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If you have a private long term disability (LTD) policy you may be entitled for a percentage of your income in the event you become unable to continue working due to a disability. There are a few important things to keep in mind in connection with this topic. First, many people have an LTD policy through their employer and may not even know it. So, if you think you might be disabled for any significant period of time, check with your employer to determine whether you have coverage. Most plans provide for either 60% or 80% of your income as a payable benefit for the period of eligibility.
Perhaps the most important point of all here is to check the notice period in your policy. This is the period of time during which you must file a claim or risk waiving your rights to benefits. File beyond the required notice period and you will not qualify for benefits, regardless of your medical situation.
Next, you will want to check the exclusion period. Most LTD policies require a period of 90 to 180 days of disability before benefits are payable. This does not mean you need to wait 90 or 180 days before applying. Rather, it means that once you are proven disabled that portion of time will be discounted from the period for which benefits payable. Once your claim is received by the insurance carrier, they will be focused on the following: 1) understanding the vocational demands of your job, both in terms of mental and physical demands; and 2) whether the medical evidence proves that you are unable to meet these demands to such an extent that it would be unreasonable to suppose you can return to work.
This analysis is a bit more forgiving than the Social Security Disability analysis which goes one step further and asks whether there is any work you can do given your education, past work skills, age, and mental and physical limitations. Thus, SSA may find a person to be incapable of returning to the work they were doing, but capable of other less demanding work and, therefore, not disabled. For LTD purposes, merely proving that you cannot return to work should be sufficient. Though, in practice this often requires going through at least one of the two levels of administrative appeal available in these kinds of claims. If your LTD claim is denied, be sure to contact a qualified disability attorney for assistance. The insurance companies are not in the business of paying claims without a fight -- so don't try to go it alone.
Working with Others in Their Time of Greatest Need
Dealing with a disability is trying enough, even at the best of times. When you are in this situation and find yourself denied benefits which are rightly yours, it adds a whole other level of stress. No one wants to feel like they are treated as a second-class citizen, but sometimes the feeling is unavoidable in such situations. You ask yourself “What do I need to do? I thought the social safety net was there for me.” The best answer is to find a local disability lawyer with experience in obtaining benefits for their clients.
If you find yourself in this situation, seeking benefits on behalf of a disabled young person in your life, you need the assistance of a lawyer with experience in securing child disability benefits. The Law Office of Robert C. Buckley uses an arsenal of experience and skills for all its clients who are denied benefits. We strive mightily on behalf of our clients, so they get what they are owed and deserve.
Contact our firm for a champion in your fight to secure social security disability and LTD long term benefits. We proudly serve Manhattan, NY, and the surrounding boroughs.