Medical conditions that qualify for long-term disability benefits vary based on the insurance provider, policy terms, and local regulations. Generally, qualifying conditions often include:

  • Chronic Illnesses: Conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and severe diabetes have a long-lasting impact on an individual’s ability to work.
  • Neurological Disorders: Conditions like epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain injuries can severely affect cognitive and physical functions.
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders: Chronic back pain, spinal injuries, and degenerative joint diseases that limit mobility and functionality.
  • Cardiovascular Disorders: Severe heart conditions, congestive heart failure, and post-heart attack complications that hinder physical activity.
  • Respiratory Disorders: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), severe asthma, and other lung-related conditions that affect breathing.
  • Mental Health Conditions: Conditions like severe depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses significantly impact daily functioning.
  • Autoimmune Disorders: Conditions like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease that cause chronic pain and fatigue.
  • Injuries: Permanent injuries resulting from accidents, such as paralysis, amputation, or severe fractures.

What Are Long-Term Disability Benefits?

Long-term disability benefits are financial protections provided to individuals who cannot work due to a severe and prolonged medical condition or disability. These benefits typically come from employer-sponsored or private insurance policies and are designed to replace a portion of the individual’s income during their period of incapacity.

Long-term disability benefits help cover essential living expenses, medical costs, and other financial obligations when the individual cannot earn their regular income due to their medical condition. These are different from short-term disability as they cover injuries and illnesses outside the workplace. 

Required documents to prove long-term disability benefits eligibility

To prove eligibility for long-term disability benefits, individuals must provide comprehensive medical documentation, including doctor’s reports, test results, treatment plans, and medical history. 

Furthermore, statements from healthcare professionals outlining the impact of the disability on work capabilities, along with employer documentation confirming work limitations, may be required. A thorough application also includes detailed information about the individual’s job duties and how the disability affects their ability to perform them.

Filing a Long-Term Disability Insurance Claim

Applying for a long-term disability insurance claim is a structured process that involves several key steps:

  • Notify Your Employer: Inform your employer about your intention to file a long-term disability claim. They will provide the necessary forms and information about the insurance provider.
  • Obtain Medical Documentation: Gather comprehensive medical documentation from healthcare professionals that support your disability claim.
  • Complete Claim Forms: Fill out the required claim forms provided by your employer or insurance company. 
  • Employer’s Statement: Your employer may need to complete a portion of the claim forms, providing details about your job duties, work limitations, and any accommodations
  • Submit Documentation: Compile all relevant documentation, including medical records, claim forms, and additional supporting materials.
  • Review and Verification: The insurance company will review your claim, often with their medical professionals. 
  • Claim Decision: The insurance company will decide your long-term disability claim.

Can I appeal a denied long-term disability claim?

Yes, you have the right to appeal a denied long-term disability claim. If your initial claim is denied, it’s crucial to carefully review the denial letter, understand the reasons, and gather any additional evidence supporting your case. You can then submit an appeal, which typically involves providing new documentation, medical records, and any relevant information that strengthens your claim. 

Can you collect both long-term disability benefits and SSDI?

Yes, it is possible to collect both long-term disability (LTD) benefits, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits under certain circumstances. However, it’s important to note that receiving one type of benefit does not automatically guarantee eligibility for the other. Each program has its own eligibility criteria and approval process. 

What is the appeals process for long-term disability claims?

The appeals process for long-term disability claims involves several steps. After your initial claim is denied, you can submit an appeal, which usually requires providing new or additional medical evidence, records, and any relevant documentation that supports your case. 

The insurance company will review your appeal and may conduct an independent medical evaluation. If the appeal is still denied, you may have the option to request a formal review, which could involve a hearing or further discussions with the insurance company. 

How long does a long-term disability last?

The duration of long-term disability benefits varies based on the insurance policy terms and the specific medical condition. In many cases, long-term disability benefits can last for a significant period, such as two years, five years, or until the age of retirement (typically around 65). 

Some policies may have a maximum benefit period of 10 years or more. The duration of benefits depends on factors like the severity of the disability, the policy’s terms, and the individual’s ability to return to work. It’s important to carefully review the policy details and consult with the insurance provider to understand the specific duration of long-term disability benefits for your situation.

Need Legal Help? Contact a Disability Lawyer

Navigating the complexities of disability claims can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face it alone. When you need legal guidance and support, contact an experienced Social Security disability lawyer. Whether you are seeking to file a claim, appeal a denial, or understand your rights, they can provide advice according to your situation.