If a disability insurance claimant dies can any family members continue to collect the decedent’s long term disability benefits?

In the unfortunate event that a disability insurance claimant dies while on disability, there is no right to continue to collect the disability benefit on an ongoing basis for the remainder of the policy. However, many policies do provide a “survivor” benefit that will pay a certain number of months’ worth of the benefit to the eligible survivor. The survivor benefit is usually 1-3 months of disability benefit payments.

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There are 6 comments

  • Lisa: Disability payments are made during the life of the claimant as income replacement. The survivor benefit is a small (usually a couple months worth) additional benefit to assist with the financial transition of loved ones. There is no obligation to continue paying disability benefits after death. That would/should be covered by a life insurance policy.

    Jay SymondsJun 20, 2020  #6

  • My husband passed 3 weeks ago, he was only 54 years old and died in my arms the morning of 6/2/2020; from a sudden heart attack. He has received LTD from Metlife for years, Metlife paid him over $2k during the 2 years, he had to fight for ssdi and once approved, Metlife paid him the difference of $479.00 each month until his death on 6/2/2020. He was going to receive this money through the year 2032. **$479X144 months (12 more years) totals: $68,976.00! Metlife called me yesterday and left a message that is will get a final payment of $1,600.00. This is a huge difference. How can Metlife insurance not pay more in survivor benefits? Due to my husband’s sudden death, Metlife is saving close to $70K. How can Metlife get away with issuing me under 1% of what they would have paid my husband if he lived through the year 2032?

    Lisa - PennsylvaniaJun 20, 2020  #5

  • Rita, I am sorry to hear of your loss. The policy governing the claim will govern how much survivor benefit they must pay the family. If you have a copy of the policy, please contact us for a free consultation so that we can review it for you.

    Alex PalamaraOct 23, 2019  #4

  • For my survivor benefit, Cigna is only paying me 3 months worth of the benefit amount, minus the amount of SSDI my husband was receiving. I am appealing.

    Rita G.Oct 22, 2019  #3

  • Robert,

    My condolences for your loss. Unfortunately, more often than not the disability and life insurance departments do not speak to each other. Typically a survivor benefit is three months of GROSS benefits so it would be the $3,300×3. I would discuss with the disability deparment.

    Stephen JessupDec 12, 2015  #2

  • The very subjext above is what has happened in my case, and what my question is. My RN wife of 42 years passed away on Sept 27th 2015 (two and 1/2 months ago) I just noticed the 3rd partial disability payment of 800.00 in my online checking account information. My wife was an ICU nurse at a local hospital for over 30 years. She had a back surgery by an enept surgeon in New Orleans. He stretchd here spinal cord too far trying to form an “S” curve. It permanently paralyzed her from the waist down. She paid for a long term disability policy at the hospital she worked at. She immediately got approved for SSID , BUT WAS ONLY PAID 800.00 out of 3300.00 from the long term disability for the past 4 years because of the SSID. The personel director at the hospital she worked at whose signature is on the EOB letter she got each month when the 800.00 check was deposited electronically KNOWS that my wife passed away in September. In fact, she assisted me in filing the death claim on a 50,000 life insurance policy that was also included in her policy with Lincoln Financial of Omaha Neb. I talked to the claim representative at Lincoln to mitigate getting the claim completed for the life insurance. The same company paying the long term disability. So how could they possibly not know that she passed away on the disability part? I just keep holding my breath and have said nothing more to Lincoln. Could this possibly be the short term surviovors benefit you speak of above? Kindest Regards, Robert R.

    Robert R.Dec 11, 2015  #1


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