by Sandra Wisnewski, Director, Mid-America Pension Rights Project
I am proud to tell you about a program that exists at Elder Law of Michigan! It is the Mid-America Pension Rights (MAPRP). Since the project began in 1998, we have helped over 10,000 clients and have recovered individual pension benefits valued at more than 48 million. The project is funded by the Administration for Community Living.
The purpose of the project is to assist people with pension issues without any age or income restrictions or any cost to the client. We help people who reside in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee and the pension issues we assist with are:
- Basic advice about pension laws and pension rights, both ERISA and non-ERISA pension systems;
- Information about pension benefits for spouses ;
- Finding pension “lost” due to company mergers, relocation, or bankruptcy;
- Investigating benefit denials and filing appeals;
- Rights of divorced persons, including Qualified Domestic Relations Orders; and
- Filing benefit claims.
Recently, we were contacted by a Michigan widow (Ms. R) that believed she was owed a surviving spouse benefit from her late husband’s former private employer. She was told by the company that she was not entitled to the benefit.
We took Ms. R’s case and we contacted the company. The employer could not provide us with the proper documentation required by Federal law. Therefore, the project wrote a letter to the company on Ms. R’s behalf. Ms. R received a retroactive payment plus a lifetime monthly benefit of over $129,000.00. Ms. R was very happy to finally receive her benefit and told us that the first thing that she was going to buy with the money was a new stove.
If you have any questions about your pension, please contact the project for assistance at our toll free number 866-735-7737. Our knowledgeable and caring staff is available to provide pension rights information and to investigate pension claims.
To learn more about the Mid-America Pension Rights Project, visit this website.