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Posted on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024 at 1:34 am    

What Is a Recurrent Disability Provision_ image

Long-term disability (LTD) benefits in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, can help cover living expenses if you can’t work. When you have a disability, the question of returning to work as you improve can lead to other concerns.

For example, you’ll lose LTD benefits if you start working again. What happens if your condition worsens? If you need to apply for LTD again, will you have to wait to receive benefits?

Maybe not. The answer depends on whether a policy includes a recurrent disability provision.

What is a Recurrent Disability Provision?

When you apply for LTD, a waiting period typically follows. This waiting period (or “elimination period”) spans from when you became disabled to when you began receiving benefits.

Your condition may improve over time. If you feel you’re able to, you can eventually return to work.

Now that you’re working and earning an income, you may no longer qualify for LTD. However, maybe your condition doesn’t improve as you expected it to. Perhaps returning to work aggravates your condition or undoes the progress you’ve made.

You might need to apply for LTD again. If an LTD policy includes a recurrent disability provision, you may be able to avoid another waiting period.

You have to take action within the recurrent disability period to take advantage of this provision. In Pennsylvania, you’ll usually have at most six months from when you returned to work to reapply for LTD. You can reapply for LTD after six months, but you’ll likely have to go through another elimination period before receiving benefits.

A Recurrent Disability Example

A basic example can help you better understand how a recurrent disability provision may work. Consider the following:

  • Worker A develops a back injury that prevents them from working. They apply for LTD benefits.
  • Worker A begins receiving LTD benefits after the elimination period. After a few months of receiving benefits, they think they might be able to start working again.
  • Worker A consults with their doctor. Their physician agrees they may return to work.
  • Worker A returns to their job. However, they and their doctor were too optimistic about their condition. Their back injury returns. Once again, Worker A can’t do their job.

Worker A now wants to begin receiving LTD benefits again. They may skip the elimination period if they request benefits within the applicable time frame. Naturally, they can only receive benefits if their condition genuinely prevents them from working.

Essential Points About Recurrent Disability Provisions in Pennsylvania

What Is a Recurrent Disability Provision_ image 2One insurance policy’s recurrent disability provision may not be exactly the same as another. Always thoroughly read your policy to ensure you understand its provisions.

Additional points to be aware of regarding these provisions include the following:

  • The length of time you have to begin receiving LTD benefits without an elimination period isn’t always six months. Sometimes, policies will establish different time frames for different conditions.
  • A recurrent disability provision only applies to the condition that caused you to seek LTD benefits in the first place. It doesn’t apply to new conditions. If you develop a new injury or illness that prevents you from working, you’ll have to apply for LTD benefits again.
  • A recurrent disability provision may allow a disabled worker to receive benefits for the period when they attempted to work. If you briefly try to return to work, only to realize you’re not able to, you may still be eligible to receive benefits for that period.

A recurrent disability provision can benefit insurers, employees, and employers. Its purpose is to let benefits recipients try to return to work without unreasonable anxiety.

With a recurrent disability clause, you may feel more comfortable returning to work. You know if your condition gets worse within a few months, you could start collecting benefits again without waiting.

Don’t return to work if your doctor says you shouldn’t. Heeding medical advice is always essential. It’s particularly important when you’re disabled.

Contact a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Long-Term Disability Lawyer

An attorney can help in many ways as you navigate how a recurrent disability provision applies to your case. Examples include:

  • Helping you understand whether the provision applies to your claim
  • Helping you with the application process, if necessary
  • Gathering documentation showing why you can’t work
  • Assisting with an appeal, if necessary

At Capitan Law, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, long-term disability lawyer can answer your questions and handle these tasks on your behalf. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at (267) 419-7888 for a case review.

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