Suppose you have suffered an injury or an illness, and you cannot return to work. In that case, long-term disability insurance can offer you some legal protection and compensation while you recover. Applying for long-term disability (LTD) can often be intimidating for many individuals. If your claim has been denied or halted, working with insurance companies can be stressful and difficult. It is important to be aware of your legal rights and know that a qualified long-term disability lawyer can help you navigate the system and get the compensation you deserve.
Below are some common questions related to LTD and related answers.
What is Long Term Disability Insurance (LTDI)?
Long-term disability insurance can offer some protection for those individuals who have suffered an illness or an injury that has prevented them from going back to work for an extended period. It can help with medical bills and other related expenses, but many policies terminate benefits after the first two years if they do not return to work. In this case, a long-term disability lawyer can help to extend benefits if needed.
How is Long Term Disability Insurance (LTDI) Different from Short Term Disability Insurance (STDI)?
STDI provides injured or ill workers with financial support and compensation while temporarily out of work. LTDI offers more long-term financial support for up to two years or more, depending on the circumstances.
How Does Individual Disability Insurance Differ From Group Disability Insurance?
Individuals purchase individual Disability Insurance (IDI) under privately-held insurance. This type of insurance can protect workers who cannot return to work after an illness or injury. Organizations purchase group Disability Insurance (GDI) that offers disability coverage to temporarily or disabled employees and cannot work because of illness or injury.
What Types of Disability Insurance are Available?
There are several varieties of disability insurance available for workers, and some are discussed below.
- Short Term Disability Insurance (STDI). As mentioned above, STDI offers temporary income compensation for workers who cannot return to work due to illness or injury. Most of these policies cover income compensation for 120 days, and most employers purchase this insurance for their employees.
- Long Term Disability Insurance (LTDI). This insurance offers income compensation for the first two years for workers unable to work. After two years, most policies state that individuals who cannot perform required tasks can be eligible for extended long-term disability benefits.
- Critical Illness Insurance. This type of insurance offers financial support for a worker who is diagnosed with a ‘critical’ or terminal illness. Depending on the policy, benefits are paid whether or not the individual can return to work. These benefits are often paid all at once, but typically there is a thirty-day time before receiving help.
- Disability Mortgage Insurance. This fourth type of insurance provides workers with financial support that can cover all or part of a mortgage payment, but there is typically a sixty-day waiting period. There may also be limits on the length of benefits and coverage.
What Conditions Qualify for Long Term Disability Benefits?
Many LTDI policies cover individuals no matter the illness or injury and offer assistance while an employee cannot work. Some policies, however, may exclude certain illnesses, and others may exclude injuries or illnesses covered under Workplace Safety Insurance Board claims if applicable.
“There are several criteria that your disability must satisfy to qualify for long term benefits in Collingwood,” says injury lawyer Steve Rastin of Rastin Gluckstein Lawyers. “First, you must have sustained a severe disability, either psychological or physical, that not only prevents you from working but is projected to last for a minimum of one year. Second, the insurance plan through which you’re seeking long-term disability needs to be in effect. Finally, your disability must render you unable to perform any other job.”
Do I Have to File a Claim to Receive Long Term Disability Benefits?
The answer is yes. To receive these benefits, individuals must file a claim, whether it is through private or group insurance. Those individuals covered under a group claim can contact their HR department for assistance. Otherwise, they should contact their insurance provider.
What Information is Needed on my Disability Claim Form?
Needed information for filing a claim includes banking information, claim information, demographic details, a list of consulted health care providers, occupational information, and diagnostic and treatment information. Individuals can always consult the insurance company or a personal injury lawyer for details about what is needed to file a claim.
Are There Deadlines to Make a Claim?
Yes, there are deadlines to file a claim, and the amount of time depends on the type of insurance an individual has. It is a good idea to file a claim as soon as possible and to contact a disability insurance lawyer for further assistance if needed.
How Long is the Waiting Period to Collect Long Term Disability Benefits?
As soon as a claim is filed, the wait time for benefits depends on the insurance company and the policy. If an employer provides an STDI plan for employees, the waiting period for services is five days. Benefits for LTDI kick in after several months, and this period is known as a ‘qualifying period. This period ranges from ninety to one hundred and eighty days. It is best to consult the insurance company or the employer for information.
How Much Can I Receive From Long Term Disability Insurance Benefits?
Benefits covered under employer group plans can cover fifty to eighty percent of pre-disability salary, but many policies specify monthly maximums. Individual policies often provide pre-determined services so that the individual knows what the monthly compensation will be.
How Long do Long Term Disability Insurance Benefits Last?
How long LTDI benefits depend on the insurance policy. Some policies specify a time frame, such as five to ten years, and others can last until sixty-five. There are also lifetime policies available that cover a percentage of wages up to age sixty-five and then a lesser amount for a certain number of years after or even for life.
If my Employer Terminates my Employment, How Does This Affect my Long Term Disability?
For workers actively employed when they were injured or became ill, employment termination should not affect long-term disability benefits. But severance payments might be deducted from long-term disability payments.
After Two Years of Not Working, What Can I do if my Insurance Company Cancels my Benefits?
Most policies specify that workers are entitled to claim long-term disability for the first two years of being unable to work. After two years, eligibility for LTDI benefits may change and is often based on whether individuals cannot perform a job they are qualified for or trained in.
What Happens if my Long Term Disability Claim has Been Denied, or my Benefits are Terminated?
Insurance companies can deny long-term disability claims or terminate benefits for various reasons. These reasons may have a simple solution, such as submitting the correct forms, but a personal injury lawyer may be needed in other cases. A qualified lawyer experienced in long-term disability laws and claims can help workers obtain the benefits they are entitled to.