How Long Do You Have To Be Out Of Work To Apply For Long Term Disability?
One common question we’re asked here at Dell & Schaefer is, “exactly how long a disabled claimant needs to be out of work before they can apply for long term disability insurance benefits?” The answer can vary from case to case based on a disability insurance claimant’s unique circumstances, and there’s no one-size-fits-all response. Learn more about the factors used to determine how long a disability insurance claimant should be out of work before applying for disability insurance benefits, as well as how long you can expect a decision to take.
Factors That Apply To How Long A Disability Insurance Claimant Needs To Be Out of Work Before Applying for Benefits
There are several factors to be considered when deciding when to file a claim under a long term disability (LTD) policy. These include:
- How long you expect to be unable to work;
- The level and timing of notice your insurance carrier requires;
- How long your disability policy’s “elimination period” lasts; and
- Whether you can cover your bills on a reduced income or need to ensure that your disability benefits begin as soon as possible.
In many cases, it’s better to file sooner than later for disability insurance benefits, especially if you ultimately wind up appealing a disability insurance claim that’s denied. However, because filing a claim for long term disability insurance benefits can launch an investigative process that involves multiple phone calls, requests for information, and even video surveillance to see whether the claimant is exaggerating their disability, some claimants want to delay this process as long as they can, hoping they’ll instead be able to return to their job.
When To Put The Insurance Company On Notice That You May Be Applying For Benefits
In some cases, particularly those implicating short term disability policies, the terms of the claimant’s employment require the claimant to notify their employer before going out on leave. For example, if an employee is pregnant or planning a knee replacement surgery, they may be required to notify their company that they’re going to be out of the office for a certain period.
But how much advance notice is required to the disability insurance company? And is it always required? Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to think of putting your LTD insurance company on notice if you’re getting close to using all your paid time off or if you’re not sure how long you’ll be out on disability leave. Even if a long term disability policy has an elimination period of 90 or 180 days (meaning this is how long a claimant will need to be disabled before they become eligible for long term disability benefits), a claimant often can benefit by getting the ball rolling before the 90 days elapses, working to ensure their disability claim can begin being paid immediately upon approval.
Disability Insurance Companies Rarely Make a Claim Decision In Under 60 Days
Even if your disability insurance carrier has all the documentation and data it needs to decide on a particular LTD claim, claimants shouldn’t hold their breath that such a decision will arrive within 60 days. Carriers often take their time on this initial determination and may do everything from conducting video surveillance of the claimant to contacting their doctors to see whether there’s any basis on which to deny the disability insurance claim. By essentially stalling the case, the insurance carrier may be able to increase the financial pressure on the disability insurance claimant (whose paid time off may have expired some time ago) and see whether the claimant can return to work.
If you need help navigating the when’s and how’s of your long term disability insurance claim, contact Dell & Schaefer to set up your FREE consultation with a disability insurance attorney today.
Resources to Help You Win Disability Benefits
Get Your Disability Application Approved
Prevent a Disability Benefit Denial
Negotiate a Lump-Sum Settlement
Our goal is to negotiate the highest possible buyout of your long-term disability policy.
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Reviews from Our Clients
Very satisfied with the work of this team. Took well care of my case and took all the necessary time to be responsive and attentive when I had questions. Guided me through recovery and returning to normalcy. All thanks to Jason & Tabitha, thank you!
I’m extremely satisfied with the experience I have had with this firm from day one. The lawyer who has handled my case, Alex, is very efficient and attentive to all my questions and concerns. They are always aware of how my case has gone and they care about my health. I feel optimistic with them because they are very attentive during the process of my claim. I would not hesitate to recommend families and friends if in any situation they need their services. Kathleen as well has been very well and assisted me with this case. I highly appreciate everything they have done for me.
It’s unfortunate when disability insurance companies come after older disabled policyholders just to help their bottom line. It can be a living nightmare the damage they can do to a family. Dell Disability Lawyers are polite, understanding and knowledgeable. They call you back and answer any question you have no matter how unimportant it can be. The amount of stress they took off of myself and family was incalculable. I recommend them highly to take care of any disability case whether it be filing for benefits or reversing a claim decision. They are outstanding.
I could not have been happier or more appreciative of the hard work they performed on my behalf. I was well briefed on my case and it was closed in a timely manner with a financially successful resolution.
Mr. Symonds and Sonia as well as everyone else we have worked with throughout this process have been very helpful, professional and caring to our situation. We are very thankful to have this great team on our side.
Without them my LTD company was dropping my plan with me still suffering from my accident, even with doctor’s statements I’m still disabled. The LTD company didn’t want to advance my policy to the next stage of years of pay. Dell Disability Lawyers saved my policy, and helped to enforce the LTD company’s own policy (for its policy holder, me) that I would be covered still under the LTD policy I had paid for at my previous job, when my accident occurred. These lawyers know what they are doing and can help you too. LTD companies will try to drop you when you still need coverage just because they don’t want to pay on your policy anymore. Don’t let them break contract with ya because they are trying to get out of it. Hit em with legal action to ensure the continuation of your policy you paid for. Dell Disability worked very well for me and continue to do so.
I was denied long term disability benefits from The Hartford after being on it for years. I found Dell Disability Lawyers after doing research online. In a matter of days they responded and explained to me everything that would be done. Dell Disability Lawyers were able to settle my suit against The Hartford very quickly and responded to me quickly. I would definitely recommend this team of lawyers for anyone that is fighting for their disability insurance.
I have had nothing but a great experience with Dell Disability Law Firm. Mr. Alex Palamara and his team went above and beyond my expectations. They will respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner. Thank you once again for taking my case.
This law firm is the best so far. MetLife denied me two times, they appealed two times for me and they won of course. So if you are on disability and want a chance at winning your case use this firm Dell disability lawyers, kind courteous understanding and they get the job done. You won’t be disappointed.