Six Things You Need To Know About Employer-Provided Long-Term Disability Benefits
Long-term disability insurance is one of the many benefits you may be entitled to from your employer. This type of insurance can provide you with a steady income in the event injuries, illnesses, or chronic health conditions prevent you from working. Unfortunately, just because a policy is in place, it does not mean obtaining these benefits will be easy. The following are six important things employees need to be aware of:
- While benefits may be provided through your employer, this does not mean you are covered.
Employer-provided long-term disability policies have very specific eligibility requirements. These include time limits in regards to length of employment and exclusion of workers in certain positions. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), you have the right to be provided with all policy related documents, free of charge and at your request. Review these documents carefully to determine if you are indeed eligible for benefits.
- There are different ways insurers define long-term disabilities.
Even if you are eligible for long-term disability (LTD) payments, your condition may not be covered. There may also be so variance in how the insurer defines ‘disability’. Generally, a disability is any type of physical or mental health condition that prevents you from performing tasks at your specific job. Some policies have provisions that specify your condition must prevent you from performing any job to be eligible.
- There is generally a waiting period between the time you become disabled and when you are eligible for long-term disability.
While it is important to file your claim as soon as you are diagnosed with a long-term disability, be aware that most policies have waiting periods. It could be anywhere between three to six months before your LTD benefits actually kick in.
- Long-term disability benefits only cover a portion of your wages.
Long-term disability insurance does not reimburse you for all of your lost wages. Typically, it only covers about 60 percent of your income. Review the terms of your policy to determine the exact amount and consider whether additional coverage is needed.
- Denials and delays in paying LTD benefits are common.
Even if you meet all qualifications and other guidelines, you are not automatically entitled to LTD benefits. Your claim must be approved through the insurance company. Unfortunately, they are notorious for finding reasons to either delay or deny benefits.
- Even if you are approved, you may be required to file for Social Security Disability benefits.
Even if your claim is approved, many LTD policies require you to file for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a condition of receiving payment.
Let Us Help You Today
Filing for LTD benefits can be a confusing and complex process. At Farrell Disability Law, we provide the trusted legal guidance you need and can assist you in filing your claim. Contact our Jacksonville long-term disability attorney today to request a consultation in our office.