The most common questions for a disability attorney involve understanding how disability coverage actually works. When it comes to The Hartford long-term disability insurance policies in particular, there are a lot of searches for that type of information. It’s a broad question, but one that we’re well-equipped to answer at disability insurance law firm Dell & Schaefer.
Following is a basic look at the types of disability insurance available through Hartford, along with details of the application process and what it takes to get your claim approved instead of denied.
Difference Between Long Term and Short Term Policies
Not all insurance policies are created equal, and each type serves its own purpose. That’s why it’s important to know what kind of coverage you have through your employer or other providing entity. In essence, the coverage available through Hartford and other disability insurance companies comes through either a short-term or long-term policy. Each has its own little nuances, but they generally share similar qualities when it comes to making an application for the stated benefits.
A short-term disability insurance policy is, obviously, going to only cover you for a limited period of time. With Harford, that period usually covers about 90 days. More often than not, Hartford is merely doing what’s known as “administering the policy.” This means they are informing your employer that the benefits should be paid – but the payments themselves come from a salary continuation.
By contrast, a long-term disability policy is typically underwritten by Hartford, meaning they are actually going to pay the monthly benefit. The way that generally works is by paying you a percentage of your pre-disability earnings, which vary based on the language in the specific policy. A common calculation is a payment equaling 60 percent of your pre-disability earnings.
You have the potential ability to collect these benefits until reaching your own personal Social Security retirement age, unless the policy contains limitations for mental health conditions or certain physical conditions. But getting approved for the benefit doesn’t mean that Hartford won’t turn around and issue a denial at some point in the future.
The Application Process
Many people assume that if they’ve been paying for a disability insurance benefit and end up being unable to do their jobs, they should get paid those benefits. But is it really that easy to get approved for Hartford disability benefits, or is it a more complicated process?
“It’s not a complicated process to apply,” notes Stephen Jessup, a disability insurance lawyer at Dell & Schaefer. “You just fill out the forms. To get approved, though, it can be very complicated.”
It goes much deeper than a receiving a simple approved or denied disability claim. In general, it involves making an application, filling out claim forms and obtaining medical records. But that’s just the 30,000-foot view. Your employer is also filling out forms to document what your job entails and to provide any required financial information. In addition, there’s an in-depth analysis of your medical information, including what your doctor is stating versus your occupational duties.
Within these steps lie myriad small parts that work together, requiring deep knowledge of the process in order to prevail. That’s why it’s easy to apply, but not so simple to actually get paid, especially without the assistance of an ERISA disability lawyer.
Getting Approved for Long Term Disability Pay
In essence, getting approved for long-term disability comes down to a person’s ability to work. But does it only mean the disabled claimant must be unable for perform the duties of their current job – or does approval for Hartford benefits require an inability to do any work in any occupation?
About 95 percent of the time, especially in the initial 24 months of long-term disability pay, the requirement is an inability to do your own job (with a few caveats.) After that, continued disability insurance pay can become dependent on whether you are able to successfully perform the work of any occupation based on your training, education, experience and other pertinent factors.
A fair share of Hartford policies, depending on the specific employer’s choice of coverage and premium rates, require the disabled employee to prove an inability to do any type of work at all. That’s why it’s crucial to understand exactly what your policy says and what the implications can be. That’s what will set the tone and expectations as you move forward with the claim.
As you can see, deciphering how Hartford disability works is much more complex than it appears at first glance. At the Dell & Schaefer disability law firm, we represent claimants across the entire country and always provide a free initial consultation. Whatever questions you may have about Hartford disability insurance, whether for short-term or long-term disability coverage, just give us a call. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you.