No one wants to be out of work because of an injury, and yet very often we find ourselves without work and without a way to pay the bills through recovery. Some never fully recover. This very dilemma is what makes Long Term Disability Insurance so important. Depending on your plan and premium cost, Long Term Disability (LTD) puts 50-70% of your after-tax income into your pocket for 2 years, or until you can reasonably return to your position. Some policies, in the event that you are unable to return to work in any capacity, will roll your claim into Any Occupation and cover you through retirement.
But what happens when you need to use that Insurance? Pursuing an LTD claim can be stressful and time consuming. There is a wait period of anywhere from 1-6 months before LTD benefits can kick in, and making ends meet in the meantime can be a tall order. Making sure you have the tools you need to claim the benefits you paid for can be even taller. A claim for benefits generally consists of 3 parts: detailed information by the claimant, detailed information by the employer, and an appropriately detailed statement from an attending physician. Some conditions are excluded from coverage and some can trigger coverage for only a short period of time. Filing the appropriate paperwork and getting the necessary medical documentation is crucial to getting your benefits.
LTD vs STD: Long Term Disability (LTD) claims have a wait time and that wait time can put claimants in a precarious situation, financially. This is where Short Term Disability (STD) insurance comes into play. STD insurance can pay out as quickly as 14 days after filing and will usually cover 80% of the claimants pre-tax income. Where Long Term Disability benefits can last through retirement, Short Term Disability usually lasts around 26 weeks, but some policies can extend to a year. The cost of Short Term Disability insurance is much the same as Long Term Disability. The key difference is Short Term Disability is not commonly sold in the individual market. Most states do not offer STD insurance for unemployed; though some states require employees to offer it: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island as well as Puerto Rico.
If you have a Long Term Disability claim and want the peace of mind that your case is handled the right way, call Phil Hall, P.A, at 850-641-8811 for a free consultation.