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A Comprehensive Guide To Long-Term Disability Insurance

Updated : August 4th, 2020

Employers offer various benefits and insurance policies to protect their employees. Some of them include health insurance, vision insurance, and disability insurance. Disability insurance is of two types: Short-Term Disability (STD) and Long-Term Disability (LTD) benefits. While Short-Term Disability insurance offers compensation for a limited time, Long-Term Disability Insurance provides income replacement for an extended period.

More about Long-Term Disability Insurance

Long-Term Disability insurance offers compensation or replaces income for those employees who are disabled and unable to work for 6 months or longer duration . The insurance covers only specific disabilities such as injuries, illness, or accidents that occurred on or off the job. Some of the common types of conditions covered include:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Stroke 
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Pneumonia 
  • Muscle and tendon issues 

Long-Term Disability insurance has two categories: own and any occupation policy. Under the “own occupation,” an employee should be unable to perform duties of his/her chosen job or job he/she is trained for. Under “any occupation,” benefit is given to those employees who cannot perform any job. 

Long-Term Disability policy usually begins after Short-Term Disability insurance has been exhausted. That is, it starts about 10 to 53 weeks post the injury or illness, with an average time of 26 weeks. 

The duration of the coverage may vary with the provider. Some may provide coverage for 10 years, while others pay until the age of 65. 

Eligibility Criteria For A Long-Term Disability Insurance

You should meet several requirements to qualify for a Long-Term Disability insurance policy. They include:

  1. You must be a full-time employee
  2. You must work for a minimum of 30-35 hours per week
  3. You have to exhaust paid sick leaves before applying for Short-Term Disability policy and you must exhaust it before filing for Long-Term Disability insurance 

How Much Does A Long-Term Disability Insurance Pay?

The long-Term Disability insurance policy usually provides 50% to 60% of the pay to qualified disabled employees. The amount is calculated depending on your basic compensation before the disability. 

How To Apply For A Long-Term Disability Insurance?

Filing for Long-Term Disability insurance includes the following steps.

1. Request An Application Form

You can collect the application form from your employer. If your employer fails to provide the form, you can contact the insurance provider and request an application form.

2. Fill The Application Form

Enter name, social security number, address, contact information, date of occurrence of injury or illness, the reason for disability, and other details without which your application may be rejected. 

3. Get the Employer’s Statement

The application procedure includes a section that must be completed by your employer. After entering the necessary details, request your employer to complete the form. Your employer would be required to provide the last working date, earnings, date of occurrence of injury, etc. information.

4. Collect Statement From Your Doctor

Besides your employer, your doctor is required to provide certain information. This includes diagnosis, objective findings, types of treatment, an estimate of physical or mental limitations, etc.

You can also submit medical records and other documents that prove your disability. 

How Does A Long-Term Disability Insurance Work?

To collect benefits you have to remain disabled for a period between the date of occurrence of disability and the payment starting date. Usually, these periods range from 30 to 90 days. Note that you will have to pay bills from your pocket until the coverage begins. 

Once your disability claim is approved, you can collect your monthly benefit for the duration of the defined “benefit period.” Companies may provide benefits for as short as 2 years or till your retirement age. 

Can You Collect LTD Benefits If You Are Returning To Work?

You can continue to collect your LTD benefits while returning to work, however, the extent of coverage depends on the type of LTD policy (own or any occupation) and terms and conditions of your insurance provider. 

Final Words

LTD insurance is not a mandated requirement in any state. Employers can decide whether to give benefits to their employees or not. They can also choose the coverage range and insurance provider.  

If your employer is not providing LTD benefits, you can check with any third-party insurance provider and buy a policy. 




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  1. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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