Have you carried long-term disability insurance coverage for a number of years? You bought the policy for peace of mind so that — in the event of a permanently disabling injury — you could still support your family financially. You had hoped to never need it.
Unfortunately, you have been badly hurt in a serious car accident, and your injuries are so severe that you may never work again. Now you need to get your benefits started.
What should your LTD policy cover?
If the insurance provider approves of your benefits claim, you should receive benefits as you are recovering from your medical condition and are unable to work. Long-term disability (LTD) policies usually pay between 50 and 70 percent of lost wages. The period of coverage could be anywhere from two to 10 years of benefits for a disabling condition. In the best-case scenarios, coverage may last until the age of 65.
According to statistics, most employees miss an average of 2.5 years of work as a result of a long-term disability. While many may be able to return to work, the downtime may have pushed their families into financial ruin, even bankruptcy.
It is important to pursue your rightful benefits as soon as you realize you cannot return to work immediately. However, if your injury was work-related, you will need to seek benefits first through the workers’ compensation system.
What happens if your long-term disability insurer says “no”?
Insurance companies are for-profit corporations that exist to make as much money as possible for their shareholders. Often, they do not take the side of the individuals they insure. This means that if you are seriously hurt and are unable to work, your long-term disability insurer may try to pay you as little as possible.
If your insurer denies your claim for benefits, delays processing your claim or keeps coming up with excuses for why it cannot pay you, fight for your right to receive benefits in court if necessary.