The Employer's Legal Resource: ERISA Update: New Rules Regarding Disability Benefit Claims in Appeals Put on Hold for 90 Days
In the February 2017 ELR, we outlined the new rules and procedures published in December 2016 by the DOL Employee Benefits Security Administration. These new rules and procedures were to apply to all claims for disability benefits filed on or after January 1, 2018. You can view that article here.
In November, the DOL announced a 90-day delay of the effective date of the new rules and procedures. The DOL stated the delay is necessary as a result of Executive Order 13777, issued by the Trump Administration on February 24, 2017. According to the DOL, EO 13777 requires it to examine regulatory alternatives which meet its objectives of insuring full and fair review of disability benefit claims while not imposing unnecessary costs and adverse consequences.
The DOL received comments and data as part of its effort. Various stakeholders voiced administrative, financial, and legal concerns with the new rules and procedures, concerns the DOL presumably will take into account in determining whether to implement or revise the new rules and procedures.
The DOL stated the 90-day delay is necessary to enable it to consider those concerns and other comments and data to determine whether the revised rules and procedures should go into effect as proposed.
So, for now, disability benefit claims and appeals will continue to be governed under existing rules and regulations, even after January 1, 2018. The DOL has until April 1, 2018, to determine whether the revised regulations published in December 2016 will go into effect.
By Jon E. Brightmire, JBrightmire@dsda.com