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Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2024 at 9:00 am    

How Long Is Long Term Disability_ Image

If you’re unable to work due to an illness or injury, you may be wondering how long long-term disability benefits can provide financial support. The answer depends on your specific policy, as long-term disability (LTD) insurance plans vary in their benefit periods. Understanding the length of your coverage is crucial for planning your financial future and ensuring adequate protection.

How Long Does Long-Term Disability Last?

The length of time you can receive long-term disability benefits depends on the terms of your specific LTD policy. Most group policies employers provide offer benefits for a fixed number of years or until retirement age. Typical benefit periods include:

  • Two years: Some policies provide benefits for a maximum of two years if you cannot perform your occupation due to disability.
  • Five years: Many LTD plans offer benefits for up to five years if you cannot work.
  • Ten years: Some policies extend benefits for up to ten years if you remain disabled from working.
  • To age 65 or retirement age: The most comprehensive LTD plans provide benefits until you reach age 65 or your Social Security normal retirement age (SSNRA), whichever is later. However, if you become disabled after age 60, benefits may only last for a few years.

It’s essential to review your long-term disability policy’s summary plan description or certificate of coverage to determine the specific benefit period applicable to your situation.

Factors Affecting the Duration of Long-Term Disability Benefits

Several factors can impact how long your long-term disability benefits last, including:

Definition of disability: Most LTD policies have two definitions: “own occupation” and “any occupation.” During your “own occupation” period, you’re considered disabled if you cannot perform the material duties of your regular job. After the occupation period ends (usually after two or three years), the definition of disability changes to “any occupation,” meaning you must be unable to work in any job for which you’re reasonably suited based on your education, training, and experience.

Age at the time of disability: If you become disabled later in life, your benefit period may be shorter. For example, if your policy benefits people until they reach age 65 but you become disabled at age 60, you will only receive benefits for five years.

Exclusions and limitations: LTD policies typically exclude pre-existing and certain mental health conditions. Benefits for mental health disabilities may be limited to a maximum of two years, even if your policy’s benefit period is longer.

Social Security disability benefits: If you qualify for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), your LTD benefits may be reduced by the amount you receive from SSDI. However, this offset does not affect the length of your LTD benefit period.

What Happens When Long-Term Disability Ends?

How Long Is Long Term Disability_ Image 2When your long-term disability benefit period ends, your LTD payments will stop. At this point, you’ll need to explore other options for financial support if you cannot return to work. These options may include:

Social Security disability benefits: If you haven’t already applied for SSDI, you may be eligible for these federal benefits if you meet the Social Security Administration’s strict definition of disability.

Individual disability insurance: If you have an individual disability insurance policy separate from your employer-sponsored LTD plan, you may continue receiving benefits according to the terms of that policy.

Retirement benefits: If you’re close to retirement age when your LTD benefits end, you may need to tap into your retirement savings or apply for Social Security retirement benefits to replace your income.

It’s essential to plan for the possibility that your long-term disability benefits may end before you’re able to return to work. Having a financial strategy can help ensure you have the resources needed to support yourself and your family.

Protect Your Income With Long-Term Disability Insurance

Long-term disability insurance is a vital form of income protection that can provide financial security if you experience a disabling illness or injury. By understanding how long your LTD benefits may last, you can make informed decisions about your coverage and plan for the future.

If you have questions about your long-term disability insurance policy or need help filing a claim, the experienced attorneys at Capitan Law are here to assist you. We focus exclusively on disability insurance claims and can guide you through securing the benefits you deserve.

Please don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your income. Contact Capitan Law today at (267) 419-7888 or reach out online for a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable long-term disability attorneys. We’ll review your policy, answer your questions, and help you understand your rights and options under your LTD plan. With Capitan Law on your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have a dedicated advocate fighting for your financial security.

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