If you need to apply for long-term disability benefits because a severe injury or a debilitating mental illness or chronic condition renders you incapable of working, you will understandably have many questions regarding the LTD claims process, especially if you haven’t previously filed a similar claim.
This post provides general answers to some of the more common questions people ask when they need to file a claim or their claim is denied. However, it’s essential to get legal advice for your specific situation from the leading disability lawyers at Ertl Lawyers. They have decades of experience getting their clients LTD benefits after a denied claim and are passionate about disability rights.
What Level of Disability Qualifies for Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits?
To be considered disabled under the LTD policy, your injury or illness must prevent you from performing the significant duties of your current job. This is also known as a “total disability,” but it does not mean that you must be entirely incapacitated to be eligible for LTD benefits.
There is also a total disability from any occupation, which means that you are unable to perform any job that you might otherwise be suited for based on your experience or future training. LTD benefit plans often require that you are totally disabled from your own occupation at first and then that you are disabled from any occupation approximately 2 years after receiving LTD benefits.
How Much Can You Expect to Receive in LTD Benefits?
The amount you receive from LTD plans will vary depending on the specific policy you have. Generally, LTD benefits will be a percentage of your monthly earnings and can range between 60-75%.
How Long Will the LTD Benefit Payments Last?
LTD payments will typically continue for as long as you are disabled, a predetermined period based on the policy or until you reach a certain age (usually 65 years old).
How Long Does it Take to Start Receiving LTD Benefits?
Your policy will have a waiting period, also referred to as a “qualifying period” or “elimination period,” during which you must wait after your injury or illness before receiving LTD benefits. Most waiting periods are around 90 to 120 days. You must be disabled for the entire waiting period before you can qualify for LTD benefits.
What Should You Do if Your Application for LTD Benefits is Denied or Your Benefits are Terminated After Two Years?
If you receive a denial letter or a notice letter that your benefits are being terminated, you must consult with a long-term disability lawyer immediately. There is a time limit on your available options, and the process can take some time. A lawyer can help you understand the reason for your denial and discuss your options with you. More importantly, they can help get you the benefits you deserve despite the denial or stoppage of LTD benefits.
What Are the Costs Associated With Hiring a Long-Term Disability Lawyer?
Most LTD lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you do not pay any fees unless your lawyer can get you compensation from the insurance company. The lawyer will receive a percentage of the settlement amount, which can give you reassurance that they believe in the strength of your case. You can learn more about contingency fees from this Law Society of Ontario guide on contingency fees.