How to file a claim

Claims should be filed with the claims administrator
control room

COVID-19 Extension for Filing Claims and Appeals

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Declaration of National Emergency, the US Departments of Labor (DOL) and Treasury/IRS have provided revised guidance that extends deadlines related to filing claims and appeals under ERISA plans. The guidance states that every affected individual gets an extension to take actions based on when their claims event occurred. This extension applies to the following deadlines discussed in this claims section:
  • Filing a claim;
  • Appealing a claim denial;
  • Requesting an external review; and
  • Filing information needed to complete/perfect an external review request.
The extension pauses the deadline to take the above actions until the “Outbreak Period” for that individual is over. For each claims event, the Outbreak Period ends on the earlier of:
  • One year after the period starts for that event; or
  • 60 days after the Declaration of National Emergency ends. (The Declaration was recently extended and is still ongoing.)
Essentially, the claims and appeals deadlines for the actions listed above are extended (delayed) until the earlier of one year after the Outbreak Period starts for that event, or 60 days after the emergency declaration ends. The normal deadlines then apply. Here is an example:

Assume the National Emergency does not end until November 30, 2022. Kendrick submits a claim on August 1, 2021. The claim is denied on August 5, 2021. Under the plan, Kendrick would normally have 180 days to appeal the claim. However, Kendrick’s Outbreak Period for his appeal does not start until he receives his claims denial. Kendrick’s Outbreak Period will end on August 4, 2022. He will have 180 days after that to submit his appeal.

The rules for these extensions are complex and subject to change. Please contact the bp Benefits Center for assistance. However, since the end of the extension period is currently unknown, please do not delay submitting your claim or appeal in a timely manner.

To initiate the payment of benefits, you or your beneficiary should call the bp Benefits Center. A representative will outline the steps required to request benefits. A written request for OAD benefits must be filed as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than 15 months after the date of loss.

Payment of your OAD benefit

The OAD Plan will pay:

  • Your beneficiary a lump-sum benefit if, within a year of an accident that occurred at your work site or while you are traveling on company business, you die as a result of injuries sustained.
  • You a lump-sum benefit — according to the plan’s schedule of benefits — if you suffer a covered loss within a year of an accident that occurred at work or while you were traveling on company business, except during the initial year of a coma, when the OAD benefit is paid monthly.

Typically, a decision is made within 90 days from the date the request for benefits is filed, and you or your beneficiary will receive written notice of that decision. This time limit may be extended in special cases (usually, another 90 days), but you or your beneficiary will be notified in writing of the reasons for the delay.

 

Publication date: April 2018

 

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