Once your long-term disability claim has been approved and you’re eligible for benefits, this can bring much-needed financial support for you and your family. However, it’s important to understand how long those benefits will be available to you, as this will help you to make decisions and plan for the future.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how long long-term disability benefits last and what factors might play a role.

What we’ll cover:

How long does long-term disability last?

The length of time your long-term disability benefits will last depends on multiple factors, most of which are out of your control. This includes your insurance policy’s definition of disability, the benefit period, and any limitations or exclusions that may apply, such as pre-existing conditions or age restrictions.

It’s important to carefully review your insurance policy to understand how long your long-term disability benefits will last.

Understanding the definition of disability

Your insurance policy will have its own specific definition of disability. You should check your plan documents or consult with your employer’s Human Resources to know how disability is defined in your policy.

A policy’s definition of disability is typically based on a person’s ability to perform duties in their “own occupation” or “any occupation.”

Own occupation

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

These benefits often only last 24 months. After that, 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

“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 definition is very broad and can apply to a wide range of jobs. If your policy uses this definition, you must demonstrate you are unable to work in any job. Otherwise, you won’t be considered disabled, and your benefits will end after two years.

Other policies define “any occupation” as any job you can work for a specific income. This amount is based on a certain percentage of what you earned before you became disabled as defined by your policy. In this case, if you are unable to earn that specified amount in any job whatsoever, you will remain entitled to disability insurance benefits.

What is your policy’s benefit period?

The benefit period of your insurance policy is the timeframe during which you receive benefits. The length of the benefit period will vary depending on the type of policy you have.

Generally, benefit periods last for two, five, or ten years, or until retirement age. In most cases, policies will terminate when you reach the age of 65, or the Social Security retirement age, whichever comes first.

Generally, benefit periods last for two, five, or ten years, or until retirement age.

Depending on the insurance plan, you may be able to extend the benefit period; however, there may be extra costs associated with this option.

How insurance companies cut off your benefits early

Insurance companies can cut off your benefits early for a variety of reasons, including a change in your medical condition, financial situation, or the terms of your policy. Insurance companies may also end your benefits early if they feel that you are no longer eligible for them or if they feel that you have not been actively seeking medical treatment to improve your condition.

In some cases, the insurance company may determine that your medical condition is no longer serious enough to warrant the continued coverage of your benefits or that you are not fulfilling the requirements of the policy. For example, if the results of a Functional Capacity Evaluation suggest your condition doesn’t meet the policy’s definition of disability, this could lead to early termination of benefits.

If your insurance company terminates your benefits, they must provide you with written notice that outlines the reasons for their action and any appeals process that may be available.

Read more: What Medical Conditions Qualify For Long-Term Disability?

What to do if your claim is denied

Insurance companies are focused on protecting their bottom line — not the best interests of their customers. This means that they may use any “reasonable measures” they deem necessary to deny disability claims, even when the claim is legitimate. We have built our practice around this reality, seeking to help those who have been unfairly denied the benefits they deserve.

Even after you are initially approved, your insurance company will be continually reviewing your claim and looking to find any reasonable excuse to deny it. There are teams of people — physicians, nurses, and attorneys — that may determine the continued validity of your disability claim. If your claim has been denied, we urge you to call us for free disability claim advice.

Our team at Roy Law Group knows the subtle and complicated aspects of disability — it is all we do. We do the work, so you can focus on your personal health and well-being.

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