Long Term Disability (LTD) is a means of recuperating a portion of your income over an extended period of time if you are injured and cannot work due to an injury or illness.
You must either carry long term disability insurer purchased directly from an insurer or be a participant in a long term disability plan sponsored by your employer or union to be eligible for benefits. If an illness or injury prevents you from working, and if you have been disabled through what insurers call an ‘elimination period,’ then you can apply for benefits. You can begin the process by notifying your insurer or insurance representative, or by notifying the human resources department at your place of employment.
Here are some common misconceptions when it comes to Massachusetts long term disability:
I’m young and don’t need to worry about it
No one knows when an illness or injury will occur. Although most young people will never need to take advantage of their LTD policies, it is simply a fact that many, many people have disabling injuries or develop disabling illnesses even at a young age. For example, thousands of people every year are involved in a motor vehicle accidents and sustain serious injuries leading to disability. Those with LTD policies can receive a portion of their salary until they are recovered.
Worker’s Compensation will cover my expenses
While it is true that you can receive worker’s compensation benefits in Massachusetts for injuries and illnesses in the course and arising out of employment, workers’ compensation does not cover illnesses or injuries not related to employment. Statistically, less than five percent of all disabling illnesses and injuries qualify the disabled person for worker’s compensation. So if you do have a disabling illness or injury, it is very unlikely that you will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Benefits are only effective if I am out of work
Most long term disability plans provide for partial disability payments for those who become partially disabled but can still work part time. It is also possible that you can still meet the definition of disabled under your LTD policy if you can still work, but in a job that leaves you making significantly less money that you were making before you became disabled.
In regards to long term disability in Massachusetts, as with every state, it is best to know what your policy provides so that you are able to make informed decisions about your disability policy. Schedule a consultation with an experienced law firm such as The Law Offices of Terrence A. Low and Anthony J. Canata to learn about the contours of your policy.
Long-Term vs. Short-Term Disability Income Insurance, AXA.com
What Is Long Term Disability Insurance? About.com