Should You Carry Long-Term Disability Insurance?

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
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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 short period of time.  While the duration of short-term disability benefits will depend on your policy, these benefits are usually paid for a period ranging from 9 to 52 weeks.  By contrast, long-term disability insurance coverage provides income replacement once an individual’s waiting period under the policy has been exhausted.  LTD benefits are paid for a fixed period of time like 2 or 5 years or until a certain age like 65 as long as you meet the definition of disability under your policy.  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.  

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 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.

You can reach Miami Long Term Disability Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].

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