Department of Labor Proposes Complex Procedures for Disability Benefit Claims; Changes Would Increase Litigation Risk

On November 18, 2015, the Department of Labor (the “Department”) published proposed amendments to the claims procedure regulations for ERISA plans providing disability benefits (“Proposed Rule”).  80 Fed. Reg. 72014.  The Department states that its intent is to extend the procedural rules that apply to health care claims under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) (which were also finalized on November 18, 2015) to disability claims.  The disability changes would take effect 60 days after publication of the final rule.  Written comments are due by January 19, 2016.  Please see the attached memo for further information.