Have you been approved for long-term disability benefits or are you in the process of applying for them? If so, you are probably wondering how long those benefits will last. The stress of dealing with an injury, disease, or other medical maladies is hard enough without having to think about your day-to-day expenses and keeping a roof over your head.

When we work with clients at Roy Law Group, we frequently get this question, and we are here to help.

How long does long-term disability last?

Under most long-term disability insurance policies, once you become eligible to receive benefits, you are entitled to continued benefits for as long as you meet the policy’s definition of disability. However, in no event will your benefits ever last beyond the termination date of the policy.

Generally speaking, the termination date for most policies is age 65 or Social Security Retirement Age, whichever is a longer period of time.

What is the definition of a disability?

Under most policies, you are entitled to disability benefits if you are unable to work in your own, regular occupation.

These “own occupation” or “regular occupation” benefits often only last 24 months. After 24 months, many policies change the definition of disability for own or regular occupation to “any occupation.”

Under most policies, you are entitled to disability benefits if you are unable to work in your own, regular occupation.

“Any occupation” is a term that can be defined in many different ways. Some policies define “any occupation” as any job you can work based on your training, education, and experience. This is a very broad definition. If your policy defines “any occupation” in this way, then if you can work in any job at all, you will not be considered disabled and your benefits will cease after 24 months.

Other policies define “any occupation” as any job you can work where you can make a specified percentage of what you were earning before you became disabled as defined by your policy. In these cases, where the policy contains an income qualifier, if you are unable to make at least a certain percentage of your income, you will remain entitled to disability insurance benefits.

How insurance companies cut off your benefits early

Insurance companies harass people. It is what we have built our entire practice on because the law allows them to do “whatever is reasonable” to vet your claim.

“Reasonable measures” may include:

  • Independent medical exams (IMEs), which are in-person medical exams performed by the insurance company’s own doctors
  • Questionnaires or other forms your insurance company constantly demands you fill out and return within a short period of time
  • Attending Physician Statements that your insurance company sends directly to your doctors, demanding detailed information about your medical condition(s)
  • Medical record requests your insurance company periodically sends out to review your medical treatment and insurance you are seeking, where they determine if you are receiving appropriate care for your medical condition(s)

If your claim is denied, don’t give up

There are teams of people – physicians, nurses, and attorneys – that determine the continued validity of your disability claim.

Insurance companies are great until they are not and are looking for ways to deny you. Once you are approved, even if you have a permanent disability, they will be reviewing your claim in the above manner and looking to find any reasonable ways to deny your claim.

If your claim has been denied, we urge you to call Roy Law Group for free disability claim advice. The team at Roy Law Group knows the subtle and complicated aspects of disability law – it is all we do. We do the work, so you can focus on what is important. You.

Contact Roy Law Group right away to set up your consultation!