Louisiana Residents – Get Assistance from Expert Long-Term Disability Insurance Lawyers
While Capitan Law is not licensed to practice in Louisiana courts, our long-term disability lawyers assist disabled Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana
Louisiana long-term disability insurance plans must comply with federal ERISA guidelines and state insurance laws. Some employers may offer long-term disability benefits as part of an employee benefits package. If you have LTD coverage and become disabled, then your company Human Resources manager may be able to help you learn how to file a claim. If your employer doesn’t offer LTD, then you may also purchase a private policy.
Louisiana law requires insurance companies to engage in fair dealing with their clients and covers your options if you have a potential bad faith insurance claim.
Louisiana Long-Term Disability Laws Regarding LTD Benefits Eligibility
The state sets forth definitions of disability and notes commonalities between long-term insurance policies. Long-term disability insurance benefits are primarily wage-replacement payouts for people who became disabled and can no longer continue in their present job or who cannot work, period. Louisiana laws do not set a specific amount that each policy pays out, but the state does note that the average payout is about 60% of the insured’s pre-disability earnings.
There isn’t a Louisiana state law setting a uniform waiting period before benefits, although many people may become eligible after six months of disability (usually after their short-term disability benefits expire). Furthermore, LTD policies are medically underwritten, which means that if you have a pre-existing disability or progressive illness, you may have your coverage denied.
How Do Louisiana Long-Term Disability Laws Define Long-Term Disability?
Each LTD policy defines disability differently, although the two most common designations are a physical or mental condition that prevents you from continuing your present job or a medical condition that prevents you from engaging in gainful employment altogether. The definition of “long-term” also varies from policy to policy. Some policies provide benefits for the rest of the insured’s life, and others for a set term, either a specific number of years or a set dollar amount.
Long-term disability policies usually have a list of excluded conditions, so if yours is listed as a non-covered condition, then your claim may be denied. Some policies may only cover disabilities that occur through an accident and might not cover someone who becomes disabled due to illness.
Points to Note About Long-Term Disability Laws in Louisiana
Your benefits from your LTD policy may be reduced if you’re receiving disability benefits from another source, like Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.
Louisiana law requires benefits to be paid within 30 days of the insurance company approving the claim.
If the insurance company denies your claim, you have the right to appeal their decision. Because filing an appeal is time-sensitive and because often, an insurance company only allows one shot at an appeal, getting a lawyer to help you file your appeal is beneficial. An experienced lawyer will know how to present the appeal and what evidence or documentation will best bolster your claim.
If you use your own after-tax dollars to pay for your LTD premium, then the benefits you receive will be included as income on your federal return and are taxable. However, if your employer pays for the premium, then you won’t have to pay federal taxes on your benefits.
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 Louisiana, call us at (267) 419-7888 for assistance with filing for benefits.