Iowa Residents – Get Assistance from Expert Long-Term Disability Insurance Lawyers
While Capitan Law is not licensed to practice in Iowa courts, our long-term disability lawyers assist disabled Iowa citizens with ERISA-governed disability insurance claims. As discussed in more detail below, ERISA is federal law. If you have a claim that is governed by Iowa law, please contact a local attorney licensed to practice law in your state to assist you with that matter.
Facing a non-work-related injury or illness can threaten your financial stability. Let Capitan Law, your experienced long-term disability insurance lawyers, guide you through the application process of disability insurance via your employer’s ERISA-governed policy. Be aware that this process is complex, with insurance companies often attempting to minimize or deny benefits owed.
Differences between LTD Insurance and Workers’ Compensation
The main difference between long-term disability and workers’ compensation is that LTD benefits provide a partial-wage replacement for someone who becomes injured while doing something unrelated to their work, while workers’ comp is for job-related injuries and illnesses. If you are injured at work, you may still be able to apply for disability insurance benefits depending on the specific language contained in your policy. However, if you are eligible for both types of benefits, LTD benefits are usually offset by any benefits received through the workers’ comp claim.
Both insurance policies can come from your employer; however, not all businesses in Iowa have a legal obligation to provide long-term disability to their employees. If your employer does not offer LTD insurance, you may have purchased your own individual disability plan and paid the monthly premium. It is also possible to have a policy you purchased yourself and one provided through your employment relationship. If you sustain an injury or get sick, you’ll be able to collect benefits based on your policy type. The attorneys at Capitan Law can help you understand the options available to you and are well-equipped to help you navigate these complex issues.
Long-Term Disability Laws in Iowa
ERISA pre-empts any state plans regarding long-term disability, so in Iowa, all long-term disability policies must not conflict with ERISA long-term disability law. Many Iowa employers, including different state agencies and institutions of higher learning, offer long-term disability insurance as part of their employee benefits package. Your company’s benefits advisor may be able to help you file a claim if you become disabled.
If your Iowa employer does not offer long-term disability insurance, you have the option to purchase your own policy through a private insurance company. When it comes time to file a claim, contact your carrier’s claims department and follow the instructions in your policy.
Eligibility Under Iowa Long-Term Disability Law
Long-term disability (LTD) insurance coverage is offered at the discretion of each employer in the state. The employer selects the long-term disability benefits carrier, so the details of the policy and which specific conditions are included and excluded differ. Most workers qualify for LTD as long as they are a probationary or permanent employee working a minimum of 30 hours per week.
As a disabled worker, you typically remain eligible for Iowa long-term disability as long as your condition is specifically defined in your group policy. Certain conditions are excluded from Iowa disability plans, such as:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Mental conditions or diagnosed mental illness
- Nervous conditions or nervous disorders
- Injury or illness caused by substance abuse
How Does Iowa Define Long-Term Disability?
In general, a long-term disability is a physical or mental condition that prevents a worker from performing their usual job duties for a prolonged period. Because Iowa long-term disability insurance plans differ according to the carrier, the specific length of time you must be disabled before you can collect long-term disability benefits varies. However, most plans define long-term disability as one that lasts at least a year or one that is fatal (a progressive disease like cancer, for example).
Disability may also refer to a person’s inability to perform any type of gainful employment, not just the job duties they had prior to becoming disabled.
It’s important to read the details of what various plans consider a long-term disability before selecting one to fit your needs.
Iowa Long-Term Disability Benefits
Many plans have a waiting period before the insured becomes eligible, but all plans offered in Iowa must follow ERISA requirements.
The specific amount you receive each month depends on your wage at the time you purchase the policy. Most plans offer between 60-70% of your average wage for the year before your policy purchase or for a longer period of time, like your average wages for the past five years. Check your plan carefully before subscribing. If you recently received a substantial raise or salary bump, for example, then you may wish to have a plan that considers only the past year’s wages, not the past five years.
Finally, there is the consideration of taxes. You may have to pay Iowa state income tax on your disability pay unless you qualify for one of the exclusions set forth by the Iowa Department of Revenue.
Contact our ERISA Benefits Claims Experts
At Capitan Law, we comprehend the urgency of receiving LTD benefits. We work tirelessly to protect your rights and ensure fair treatment during the claims process. If you’re unable to work in Iowa, call us at (267) 419-7888 for assistance with filing for benefits.