If a disability is preventing you from working on a full-time basis, you may be entitled to long-term disability benefits—potentially through an employer-based insurance plan, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or some combination of both. If you are self-employed, you should look into where to get disability insurance online to be sure that you are covered in case of an accident. In this article, you will find an overview of the key things to know about applying for long-term disability benefits through an employer.
Employer-Backed Disability Plan are Regulated By Federal Law
Do you have a long-term disability insurance policy through your employer? If so, your policy is almost certainly regulated by a federal law called the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). You are covered by ERISA whether your policy came from your employer or a spouse’s employer. Passed decades ago, ERISA standardizes the long-term disability application process and appeals process for employer-sponsored policies. Here are some important aspects of ERISA:
- The Specific Terms of Your Disability Insurance Policy Always Matter: While ERISA standardizes the long-term disability claims & appeals process for employer-backed insurance policies, the specific details of an individual insurance policy still matter. Your policy will determine a number of different key factors, including what you need to do to submit an application, how much disability compensation is available, and how long your benefits will last.
- Medical Evidence is Critically Important: If you or your spouse is preparing to file a long-term disability claim through an employer, it is imperative that you get your hands on a copy of the disability. The terms of the policy should provide some important guidance on what exactly constitutes a “disability.” This will tell you what you need to prove to get benefits. Similar to Social Security disability claims, ERISA disability claims frequently come down to medical evidence. With strong, well-organized medical records, you will be in a far better position to get the full disability compensation that you rightfully deserve.
- You Have 180 Days to Appeal a Disability Denial: Sadly, insurance companies sometimes deny long-term disability claims on spurious grounds. The insurer never gets to make the final say on whether or not you or your loved one is entitled to disability benefits. Under ERISA, you have 180 days to file an administrative disability appeal after receiving a written denial letter.
- There May Be an ‘Offset for an LTD Plan Overpayment: Notably, many long-term disability insurance policies will require you to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits after a certain amount of time passes. You could be approved for both SSDI benefits and ERISA disability benefits. In some cases, the insurance company may try to recoup a share of your benefit on the grounds of an LTD plan overpayment.
Navigating disability claims is complicated, especially if your trying to file an ERISA disability claim and a Social Security disability claim at the same time. You should not hesitate to seek professional guidance and support. A Social Security disability lawyer with experience handling long-term disability insurance policies can help you ensure that you and your family receive the maximum possible financial support.