When it comes to long term disability (LTD) insurance, every UNUM disability insurance policy is written a little differently. But while many disability insurance claimants may mainly be focused on the maximum benefit period – or the maximum amount of time the claimant can receive benefits under the policy, often age 65 – this benefit period may carry less weight than other policy provisions and shouldn’t be seen as any promise of “permanent” disability benefits. So how long does UNUM long term disability last?
Why Getting Approved for UNUM Disability Insurance Benefits Does Not Mean You Won’t Get Denied In The Future
UNUM disability claimants who first receive their approval letter may assume it will be smooth sailing from here on out. But just because a UNUM claim is initially approved doesn’t mean the claimant won’t later receive a UNUM denial letter once UNUM has decided they are or should be able to return to work. Claimants have the right to appeal a denial or even file a lawsuit to challenge it, but this can take time and delay the receipt of benefits. Whenever possible, claimants should partner with an experienced disability attorney to ensure they’re taking every step they can to stay “on claim.”
How Often Does UNUM Have The Right To Evaluate an LTD Claim?
Since UNUM pays disability benefits monthly, each month provides a separate period of disability – and separate opportunity for re-evaluation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that disability claimants can expect a request for follow-up information on such a regular basis, but it’s important to know that there’s no “safe harbor” for these benefits; generally, whenever a long term disability claim is being paid, it’s subject to review.
What Are Lifetime Provisions?
Some disability policies offered and administered by UNUM offer “lifetime” benefit provisions. These require a claimant to show that they were disabled before the age of 55 (or, sometimes, 60) and that they continue to be disabled through age 65, at which point the claimant should qualify for a lifetime disability benefit paid until their death.
The effect of a lifetime disability provision will largely depend on the other policy contents. If a disability claimant has purchased a rider allowing them to collect benefits for as long as they can’t work in their own occupation, not any occupation, the grounds on which to deny a claim may be narrowed. On the other hand, showing that a disability claimant is so disabled that they can’t perform any type of work, even entry-level work, can be a challenge.
The 3 Most Important Things To Do To Stay On Claim With UNUM Until Age 65
Claimants who are currently receiving disability benefits through a UNUM LTD policy and would like to keep these benefits should take three important steps.
- Maintain a relationship with your doctor and medical providers, keep up with your appointments, and ensure that your medical records accurately reflect what you’re experiencing.
- Ensure the claim documents you prepare are consistent with your medical history – don’t try to understate or over-embellish your disability, as any inconsistencies can be spotted and seized on as a reason to deny continued benefits.
- Understand your disability policy language.
An experienced LTD insurance attorney, like a member of the team of disability attorneys at Dell & Schaefer, can help with the last of these steps. Sifting through complicated insurance language and determining what applies (and doesn’t apply) to your claim can be all but impossible for someone without a background in disability insurance law or prior experience interpreting UNUM policy documents. If you’re not sure what your UNUM policy protects, restricts, or even addresses, reach out to Dell & Schaefer to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your UNUM disability claim.