How Long Does it Take to Receive Long-Term Disability?
Long-term disability (LTD) provides income if a disability prevents you from working if the injury was not work-related. Disability benefits for a long-term work-related injury are typically paid through workers’ compensation. A long-term disability policy may be offered through your employer. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 35% of employees in the U.S. have access to LTD coverage. A long-term disability policy can also be purchased directly.
Long-term disability isn’t full income replacement. What percentage of your income LTD will replace depends on the terms of your policy, with the average payout being about 60%. You also won’t start receiving disability benefits as soon as you become disabled.
Waiting Periods for Long-Term Disability
Virtually all long-term disability benefit plans have a waiting period between the time you become disabled and the time you are eligible to start receiving benefits. The waiting period is commonly between 90 and 180 days but may be as short as 30 days or as long as one year.
It’s important to note that this timeline only holds true if your LTD benefits are approved promptly. Unfortunately, most are not. When the claim is initially denied, the process of administrative appeals and perhaps even civil lawsuits can significantly extend the time it takes to begin receiving benefits. The upside is that when benefits are eventually approved, they will typically be backdated to the time when you should initially have been eligible. The downside is that when you are disabled and unable to work, you may not be able to wait out the long process of fighting for your benefits.
If you find yourself in this position, you may want to:
- Check into whether you are also eligible for Social Security disability and apply
- Check to see whether your state offers disability benefits–a handful do
- Look into other sources of short-term assistance–one good resource in most states is to call 211, a central resource to connect people with various types of local assistance
You’ll also want to give yourself the benefit of an experienced disability benefits advocate who can help ensure that you know your rights and keep your claim moving forward efficiently. To learn more about how Disability Help Group can help you fight for your benefits, call 800-800-3332 or contact us here.