On February 26, 2021, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) released Notice 2021-01 (2021 Relief Notice) providing guidance to employers, claim administrators and fiduciaries of ERISA plans on the duration of the COVID-19-related relief set forth in a 2020 Notice that suspended, among other things, certain ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) claim-related deadlines (referred to herein as ERISA Relief).

Under the 2020 Notice, the ERISA Relief continues until sixty (60) days after the announced end of the COVID-19 National Emergency or such other date announced by the relevant Agency or Agencies in a future notification (the Outbreak Period). However, ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code provide that a deadline tolling period cannot exceed one year. One year measured from the start of the Outbreak Period on March 1, 2020 was February 28, 2021. With the COVID-19 crisis and National Emergency continuing past that date, there were many questions regarding when the Outbreak Period will expire and how the one-year statutory tolling limitation should be applied.

Up until February 26th, the Departments of Labor and Treasury had been silent on the application of this one-year limit. Now, however, the 2021 Relief Notice indicates that the one-year limit applies on an individual basis, and its application to individuals will depend on whether the event that triggers their deadline to file a claim, appeal, or take other action (Event) either: (i) occurred prior to March 1, 2020, with the deadline falling after March 1, 2020; (ii) occurred sometime between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021; or (iii) occurs on or after March 1, 2021. Read the full legal update.

Photo of Patrick Begos Patrick Begos

Mr. Begos has nearly 30 years of commercial and insurance litigation, arbitration, mediation and negotiation experience, representing companies and individuals in a wide array of industries. He has a national reputation in handling litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and…

Mr. Begos has nearly 30 years of commercial and insurance litigation, arbitration, mediation and negotiation experience, representing companies and individuals in a wide array of industries. He has a national reputation in handling litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and, in particular, denial of group benefits claims. Mr. Begos has litigated hundreds of ERISA cases and has been involved in shaping the development of ERISA law across the country. He is a regular speaker at ERISA and insurance conferences around the country and has written extensively for various nationwide publications. Read his full rc.com bio here.

Photo of Jean Tomasco Jean Tomasco

Jean Tomasco’s practice involves employer counseling and employment litigation, with an emphasis on ERISA and benefits litigation. Ms. Tomasco represents employers before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. She has defended employers against…

Jean Tomasco’s practice involves employer counseling and employment litigation, with an emphasis on ERISA and benefits litigation. Ms. Tomasco represents employers before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. She has defended employers against all types of employment-related claims, including discrimination and wrongful discharge claims. Ms. Tomasco also counsels employers on a variety of employment matters, including hiring practices, termination of employees, employment-related immigration issues, unemployment compensation issues, wage and hour matters, drug testing, and personnel policies and handbooks. Read her full rc.com bio here.

Photo of Brennan Breeland Brennan Breeland

Brennan P. Breeland is a member of the firm’s Managed Care + Employee Benefit Litigation Group, representing life, health, and disability insurers in claim-related litigation related to group welfare benefits, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), health insurance, disability insurance, and life…

Brennan P. Breeland is a member of the firm’s Managed Care + Employee Benefit Litigation Group, representing life, health, and disability insurers in claim-related litigation related to group welfare benefits, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), health insurance, disability insurance, and life insurance coverage. Read his full rc.com bio here.