Mississippi Residents – Get Assistance from Expert Long-Term Disability Insurance Lawyers
While Capitan Law is not licensed to practice in Mississippi courts, our long-term disability lawyers assist disabled Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi
There are no state-mandated long-term disability insurance benefits for employees in Mississippi. Many employers offer long-term disability (LTD) insurance in addition to short-term disability insurance and health insurance as part of their employee compensation package, though. If your employer does not offer LTD, you can purchase your own coverage from an insurance carrier.
Long-term disability plans sold in Mississippi must follow the standards set in ERISA, although each carrier is permitted to determine its own definition of disability, the duration of coverage, and the amount of the benefits payout.
If you become disabled and are covered under an LTD policy, then you may file a claim either with the help of your employer if your coverage is an employee benefit or through the insurance company directly if you purchased a private policy.
Long-Term Disability Laws in Mississippi Regarding Benefits Eligibility
Your eligibility for long-term disability wage replacement will depend on the standards outlined in your policy, although many policies set similar requirements for eligibility. Policyholders must have been employed for a specific length of time, usually 12 months or more, and be full-time employees.
There is usually an elimination period before the policyholder may file a claim. This is a waiting period that must pass before the insured is considered to have a long-term disability. Usually, this is the length of time that your short-term disability insurance covers.
Before they will approve a claim, LTD insurers often require medical proof of disability. This may include proof that the disability was not an excluded or pre-existing condition, proof that you are unable to work in your “own occupation” or the job you held when you became disabled, and sometimes, proof that you are unable to be employed in any job at all.
LTD benefits are intended to provide the insured with a wage replacement while they are unable to work, either in their own occupation or “any occupation,” or any gainful employment. Your policy sets the amount of your former wage that you will receive each month in benefits. The amount of your benefit is usually based on an average of your past year’s wages (although some policies use an average of the past two, three, or five years). Again, each carrier sets its own benefits payout, but the average is 50-70% of the insured’s average wage.
How Does Mississippi Insurance Law Define Long-Term Disability?
Your policy should contain a definition of long-term disability, although the specific definition will vary from insurance company to insurance company. For the most part, though, a long-term disability is one that prevents the insured from working for at least six months due to a new disability or the development of a progressive illness.
There is no Mississippi law that regulates how insurance carriers must define long-term disability as long as their definitions are ERISA-compliant.
Other Considerations About Mississippi Long-Term Disability Laws
You may have to pay federal income tax on your LTD benefits if your employer paid for your premium. However, if you paid your own premiums, your benefits should be tax-exempt.
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 Mississippi, call us at (267) 419-7888 for assistance with filing for benefits.