The advisable first step is to get a copy of the plan document and review the plan's claim procedures (this is a basic plan requirement so the plan should have claims procedures outlined in the plan document and the SPD). I would then recommend that you follow the plan's procedures for submitting a claim for your ESOP distribution. Legal assistance with the process is advised.See question
I would suggest that you get a copy of your father's health insurance plan or summary plan description (SPD). Both documents should have a description of the claims appeals procedures. Many plans have one or two appeals levels under the plan. If the health plan is self-insured, under the new health care reform rules, there is an additional appeal opportunity with an external review organization. Once the appeals process under the plan has been exhausted, your father has a right to bring an action under ERISA Section 502(a). which includes the right, "to recover benefits due to him under the terms of his plan, to enforce his rights under the terms of the plan, or to clarify his rights to future benefits under the terms of the plan."
I would strongly advise getting a copy of the health plan documents. Employers are required to provide such documents upon request.See question
Whether you are entitled to severance pay likely depends upon the specific terms of your former employer's severance plan. Also, did you have an employment agreement? If so, many agreements address severance payments upon termination of employment. Although you state that you will still be working freelance for your former employer, this does not mean that you did not incur a termination of employment and would therefore be entitled to severance payments.
I would advise you to contact an ERISA attorney to review the terms of your former employer's severance plan along with any other employment or retention agreements you had with your former employer.See question
If you do not have a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) outlining your rights to your ex-husband's pension, then most likely not. However, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits based upon your ex-spouse's contribution rate. Please see below for additional explanation and detail.
Generally, it is up to state divorce courts to decide whether and how pension assets are divided. A "domestic relations order," or court order which relates to the provision of marital property rights to a former spouse, is required except in limited circumstances (i.e., Social Security benefits) in order for an ex-spouse to receive a share of a pension. Most retirement plans pay pension benefits directly to divorced spouses if the domestic relations order satisfies certain requirements and is therefore a "Qualified Domestic Relations Order" or "QDRO." If a pension is divided between divorcing spouses, it must generally be done at the time of divorce when other marital assets are divided.
On the other hand, an unmarried, divorced spouse is generally entitled to 50% of her/his former spouse's Social Security starting at age 62. Therefore, since you were married for more than 10 years 10 years and assuming you have not remarried, you may be able to claim Social Security benefits at your spouse's contribution rate.
Please review the link below. If you believe you satisfy the requirements and are entitled to Social Security benefits based upon your ex-spouse's contribution, I would recommend hiring counsel to assist with application for such benefits.