5 things every employee should know about long-term disability insurance

For anyone with a steady job, long-term disability (LTD) insurance is a no-brainer. It serves as an essential safety net in case an injury or medical condition prevents you from working. While each policy differs, LTD generally provides a portion of your earnings to help make ends meet while you’re not earning a paycheck.

Here are five key things to know about LTD insurance:

  1. Its not limited to work-related injuries. Even if you secured coverage through your employer, your injury or illness doesn’t have to be work-related for you to qualify for benefits. In fact, you usually can’t “double dip” by getting coverage through both workers’ compensation and LTD for the same condition.
  2. It might be subject to ERISA. When LTD coverage is employer-provided, a landmark federal law comes into play: the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This multi-faceted law governs group policies through most employers. It establishes rights and procedures that have a big impact on your claim.
  3. You can purchase it on your own. As a form of private insurance, LTD is available to purchase directly. With an individual policy, your coverage will follow you even if you change employers. And if you’re at high risk for medical issues, it’s worth considering purchasing supplemental coverage in addition to the group policy your employer provides. Doing so will reduce any gaps in your coverage.
  4. Some policies are stricter than others. Each policy has its own terms for when and how to qualify for coverage. Some provide coverage when you’re unable to work in your specific job, for example. With stricter policies, however, you must demonstrate that your condition prevents you from holding any occupation for which you’re reasonably qualified. Time frames, exclusions, caps and other critical details also vary from policy to policy. For this reason, a successful claim depends on knowing the specifics of your policy.
  5. Navigating the claims process can be tricky. A significant portion of LTD claims are initially denied. Apart from tackling the procedural hurdles, you must submit adequate evidence to support your claim. Insufficient evidence plays a substantial role in many claim denials.

For help with any aspect of long-term disability claims, contact Alan C. Olson & Associates. Based in Wisconsin, we represent disability claimants nationwide, working hard to help clients secure 100 percent of the benefits they deserve.


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