Why Florida Residents Might Want Long-Term Disability Insurance?

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

Disability insurance is an important form of coverage that can protect you from financial hardships during a period where a severe injury or illness renders you unable to work.  This form of insurance, which essentially constitutes income replacement insurance, will replace a portion of your income if you are disabled from working because of an injury or illness.  This type of insurance coverage can be valuable in such a situation because it provides a source of income to pay your mortgage, utilities, car payment, grocery bills and other expenses.  While workers compensation benefits also can provide income replacement payments, this form of compensation only applies to workplace injuries and occupational illnesses.

Short-Term Disability vs. Long Term Disability Benefits

Short-term disability (STD) coverage will pay you a percentage of your wages/salary for a brief period of time after you have exhausted your sick leave.  While the duration of short-term disability benefits will depend on your policy, they are usually paid for a period ranging from 9 to 52 weeks.  By contrast, long-term disability coverage provides income replacement at a lower rate than STD coverage once an individual’s sick time and STD benefits have been used up.  Unlike some forms of insurance that impose a cap on the amount paid out, LTD benefits are paid for fixed period of time like 2 or 5 years or until a certain age like 65.  Insurance plans that provide a combination of STD and LTD coverage can help avoid potential gaps where your income stream is interrupted.

Long-Term Disability Benefits: The Details

When seeking income replacement benefits provided under a LTD policy, the insurer will demand documentation evidencing the nature of your medical condition or injury, as well as the estimated duration of your disability from employment.  LTD insurance policies impose a waiting period between a policyholder’s initial inability to work and commencement of LTD benefits.  If the policy provides both STD and LTD benefits, the short-term payments might automatically shift to long-term benefits at some point.  It is important to keep in mind that the amount of the wage replacement benefit will decline when STD benefits transition to LTD benefits.

After your waiting period has elapsed, your LTD payments will commence.  The amount of the payment varies depending on the policy but will usually be a percentage of your wages/salary payments prior to injury or illness, such as sixty percent of your income.  If you were paid $4,500 per month prior to injury, your monthly benefit would be $2,700 per month. 

Another important function of LTD coverage is to provide financial protection until you can obtain Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income or other cash benefit programs.  LTD policies can ensure a revenue stream during the sometimes lengthy process of applying for SSDI benefits.  Depending on the terms of your LTD policy, you might be required to apply for SSDI.

If you have questions about Miami-Dade long-term disability insurance claims, you are welcome to contact my Florida insurance claims dispute law firm.  My law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida.  The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations.  No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees.  Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.

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