Do all employers need to update their documents to include the new disability claims procedures, or only those that offer disability coverage?

The new disability claims rules apply to any plan where a disability determination could be made. Of course, this would include long- and short-term disability plans, but it could also include, for example, a waiver of premium under a life insurance plan, or a determination by an employer that an employee on leave is entitled to continue to participate in any or all benefit plans because his or her absence is due to a disability.

If in doubt, the best practice would be to regenerate the Wrap documents and distribute a revised Wrap SPD or SMM to plan participants. In addition, the Wrap Plan Document should be revised and signed by an authorized officer of the employer.

 How do I inform plan participants of the new disability claims procedures?

After regenerating your Wrap documents so that the new provisions appear, you may either distribute the revised Wrap SPD to plan participants, or distribute a Summary of Material Modifications (SMM) describing the changes. In addition, the Wrap Plan Document must be revised and signed by an authorized officer of the employer.

 How do I update my documents to include the new disability claims procedures?

The Wrap SPD and Wrap Plan Document templates were updated by our team of staff attorneys and the Wagner Law Group on March 5, 2018 to reflect the Department of Labor’s final rule for disability claims filed after April 1, 2018. These changes can be found in the "Claims Procedure for Benefits Based on Determination of Disability" section of the Wrap SPD and in Article VI, section 6.3 of the Wrap Plan Document.

If you would like these changes to appear in your existing Wraps, simply regenerate the Wrap SPD and Wrap Plan Document.

On the General Plan Information page, select that this is an "Amendment and Restatement of an Existing Plan" and edit the Effective Date of the Wrap Plan to reflect the date on which these revisions became effective (generally April 1, 2018). Unless special circumstances exist, you should continue to use the existing Plan Year. Save your changes, then regenerate your documents so that the changes appear.

 When is the deadline to notify plan participants about the changes to the disability claims procedures?

Although it would be prudent to notify plan participants via a revised Wrap SPD or SMM as soon as possible, ERISA requires the plan administrator to provide notification within 210 days after the end of the plan year.

Please Note: Wrap360 and its employees and officers are not permitted to offer legal advice. These FAQs are provided for general information purposes only. As the answers to specific questions may vary based on federal or state law, as well as on company documents for the issues in question, it would be prudent to consult knowledgeable benefits counsel for individualized guidance.