First and foremost, congratulations to our new President – Barack Obama. His historic election will forever change the way opportunity and entitlement are viewed in the United States. He has tremendous challenges before him, but with our support and shared sacrifice, perhaps we can right this dangerously leaky ship we call America. Godspeed, Mr. President.
In the midst of this country’s many problems, and on Inauguration Day especially, perhaps it seems a bit parochial to ask the new President to consider fixing the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA). However, since the stated goal of the New York Disability Law Blog is to provide "information, help and support" for disabled workers, and given that ERISA often times provides more security to "employers" than "employees", causing untold human suffering and economic despair, I will not apologize for focusing this one little post on the plight of the disabled. After all, if you look at the amount of "pork" already stuffed into the current economic stimulus bill, you will clearly see that less important narrow interests are already swarming like vultures around Washington. And it is highly unlikely that CNN will pick this post up today.
Therefore, I implore the new President to ask but one aide to investigate the wholesale problems with ERISA that force so many with disability claims into bankruptcy. Long before the mortgage meltdown, disability claim lawyers like myself saw families consistently go down the economic drain while fighting for their disability benefits under the "employee unfriendly" ERISA. Let us, with the hope inspired by our new President, resolve to fix ERISA disability claims law in the next four years so that it actually does what it was intended to do – protect employees!