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What you can expect from long-term disability insurance

When choosing benefits through your employer, you may have been fortunate enough to have numerous choices. Perhaps you receive health insurance, life insurance and disability insurance options.

You may have opted into short-term disability insurance before in case you suffer a work-related injury, but never really considered long-term disability insurance. Maybe knowing a bit more about it will help you make an informed decision.

Here's what you need to know

Below are some of the fundamentals of long-term disability insurance:

  • It covers a portion of your income -- usually somewhere between 50 and 70 percent -- if you suffer from an illness or injury. More than likely, the policy will have a maximum amount it will pay to you each month.
  • The insurance probably includes a termination date ranging from five to 10 years. In some cases, it could last until you turn 65.
  • You will more than likely have to work for your employer full time for a minimum amount of time before you are eligible for coverage.
  • This coverage ordinarily kicks in after the expiration of short-term disability coverage or after at least 90 to 180 days.
  • It may include provisions regarding under what circumstances benefits would terminate.
  • Your employer, you or both may pay for the premiums.

If you decide to opt in to this coverage through your employer, you expect that it will be available to you if you need it. It provides you with peace of mind, unless something goes wrong if you do need it.

Here's what could happen

The insurance company may deny your claim. It may expect you to accept that determination and probably counts on you not appealing the decision. You do not have to do so. If you do not receive correspondence letting you know the reasoning behind the denial, you can request it. In some cases, it could be as simple as missing paperwork. In other cases, you may need to essentially resubmit your claim.

Regardless, you have the right to appeal. If the appeal is denied, you may not yet be out of legal options. It may be appropriate to file a lawsuit. Finally, if necessary, you could take your appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for resolution.

Of course, in order to help minimize the chances of a denial, you could enlist some experienced assistance with the claims process. This might keep you from experiencing the stress and frustration that come with being denied benefits you were told you could receive if you qualified for them.

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Law Offices of Tony C. Merry, LLC
7100 North High Street
Suite 302
Worthington, Ohio 43085-2567

Phone: 614-372-7114
Fax: 614-505-6109
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