How Long Do Long-Term Disability Benefits Last
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
A sickness or injury can incapacitate anyone at any time. Losing income when it is most needed is difficult for anyone who becomes injured or ill and cannot work. As with short-term disability insurance, health insurance, and 401(k) plans, long-term disability insurance can be purchased independently or offered by an employer.
In the event of a disability claim denial, who pays the premium may affect your rights and obligations. Our long-term disability lawyers can work with you to get the long-term disability insurance benefits you deserve.
Long-Term Disability Insurance: How Does it Work?
Long-term disability insurance works by requiring recurrent monthly premiums from the policyholder. If you suffer a severe illness or injury, the insurance company agrees to pay you long-term disability benefits.
Long-term disability policies generally detail the following terms:
It outlines how monthly disability income can be paid to you if you become disabled or are unable to work due to illness.
Elimination period/waiting period
This indicated the period of time you must wait for your long-term disability benefits after becoming disabled by an incident.
Upon becoming disabled, the benefit period specifies how long your long-term disability benefits will last.
Definition of disability
Each policy specifies what is needed to get benefits under disability insurance.
Long-term disability policies distinguish between own-occupation disability and any-occupation disability. Own-occupation meaning you qualify if you cannot work in your specific role, and any occupation meaning you cannot qualify for any job in the field that suits your training, education, and experience.
The premium amount breaks down the cost of disability insurance both monthly and annually.
The Cost of Long-Term Disability Insurance
How much you receive for long-term disability benefits and the duration depends on how much your policy pays.
It is almost always a percentage of your annual earnings that determines how much of your income will be replaced by disability insurance. Long-term disability insurance can usually replace between 60-80% of your income.
Many policies cover lost income if you’re forced to take a lower-paying job due to a disability or illness. If you are still planning your long-term insurance policy, you can calculate how much you can receive from long-term benefits from your current income by using this long-term disability insurance calculator.
Long-Term Disability Maximum Benefit Periods
Long-term disability insurance companies define the Maximum Benefit Period as the period during which long-term disability benefits will last. To determine how long your benefits will last, you should carefully read your policy to determine how the Maximum Benefit Period is defined.
Various plans may use different terms or language to express the Maximum Benefit Period (e.g., Maximum Duration, Maximum Indemnity Period). Long-term disability coverage is often available up to the age of 65 years. Several policies will pay out until you are eligible for Social Security Normal Retirement Age (SSNRA).
If you become disabled at an older age, some policies will specify the number of months during which you will make payments. Some insurance providers offer lifetime coverage, although this is rare.
How to Receive Benefits for the Maximum Period
Most policies require that you show you are disabled during the Maximum Benefit Period to receive payments. As long as you qualify as disabled according to the provisions of your insurance, your benefits will continue.
Depending on your policy and medical condition, your benefits may be limited to a shorter period than the Maximum Benefit Period. Some benefits for mental health disorders like depression or anxiety are only available for 12 or 24 months.
The Long-Term Disability Claim Process
You should file a claim for disability benefits if you anticipate being disabled for a lengthy period and believe you qualify for long-term disability benefits.
Your medical provider should document your condition in your patient chart. They must detail why your situation is incapacitating and if you can expect to return to work. If you are permanently unable to work, it should be noted in your medical records and must be shown to your insurance provider.
To file your claim, you should follow these steps:
Examine the policy
The procedure for filing a claim will be detailed in your policy. For example, a policy may impose a waiting period of 30, 60, 90 days, or more before you can apply for assistance.
Start a claim with your insurance provider
Depending on your insurance provider, they will require information about your job, wages, and medical records. Other documents, including pay stubs, tax records, and a disability script, may be requested as well.
Wait until the elimination period is over
It is best to wait until the elimination period is over to find out if you will receive benefits. If you are denied compensation within that time, it’s best to consult an attorney.
Life Insurance vs. Long-Term Disability Benefits
Many people question if getting insurance from life insurance companies and long-term disability insurance is the same. They are two ways of protecting your income, but specific events trigger the payouts.
Death benefits from life insurance are paid to beneficiaries to replace lost income after your death. Long-term disability benefits can only be paid if the policyholder is alive. As a long-term disability beneficiary, your income is protected, and you receive benefits while you are still living.
Contact the Long-Term Disability Attorneys
Recovering from an injury or severe illness is challenging enough without the financial strain of lost wages and medical bills. Long-term disability benefits can help you gain normalcy in your income so you can focus on your health. If you have been denied your benefits, you can work with a lawyer to get what you deserve.
When you need long-term disability benefits due to an illness or an accident, contact the law firm of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. to speak with an experienced long-term disability attorney for legal advice. We fight for any injured or ill worker who needs these benefits to sustain their income during a difficult time. Call us at 866-779-7331 to set up a free consultation today.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.