? "ERISA" stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a federal law that was initially passed in the 1970's. ERISA defines and limits an employee's rights regarding a number of employment benefits. If you have a disability insurance policy available to you through your employment and your employer pays at least some of the premium, your rights on any claim for disability insurance benefits almost surely will be governed only by ERISA. Similarly, if you have a 401(k) plan available to you through your employment, your rights regarding it are almost surely governed solely and only by ERISA.