Long Term Disability Benefits

Any illness or injury that leads to long term disability will always have a major effect on the financial lives of individuals and struggling families. This is why it is very important that a person will continue to receive, at least, some financial earnings despite his/her incapability to report to work.

This financial earning can be provided by a long term disability (LTD) insurance policy, usually a part of the comprehensive employee benefits package provided by an employer to protect an employee from losing the wages that he/she would normally earn if it were not for an injury, illness or accident that would render him/her disabled for a long period.

The financial benefits provided by the long term disability insurance starts after the short term disability insurance benefits have ended, usually between three to six months of inability to report to work. The LTD insurance pays the employee a percentage of his/her salary, typically about 50% – 70%. Often, this percentage is not enough to meet the disabled employee’s needs, though, as it is still subjected to taxes. Thus, for additional income, some still purchase a supplemental long term disability insurance, which is usually non-taxable.

Long term disability policies are generally designed to last up to 10 years or until the employee turns 65. Often, however, despite the obvious disability and timely payment of premiums, many LTD insurance firms make it difficult for claimants to enjoy the financial benefits specified in the policy. The website of the Hankey Law Office P.C. says that the practice of many insurance companies in reluctantly paying out benefits to disabled clients, doing all things possible to avoid cutting necessary checks through denial of claims, delay in assessment of applications or payment of claims, or payment of benefits lower than what is stipulated in the policy.

Group health insurance packages are overseen by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The authority that ERISA grants insurance providers in deciding which claims get approved or rejected is probably one reason for the so many rejections and delays these firms have and are guilty of.

In the event of a rejected claim, filing an internal appeal based on the rules specified in the claimant’s policy is advisable before filing any lawsuit in a federal court. It is also highly important that the claimant submits all necessary forms and documents, especially medical evidences, as a federal court judge would only usually consider evidences that were presented during the internal appeal. Likewise important is legal assistance provided only by a highly-qualified long term disability lawyer.