Los Angeles ERISA Attorneys
Handling Group Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability Claims Which Are Governed by ERISA
The biggest difference between group short-term disability and long-term disability insurance is the period of time that you will receive benefits if you are unable to work.
How Long Does Short-Term Disability Last in California?
When you are suddenly unable to work due to serious illness or injury, short-term disability insurance can replace a portion of your income during the initial weeks of your disability. While policies vary, short-term disability insurance typically provides a weekly disability benefit for a term between three to six months.
If you have both short-term disability and long-term disability policies in place, the short-term disability will pay you benefits during the elimination (waiting) period before your long-term disability becomes available. The elimination period on long-term disability insurance is usually 90 or 180 days, so short-term disability policies typically pay a weekly benefit through the elimination period for long-term disability.
How Long Does Long-Term Disability Last in California?
Long-term disability insurance usually pays 50% to 60% of your pre-disability income depending on the policy. Benefits will be paid until you either go back to work, or for the number of years stated in the policy. The maximum time period that long-term disability policies pay benefits is to age 65 or your Social Security Normal Retirement Age, depending on the term of the policy.
Long-term disability benefits are usually limited in duration when the basis of your disability is based upon a mental or psychological condition. Disability claims based upon conditions like anxiety and depression are typically limited to 24 months for your lifetime, though this time period can vary depending on the terms of the policy.
Benefits paid pursuant to your long-term disability claim will often be offset by money that you receive from other sources for the same disability. For example:
- State Disability
- Social Security Disability
- Temporary Total Disability through Workers' Compensation
- Loss of earnings paid through a personal injury claim, etc.
It is important to read your policy to understand the limitations that may be applicable to your long-term disability benefits.
If you have been denied benefits under an group disability plan obtained through your employer, or an individual disability policy, call The Disability Specialists for a free consultation. Call us at (818) 495-8298 today.
Handling Individual Disability Claims
A person can privately purchase an individual disability policy outside the workplace setting. Unlike a group plan that employees obtain through an employer sponsored group plan, individual disability insurance is portable, which means that you can keep your policy if you end up changing jobs.
You can purchase an individual disability income policy to either supplement a group plan or provide additional coverage if a group plan is unavailable. Amongst the reasons that people opt to purchase individual disability insurance in addition to group insurance are that individual policies are not subject to the same limitations in coverage.
For instance, individual policies do not typically contain a two-year limitation on claims based upon a mental health or psychiatric conditions, and individual policies do not offset other benefits that you receive for the same disability.
Most people get their disability insurance through a group plan at work because individual disability policies have much higher premiums.
Individual disability coverage is much more expensive because these policies offer better benefits due to the fact that applicants go through an underwriting process that allows the insurance company to investigate their medical history. Our attorneys are here to walk you through the claims process and to help you through this time.