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.

Comments (17)

  • Ellen, I am sorry to hear of your loss. Please keep in mind that we are not tax attorneys nor accountants, thus this is really not a topic that we have expertise on. However, I believe the taxability still depends on how the premiums for the policy were paid. Thus, if your current monthly benefits are taxable or were taxable, then the survivor benefit is likely taxable. However, we really cannot give tax advice and it will be best to reach out to an accountant or tax attorney to get a true answer to your question.

    Alex Palamara Aug 14, 2022  #17

  • Are survivor benefits from a a disability policy taxable?

    Ellen S. Aug 12, 2022  #16

  • My brother was receiving private long term disability at the time of his death. He has no will, estate, etc. Will the company ever find out he has died? The deposits are continuing to hit his bank account, which is still open.

    Clyde Apr 25, 2022  #15

  • My brother was receiving Long term disability. He passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer on New Years Eve. Mutual of Omaha owes a death gratuity I believe they called it. He had no spouse or children. I am his sister, can I claim this benefit.

    Trinda Feb 25, 2022  #14

  • My husband passed 11/20/2021 due to Covid during work…
    He ended up in hospital in ICU for a month and started receiving Short term disability also…
    Can I also receive his Short term disability for a little?

    Linda A. Jan 10, 2022  #13

  • Erin, I’m sorry for your loss. It does seem unfair that the money would have to be paid back after your husband passed away. However I think that Metlife would be entitled to it as they overpaid. But they would not be allowed to touch any future benefits you receive from ssdi. Only the amount for the time period he was paid.

    Rachel Alters Jun 2, 2021  #12

  • My husband suddenly passed away in November of 2020. He was drawing 60% of his pay through his work long term disability that he paid for. His advocator called me after he died and told me that I needed to continue fighting for his Social Security because he was owed that and my kids were owed that. I told them if it was just going to all go to an attorney or be given to MetLife I was not putting myself through this because it has been very traumatizing. I did his virtual court date in January and the person that was assigned to find out if my husband could work or not was reviewing the wrong case and had my husband listed as a CNA And different things that he was not. The judge noticed it right away and was not happy. In fact, she granted my husbands disability within 2 weeks. I received his backpay in April.

    The advocator group assured me that MetLife would not be taking all my money. They said that usually after someone is deceased they don’t request any of it back unless they have paid an extra month or so. MetLife is now asking me to pay it all back to them. My husband paid for his long term disability it was a plan he purchased through his work and he is now deceased do I have to pay that back? It Does not seem right when he was owed 60% of his paycheck through the disability. To me it is strange that they are requesting me as his beneficiary to pay that back.

    Erin Jun 2, 2021  #11

  • Raul, I am sorry to hear of your wife’s death. The policies likely have time limitations to file a claim or to bring a lawsuit. As it has been 4-5 years, there may be issues due to such. However, if you file a claim the worst they can do is say no. However, must group LTD policies limit survivor benefits to a matter of months, so it may be limited. If you have a copy of the governing LTD policy, please contact us and we will gladly give you a free consultation.

    Alex Palamara Mar 20, 2021  #10

  • Group term life coverage: xxxxxxxxx
    Group total permanent Disability: xxxxxxxxx

    My wife diagnosed disabled 2012-2016 but still working because she didn’t know this insurance. She died 2016. Can I claim Group total permanent disability aside from life Insurance since this insurance not a rider based on written on the paper?

    Raul D. Mar 20, 2021  #9

  • Mira, first, let me say, I am sorry for the loss of your husband. Generally, a disability claim ends upon the death of the claimant and benefits beyond that point cease. Under some policies, a surviving spouse may be entitled to a “survivor’s benefit” which is typically a small one-time payment. You should contact the disability insurer and ask them whether you are entitled to any survivor benefits under the disability policy.

    Cesar Gavidia Jul 13, 2020  #8

  • Hello! My husband passed away last June 26-20. My question is his long term disability Is stop! I am the wife and no work! Can you please advise me! Thank you!

    Mira P. Jul 13, 2020  #7

  • 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 Symonds Jun 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 - Pennsylvania Jun 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 Palamara Oct 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 Jessup Dec 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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