(Mid-America Pension Rights Project): A Working-Class Program that Works to Solve Your Pension Problems

Sandra Wisnewski, Director of the Mid-America Pension Rights Project at Elder Law of Michigan

The Mid-America Pension Rights Project (MAPRP) assists clients with pension and 401(k) issues. There are no age or income restrictions. And there is never a charge for the services. The Pension Project works to find answers and solutions to your pension-related problem. Just ask Ms. P.

Ms. P had been divorced many years prior to calling the MAPRP. At the time of her divorce, she was awarded part of her ex-husband’s pension. Ms. P filed all the proper paperwork and submitted it to the plan. Ms. P was comforted to know that when she finally reached retirement age, there would be no problems and she would receive her monthly benefit. 

When Ms. P reached retirement age, she contacted the plan administrator to start her pension benefit. At the time, she had no reason to think there would be a problem. Ms. P called the plan and provided them with all the requested documents. She received an approval letter and waited for the money to be deposited in her bank account. Ms. P never received the money. After trying to get her pension benefit for over two years and getting nowhere, Ms. P decided to call the MAPRP. 

When the MAPRP attorney looked at all of Ms. P’s documents she noticed that one of the letters, approving Ms. P’s benefit, was signed by an individual within the pension department. The individual’s phone number was not listed. The MAPRP attorney contacted the plan by phone and by letter. The MAPRP received no response from the company. 

The MAPRP attorney called several of the company’s internal phone numbers and left multiple voicemails for call backs. The MAPRP attorney wanted to know the reason for the two-year delay in Ms. P’s benefit. Finally, a representative called the MAPRP attorney back and gave her the direct phone number to the representative who signed the approval letter and was holding up Ms. P’s paperwork. The attorney contacted the representative and within two weeks Ms. P received her benefit! Ms. P was extremely happy and told the MAPRP attorney that this was life changing, she now had the money to pay her mortgage!

The Pension Project is funded by the federal government through a grant provided by the Administration for Community Living, and is a program of Elder Law of Michigan, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit. 

Since the program began in 1998, the Pension Project has assisted over 14,000 clients and has recovered over 71 million dollars in pension benefits. The Pension Project assists clients that either worked in or are currently living in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. For more information, visit Mid-America Pension Rights Project.

 If you need help with or information about your pension or 401(k) benefit, please call the Mid-America Pension Rights Project at 866-735-7737 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.

The information in this article is general and not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. In any legal matter you should always consider consulting with an attorney for specific advice.  


Sandra Wisnewski is the Director of Legal Services with Elder Law of Michigan. Sandra has been a staff member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since 2010. As Director of Legal Services, Sandra manages the day to day operations of the pension department and helps clients who call for pension assistance.