Long Term Disability And Its Benefits
Long Term Disability can be used following Short Term Disability plans or alone.
Long Term Disability coverage provides wage replacement that is between 50-70% percent of your earnings before a non-work related injury impacted your ability to work.
If a LTD plan is offered through your employer, it is very important to sign up during the initial enrollment period, when you cannot be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition. Read the plan summary for definitions detailing what is covered as well as specific details required by your plan.
Most LTD plans include a waiting period that lasts from 3-26 weeks, which coincides with the length of time you can be paid for STD benefits, before you are eligible to begin receiving LTD benefits.
In order to continue to qualify for benefits detailed medical information must be provided to the LTD carrier initially and then throughout the life of the claim as requested. Failure to do so will result in termination of your benefit. If you are considered disabled longer than 90 days, most policies do not require you to continue paying premiums.
Most LTD policies have two definitions of disability: Own Occupation and Any Occupation.
- During the Own Occupation period, benefits are payable if the employee is unable to perform his or her regular job or a similar job. This period can last up to two years.
Disability Insurance Benefits And Taxes
Generally, if you pay the entire amount of the disability premium yourself, your disability benefits will be tax-free. This may bring your income while on disability closer to your current take-home pay.
If your employer pays all or part of the disability premium, your disability benefits will be subject to income taxes.
How Do I Get Individual Disability Insurance
If youre self-employed, your employer doesnt offer disability insurance, or you want to supplement the policy your employers does offer, you can apply for an individual disability policy. Individual disability insurance elimination and benefit periods may differ from group disability insurance, but a financial representative can help you choose the right coverage for your situation. If youd like some help understanding what type of coverage makes sense for you and applying for a policy, get in touch with a financial representative who can help you make a decision.
Individual disability income products underwritten and issued by Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America , Pittsfield, MA. BLICOA is a wholly owned stock subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America , New York, NY. Product provisions and availability may vary by state.
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Should I Purchase Short
Although illnesses and injuries can’t be predicted, they’re likely to affect your workplace at some point in the future. For comprehensive protection, employers may consider offering a combination of both short-term and long-term disability insurance to employees. These policies are an important complement to any group health insurance plan and help to minimize the impact of debilitating illnesses and injuries on both your employees and your business.
Applying For Long Term Disability Benefits In A Timely Manner
Most LTD insurance policies come with a stipulation that a claim for LTD benefits must be filed within a certain amount of time. If your claim is denied, then there is also a time limit for which you must file an appeal . If you dont file your policy or appeal within the required time-frame, then you may forfeit your right to benefits and the right to sue your insurer.
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Real Results For Return
- 64% of employees who participated in the program successfully returned to work.5
- The program helped avoid almost $40 million in direct claim costs and 330,000 lost workdays.5
A bicycle accident left Pilar paralyzed. Despite her spine injury, she wanted to return to her job as an accountant as soon as possible. Pilar’s employer contacted Kai, a Workplace Possibilities consultant, for help. To meet both her work and medical needs, Kai developed solutions tailored for Pilar.
Kai evaluated Pilar’s workspace with an ergonomics expert before coordinating with local equipment vendors to:
- Find the best office layout including desk height and computer monitor distance, plus keyboard, mouse and phone headset capabilities
- Install the right equipment
Kai also made sure the office layout and equipment worked with Pilar’s wheelchair and allowed her to recline to relieve pressure on her spine.
Kai followed up with Pilar often. He adjusted what wasn’t working, looked into alternative options, and upgraded equipment and software. After a few months, Pilar reached her goal of returning to work on a modified schedule.
* Example is for illustrative purposes only. Services depend on the facts of each individual claim.
Rico, a behavioral health case manager, reached out to Ben and supported him by:
Because depression left Ben overwhelmed and confused, Rico referred him to the Workplace Possibilities program to be sure he got the guidance and motivation he needed during the process.
Ensuring Employers Have The Right Expertise
Our Workplace Possibilities consultants provide employers with access to local, onsite support.3 Consultants work with employees proactively and coach managers on how to spot employees needing support and refer them to our program.
They can help ease the burden on HR by working directly with employees, coordinating available benefits. Consultants also help employers with Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act accommodations.4
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Employment Laws: Medical And Disability
When employees are injured or disabled or become ill on the job, they may be entitled to medical and/or disability-related leave under two federal laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act . In addition, state workers Compensation laws have leave provisions that may apply. Depending on the situation, one or more of these laws can apply to the same employee. To help employers understand their responsibilities related to medical and disability-related leave, an overview of each is provided below, including information about where the laws intersect and overlap.
Workers Compensation laws apply to almost all employers. Workers compensation is a form of insurance that provides financial assistance, medical care and other benefits for employees who are injured or disabled on the job. Except for federal government employees and certain other groups of employees, workers Compensation laws are administered at the state level.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities by eliminating barriers to their participation in many aspects of working and living in America. In particular, Title I of the ADA prohibits covered employers from discriminating against people with disabilities in the full range of employment-related activities, from recruitment to advancement to pay and benefits.
When Medical and Disability-Related Leave Laws Intersect
What No One Is Telling You About Long Term Disability
When someone mentions the word insurance, most of us think of one of three things:
What most of us dont think of is our long term disability coverage.
Since tangible assets like our cars and homes are easy to visualize, theyre often top of mind when it comes to insurance protection.
But what about the risk that we get sick or injured, and cant work?
Long term disability insurance is meant to replace our income if this happens. And coincidentally, our ability to earn a living is probably our biggest and most overlooked asset.
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I Am On Long Term Disability And My Employer Terminated My Employment What Does This Mean For My Long Term Disability Entitlement
As long as you were actively employed at the time you became disabled then your termination of employment should not affect your long term disability entitlement. However, any termination and/or severance payments may be deducted from your long term disability entitlement. The situation may be more difficult if you were on short term disability at the time you were terminated or were on temporary layoff when you became disabled.
You Need A Proper Medical Diagnosis
One of the keys to obtaining successful results in the long-term disability claims process is being able to present strong, well-documented supporting medical evidence. To get access to the full and fair disability benefits that are available under your insurance policy, you must have a proper medical diagnosis from a qualified physician.
Insurance companies will look for gaps in your claim. Unfortunately, they will exploit the fact that there is a minor error in your file or you have some missing documentation. Even relatively small issues can result in delays or outright rejections. If your medical records do not adequately demonstrate the extent or effects of your disability or condition, it may be difficult to get full benefits. Our St. Petersburg, FL long-term disability lawyer can help to ensure that all of your medical evidence is in proper order.
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Long Term Disability Highlights
Proactive Response to Behavioral Health: A clinical resource contacts the employee and provides maximum customized support to help avoid delayed recovery.
Motivational Interviewing: Clinical staff receive training in techniques that can help employees make positive changes.
Return-to-Work Incentive: Disabled employees who return to work may qualify for partial or full benefits even while working for a period of time.
Return-to-Work Rehab: This feature covers some or all expenses paid by employees for approved costs that support a return to work.
Cost Of Living Adjustments
This is a rider I suggest everyone strongly consider. Long term disability benefits are only based on your income when you took out the policy . This means that if you ever have to rely on benefits for income, they will not increase with inflation. And as the cost of groceries, healthcare, and every day living increase over time, your benefits will not. Heres an example:
Lets say youre 30 years old and make $100,000 per year. You have a disability policy that pays you 80% of your salary until youre 65 if you become disabled and cant work. Your monthly expenses are currently $4,000.
If you become disabled and need to rely on your insurance coverage, your policy will pay $80,000 per year. But by the time you turn 65 your monthly expenses will be close to $8,000, with 2% inflation each year.
The cost of living adjustment rider boosts your benefit each year based on inflation. Most policies use the consumer price index to measure inflation each year. When the cost of every day goods and services goes up, so do your benefit payments.
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S For Returning To Work After Being On Disability
Returning to work after a leave due to disability can present a complicated set of conditions. It can be overwhelming to think about what to expect upon your return, especially if your disability forces you to abandon your previous position and start anew doing something unfamiliar. You must consider what skills you still possess and any new skills you may have acquired while you were out of work. This article will discuss how to go back to work after a disability and will help you decide if resuming your career is the right choice.
Who Is Eligible For Long
Not everyone is eligible for long-term disability benefits, however. The eligibility criteria are unique to each insurance policy, but generally, you must:
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Types Of Disability Policies
There are two types of disability policies.
Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.
Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.
Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.
If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:
How is disability defined?
How long do benefits last?
How much money will the policy pay?
What Is Covered And Not Covered Under Long Term Disability Insurance
This particular insurance has been designed to protect your income in the event of a serious illness or an injury that will leave you unable to work for an extended period of time. There are several exclusions or limitations when it comes to long term coverage such as criminal activities, civil disobedience, accidents while driving under the influence, and self-inflicted acts.
Here are some of the common types of long term disabilities that it covers:
- Vision loss
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Treating The Whole Person
Workplace PossibilitiesSM plays an important role for customers with our Group Long Term Disability insurance.1 This program looks at the wide range of factors that can delay an employees recovery from a physical or behavioral condition.
Clinical, vocational and accommodations experts then coordinate their efforts and tailor a plan to help the individual return to work. They also focus on preventing disability in those still working, giving them the opportunity to stay at work and receive a full paycheck.2
What Is The Process Of Filing A Long
If you get sick or hurt and can no longer work, you can file a claim and use your long-term disability insurance. Filing a claim is a complicated process that involves many steps, including:
Report your injury or illness to your insurance company and to your employer
As soon as you visit a doctor and receive a diagnosis that rules out working for a long period of time, you should tell your employer and your LTD insurance provider. The sooner you let these parties know about your health, the better your chances may be of getting the benefits you deserve.
Read over and review your policy
Before you officially file a claim, you should first obtain a copy of your LTD benefits from your employer. Your documentation will tell you whether your plan is an individual or group policy, what the time limits are for filing a claim, what the exclusions and limitations are, and whether there is a waiting period before you can begin receiving benefits if youre approved.
Apply for Social Security Disability benefits
The insurance company that provides your long-term disability insurance will offset some of its payments to you by requiring you to apply for and collect Social Security Disability benefits. Applying for your LTD benefits without applying for SSD first will generally result in a delay, so its best to begin that process immediately.
Collect and submit required documentation
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Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick Can Help You With Your Ltd Claim
While you can apply for benefits on your own, it can be beneficial to seek the assistance of a long-term disability attorney. Insurance companies can be difficult to work with and it can be challenging to understand all the requirements of your policy and the laws surrounding your claim.
There are two sets of laws that govern long-term disability insurance issues. If you are covered under your employers policy, ERISA, or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, usually applies. If you have your own private long-term disability insurance, then state law typically applies. The professionals at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD have over 33 years of experience helping clients get the benefits they deserve. We have an in-depth understanding of these laws and can provide you with knowledgeable and experienced advocacy at every stage of your claim.
We at CCK understand that managing a debilitating health condition is tough and filing for long-term disability insurance while taking care of your health can be a burden. Let our experienced legal team take care of the process for you. At no cost to you, you can contact us online or call 800-544-9144 to speak with a member of our team to see if we can assist.
Going Back To Work After Long
If you are currently receiving long-term disability benefits from work due to serious illness or injury, you may be wondering if at any point you may return to working again? With good medical care and adequate recovery time, its certainly possible to return to working at least on a part-time basis. However, most experts advise that its not advisable to head immediately back to work when on long-term disability because this can jeopardize your benefits. This is especially true if you are awaiting a legal settlement or getting disability benefits that are nearly as much as your previous wages. But, there are some ways to work and earn a small income while you are getting long-term disability.
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Cost Of Living Adjustment
If youve been approved for benefits, you can expect your benefits to increase 1% to 3% each year if your policy contains a cost-of-living adjustment . The COLA may be part of your basic coverage or offered as an optional rider, and it is usually indexed to a well-known measure of inflation, such as the Consumer Price Index .
Who Pays For Long Term Disability Coverage
Long term disability insurance can be purchased privately by individuals through an insurance broker or directly through an insurance company. Long term disability insurance can also be made available for purchase through your employer through a group disability insurance policy. In cases of group insurance through your employer, the insurance premiums could be paid by the employer, the employee or shared between the employer and the employee. Depending on what applies to you there are different implications for tax purposes.
If the employee pays the premiums for the long term disability insurance then disability payments are not taxable. If the employer pays for the disability insurance premiums then when the payments are made to the disabled employee they are taxable. The law is more complicated when the premiums are shared between an employee and employer.
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