Long Term Disability Insurance
Long-term disability insurance (LTD) provides consumers with income in the event of injury or disability that renders the individual incapable of working and take significant time off.
An LTD policyholder who becomes disabled due to an illness, injury or accident in entitled 50 to 60 percent of his or her income from the long-term disability policy during the period in which he or she is unable to work.
LTD insurance is expected to compensate individuals while they recover or for the entire course of their injury even when the injury or accident did not occur while in the course of work duties. This is because LTD insurance provides distinct advantages over workers’ compensation and covers injuries from outside of work.
Typically, LTD involves an employee who will miss 2.5 years of work. Some cases have LTD providing coverage for two to ten years while others pay benefits until the age of retirement, which is 65 years old, depending on an individual’s policy.
The following is a list of common disabling conditions that may qualify for long-term disability benefits:
- Back Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Carpal Tunnel
- Cerebral Atrophy
- Chronic Fatigue
- Chronic Pain
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Epstein-Barr Virus
- Eye Disorders
- Heart Attack
- Heart Failure
- Hepatitis C
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Kidney Disease
- Knee Disorders
- Lung Cancer
- Lyme Disease
- Macular Degeneration
- Macular Edema
- Meniere’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Seizure Disorders
- Sickle Cell
- Spinal Cord Disorders
- Spinal Stenosis
Appeals and Applications
An appeal can be filed against insurance companies who denied consumers of their LTD insurance. These companies include:
- The Hartford
- Liberty Mutual
- Lincoln Financial
- Northwestern Mutual
- Principal Financial
- Reliance Standard
- Sun Life
- The Standard
You may qualify for help obtaining disability insurance benefits under the following circumstances:
- You have a long-term disability insurance policy through one of the insurance companies listed above.
- You have applied for long-term disability benefits.
- You have received a denial letter in the mail; and
- You are within 180 days (6 months) from the date on the letter.
- Your claim denial cannot be more than three years old.
*You may also qualify for help if you are just beginning the application process or if you have already filed your appeal and haven’t received a denial letter.
The process to receive LTD benefits involves:
- Filing a disability claim and proving that you are unable to work
- Waiting out the standard initial elimination period of typically 30, 60, or 90 days (but in some cases, these may be longer)
- Receiving your benefits for as long as the “benefit period” specifies
- Returning to work once you have recovered and are able to perform your typical tasks
Common reasons why claims may have been denied:
- Lack of medical evidence. It is important that you are seeking regular medical treatment for your injury, have a well-written doctor’s letter, and a complete list of your medical records.
- Not adhering to the insurance policy’s definition of disability. The terms of each insurance carrier will vary, make sure that you carefully read the terms and conditions of the long-term disability provider to ensure that you are suitable.
- Video surveillance that disproves your disability.
- Missing submission deadlines. Take careful notice of deadlines for submitting and appealing your claim. If you miss the typical 180-day appeal deadline specified you won’t be able to sue your insurer in court.
Editor’s note on the Application & Appeal for Long Term Disability Insurance:
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