Employees Retirement System of Texas
The ERS is the Employees Retirement System of Texas
Author: Attorney Lonnie Roach
The ERS is an agency of the Texas state government, created in 1947, that oversees retirement benefits of state employees.
Texas has over 200,000 state employees.
In addition to that number, institutions of higher learning employ over 120,000 full time workers. Each and every one of those employees is eligible to participate in a group disability plan. Disability benefits are offered under the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program administered by the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS). The plan is intended to provide employees with replacement income when they are unable to work as a result of a total disability, as defined in the plan. It offers benefits for both Short Term Disability (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD).
The ERS Organization, a service-oriented trust agency founded in 1947 by the constitution and laws established by the state of Texas, provides retirement and insurance benefit programs for all state employees, retirees, and their dependents.
Both Short Term Disability (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits are available for those eligible to receive replacement income due to a disability rendering them unable to continue in their positions.
Through the Texas Income Protection PlanSM (TIPP), eligible employees can receive financial protection by opting for both short term and long term disability insurance offered by ERS through third party administrator Aon Hewitt.
The following provides a brief summary of what is available through ERS:
- All active employees are eligible.
- New employees can enroll on or before first day of employment for immediate enrollment or up to 31 days following hire date to ensure coverage begins the first of the following month.
- Employees currently on unpaid leave of absence can continue to pay monthly premiums.
- Coverage excludes family members and retirees.
- Optional benefit providing a portion of monthly insurance salary if illness or injury prohibits satisfying employee requirements.
- A physician must document the disability.
- Benefits extend for up to five months for short term disability.
- Benefits are determined by age at onset of the disability for long term disability.
If you are considering employment with the State of Texas or with an institution of higher learning, Bemis, Roach & Reed strongly advises that you take advantage of the disability insurance benefit offered by ERS at the outset.
An applicant or an employee who fails to enroll within 31 days of his first day of work will not be offered disability insurance unless he can provide Evidence of Insurability. The applicant will pay all expenses related to obtaining Evidence of Insurability and there is no guarantee that you will be approved. If the employee is approved at this stage, coverage begins the first day of the month following approval.
Dearborn National (Fort Dearborn Life Insurance) is the former third party administrator of LTD claims. Aon Hewitt is the current administrator for ERS disability benefits in Texas. If you are a State of Texas Employee or an employee of a Texas institution of higher learning and have been denied disability benefits, contact Bemis, Roach & Reed to assist you with your claim.
If you are one of the over 300,000 Texas state or institution of higher learning employees covered by TIPP but your claim has been denied, it is time to contact a qualifiedTexas disability insurance attorney.
At The Law Offices of Bemis, Roach & Reed, attorneys, Lloyd E. Bemis, III, Lonnie Roach, and Greg Reed have been representing Austin and surrounding area clients wrongly denied insurance benefits since 1993. Contact us at 512-454-4000 for more information on how we can assist with your ERS claim today.
Bemis Roach and Reed has successfully handled many ERS claims.
A college professor in north Texas contacted Bemis, Roach & Reed to assist in challenging the denial of long term disability (LTD) benefits through Fort Dearborn Life Insurance Company.
At the time we were contacted, the client had already initiated an appeal of the Fort Dearborn denial by requesting a review from the Employee Retirement System of Texas (ERS). The claim was set for hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) with the State Office of Administrative Hearings in Austin, Texas. The college professor suffered from fibromyalgia. The disease had progressed to the point that work was no longer possible due to constant pain and fatigue. Fort Dearborn denied the claim when it was filed.
Bemis, Roach & Reed accepted the representation and began to litigate the case.
We arranged for our client to attend a functional capacity evaluation (FCE). The FCE supported our contention that our client could no longer work as a college professor. We also developed medical testimony from the client’s treating physicians. The case resolved to the satisfaction of all parties by confidential settlement prior to the ALJ hearing.
If you are an employee of an educational institution or if you are an employee of the State of Texas and have been denied disability benefits, contact the long term disability attorneys at Bemis, Roach & Reed. We are an Austin based law firm and can assist you with your claim.
Author: Attorney Lonnie Roach has been practicing law for over 29 years. He is Superlawyers rated by Thomson Reuters and is Top AV Preeminent® and Client Champion rated by Martindale Hubbell. Through his extensive litigation Mr. Roach obtained board certifications from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Lonnie is admitted to practice in the United States District Court – all Texas Districts and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. Highly experienced in Long Term Disability denials and appeals governed by the “ERISA” Mr. Roach is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Austin Bar Association, and is a past the director of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association (Director 1999-2005) Mr. Roach and all the members of Bemis, Roach & Reed have been active participants in the Travis County Lawyer referral service.
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