If you’ve been injured or disabled by your job and are no longer able to work, you might be wondering what your options are for making ends meet in the future. In addition to government-sponsored assistance such as SSDI, many employers also offer short- and long-term disability insurance to help.
While short-term disability is designed for someone who was injured, but able to come back to work soon, long-term disability insurance (LTD) is for those who are unable to work for a significant amount of time. However, there are usually certain requirements that have to be met. While each and every policy is different, here are some common requirements that have to be met before you can be eligible for LTD.
Length of Disability
Typically, LTD benefits are designed to begin once your employer’s short-term disability expires, usually after three to five months. If you’re recovered enough by then to go back to work, then it stands to reason you won’t be able to get LTD. The actual time required varies according to the policy.
Proof of Disability
Like any long-term disability policy, you must be able to prove that you are actually unable to work. This is done by submitting thorough medical records documenting the nature and scope of your disability. If you’re unsure of what records to supply, the general rule is that there’s no such things as too much in this case. Anything that could relate to your case should be submitted, including doctor visits, lab results, X-rays, treatment records, and written statements from your healthcare professional that detail the extent of your disability and its prognosis.
In most cases, you are only eligible for LTD if you were a full-time employee before the disability occurred. “Full-time” typically means you worked at least 30 or 35 hours a week.
Pre-Existing or Excluded Conditions
Most LTD policies also contain exceptions to what is covered. Pre-existing conditions, that were in effect before, are almost always not covered. In addition, several other conditions might not be covered even if they are not considered “pre-existing.” Make sure to check the specific policy in question for a list of exempted conditions before filing any sort of claim.
Other Sources of Coverage
Finally, the policy in question might also require you to file for other coverage, including SSDI or workers’ comp, to help offset their own costs. These moneys would typically be used in place of, rather than in addition to, a portion of your LTD payments.
Of course, the specific requirements for any long-term disability policy can vary, and is dependant on the policy itself. Before filing any sort of claim, make sure you’re read and understood the specifics of the policy in question. If you are unsure, or need help, it’s also a good idea to seek legal help. In such a case, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!