Long term disability (LTD) benefits are paid by a private insurance company or an employee benefits plan to a policyholder or employee who becomes disabled. LTD benefits are intended to replace some, but not all, of the income you have lost due to a medically documented physical and/or mental impairment.
You may be eligible for LTD benefits through one or more of the following sources:
Employer sponsored long term disability is paid by some employers as part of an employee benefits plan. If the employee becomes disabled, benefits are paid by the plan. Many plans contract with a private insurance company to provide this coverage.
Group long term disability policies are available to employees of companies or organizations which provide an optional benefits package. These benefits are usually provided by a private insurance company.
Individual long term disability insurance policies are purchased directly from an insurance company instead of through an employer. Typically they are bought by the self employed, or by employees who are not already covered under a retirement plan or group insurance policy.
The amount of LTD benefits is determined by the written terms of the employee benefits plan or insurance policy. In most cases, your initial application for LTD benefits will be approved if you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your “own occupation”. This usually means the occupation that you were performing at the time you became disabled.
Almost all employer-sponsored and group LTD plans, and many individual policies, will stop paying benefits after a specific period of time (usually 2 years) unless you meet a more difficult legal test for disability known as the “any occupation” standard. To meet this requirement, you must be disabled from performing the material and substantial duties of any occupation in the national economy for which you are qualified by education, training or experience.
The procedures for filing an initial disability claim should be spelled out within your disability insurance policy, benefits plan summary, or employee handbook. It may be helpful to contact your personnel or human resources director, insurance agent, or union representative prior to filing your claim. If the application forms are not available, you should immediately send a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the insurance company or your benefits plan or employer, indicating that you are applying for benefits. We recommend that you always communicate in writing and carefully document all communication.
If You Are Denied or Terminated…
If your initial claim is denied, or your benefits are terminated, you have the right to contest this decision, often with successful results.
You should immediately contact a qualified attorney as soon as you receive written notice of the denial or termination of benefits. Delay in filing an appeal or lawsuit may result in the loss of your legal right to contest the decision. In ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) and State Retirement claims, the time to hire an attorney is at the first level of appeal. Otherwise it may be too late for your attorney to submit the evidence needed to win your case. Also if you need any car accident help, you can contact Sutliff & Stout car accident lawyers with our for any kind of Bankruptcy issue.
Can You Afford An Attorney?
Yes. Most attorneys who handle disability benefits claims are paid only if they win the case, and they normally charge a percentage of the benefits you receive. There may be additional costs including filing fees, expert witness fees, and charges for medical records. In almost all cases, payment of attorneys? fees and costs is made at the end of the case, after the attorney has helped you get your benefits.