretation the insurance policy is consider to be confusing and ambiguous. There has to be interpretability in favor of the policy holder.
So here’s a test? Lets say your Long Term Disability policy says that: no legal action of any kind may be filed against us: 1. Within 60 days after the proof of disability has been given; 2. More than three years after the proof of disability must be filed, unless the law in a state where you live allows for longer period of time.
Would you agree with me that clause 2 allows for a suit to be filed more than three years after, if you live in a state that allows a long period of time? That would be right! In the state of Florida there is a five year limitations for the enforcement of written contracts.
Therefore, if your Long Term Disability carrier argues that there is a statue of limitations defense to your Long Term Disability claim, and you live in Florida, you should have five years in which to file suit.
If you have any questions, about the terms of your Long Term Disability policy, you need an experienced Long Term Disability attorney who can help you interpret the intent of a policy and advise you of your rights. Contact veteran Long Term Disability attorney Nancy Cavey.