Hartford disability income policy holders expect Hartford to pay their Short Term & Long-Term disability insurance benefits, if continuously disabled, until the policy holder’s social security retirement age. That isn’t always the case. In this video and article learn about:
- What is the length of your elimination period and the length of your benefit period
- Limitations & restrictions for: mental health, substance abuse & physical conditions
- Hartford’s policy language in the “Terms & Conditions” of your disability insurance policy
- Learn what “Any Occupation” means
- Is it difficult to stay on claim with Hartford?
GREG DELL: Hi. Greg Dell, with Attorneys Dell and Schaefer, and every day, we do a new question of the week that seems to come in from people around the country. And today’s question was, how long is Hartford short-term disability? And see if you can expand upon that, and also maybe talk a little bit about how long is a long term disability claim, so that people understand both of those scenarios.
Hartford’s Policy Language of Short Term & Long Terms Disability
STEPHEN JESSUP: All right. So short-term is just that. It’s short-term disability. It’s going to be based on the policy language. A lot of times, it’s usually, at a minimum, 90 days, sometimes out to 26 weeks or 180 days, six months. Your short-term disability period is also the elimination period for the long term disability. So to get on long term, you have to show that you’re disabled during the elimination period, which is the short-term period. So depending on how your policy’s written, they usually are but up once again each other.
And then most of the Hartford disability policies are written that they will go out to your social security retirement age. There are still some that’ll say out to the age of 65, but you also have to be careful. Hartford does write policies I’ve seen where it’s been a maximum of five years, or it’s only for as long as you’ve been employed by the company.
So there are some weird variations, and that’s really going to be based on what the premium rates your employer wanted to pay for the policy. But as a general rule of thumb, short-term is going to be around 90 days, maybe out to 180. And if you maintain all of the requirements of the policy itself, it could pay you out to your social security retirement age.
Hartford Long-Term Disability Insurance Policy Restrictions
GREG DELL: OK. Along the lines also, as to how long Hartford disability benefits can last, talk about the limitations in a policy which, while the policy may say age 65, it really isn’t.
STEPHEN JESSUP: Yes. So you’re referring to the long term disability policies – certain restrictions, you will almost certainly find in a Hartford policy that if your condition’s caused by a mental health condition, it will be limited 24 months of benefits. That’s the standard. Again, I’ve seen as little as 12, high as 36.
They’re giving substance abuse the same thing. And Hartford is starting to join a lot of the other insurance carriers, where they’re starting to limit certain physical conditions as well. So you may be in a situation, say, if you go out on major depression, where Hartford, at the end of that two years, is saying, well, yeah, there’s no way you can work. But we only have to pay you 24 months under the policy, so we wish you the best.
GREG DELL: And then also, people think that just because they got approved and the policy says age 65, that it’s going to last to 65 or as long as they need it. Is that true?
STEPHEN JESSUP: That’s not true. It is true if you meet all the terms and conditions. That’s the caveat. So in an initial awards letter, it may say your benefits have been approved out to 2035, which is someone’s retirement age. And then they call and they got a denial letter, and like, well, it said they were going to pay me. I’m, like, well, the caveat is if you meet the terms and conditions, which means, do they determine you’re still disabled under the policy? And if they don’t, then you no longer do, and you’re terminated.
Is it difficult to stay on claim once you get approved by Hartford?
GREG DELL: And is it difficult to stay on claim once you get approved?
STEPHEN JESSUP: With Hartford, yes, it can be very difficult to stay on claim. You know, you have the any occupations switch, usually around 24 months. It’s this idea of performing any other occupation. So it’s a lower standard by which they deny.
It’s not often that we see people’s claims actually make it through the maximum benefit period, whether there’s a shelf life of anywhere from two to five years and then Hartford is going to draw a line in the sand, because this area of the law is very favorable when it gets to court. So I believe that you start to see a higher incidence of claim denials, which is, in some ways, like a strong arm buyout tactic, where they try to buy you out on the cheap.
GREG DELL: If you have a situation with Hartford or have any questions that you’d like us to answer, feel free to give Stephen or any of our disability attorneys a call. We represent claimants all over the country. We’re always going to provide you with an immediate free phone consultation. Whether you give us a call or email us a question, we also encourage you to subscribe to our video, which you can do below. And we appreciate you considering our law firm.
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