Long-term disability (LTD) is a type of insurance that provides you with a monthly cash benefit when you sustain a disability through an accident, illness, or injury. It is very valuable insurance that everyone should consider enrolling in. Most LTD policies kick in when the claimant’s short-term disability (STD) benefits have expired. LTD policies are typically employer-funded, employer-subsidized, or purchased by the policyholder directly through a private insurer.

What types of conditions does LTD cover?

Unlike workers’ compensation, your injury does not have to be work-related to recover benefits under LTD. LTD covers a large group of illnesses, impairments, diseases, or injuries that prevent you from working for an extended period of time. However, LTD generally does not cover, or places limitations on, pre-existing conditions, self-inflicted injuries, and injuries and conditions related to drug abuse or alcoholism.

Some LTD policies only offer benefits for total disability (you cannot work at all), while other policies provide a portion of the benefits for partial disabilities.  A few of the common conditions for which people file LTD claims include:

  • Musculoskeletal/connective tissue problems, e.g., back and knee pain, arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney and liver problems
  • Accident injuries
  • Cardiovascular conditions, e.g., heart attack
  • Mental disorders

How long will LTD cover me?

Your LTD policy will take over when your STD policy ends, which is usually in three to six months. Your benefits will continue until you can return to work, until you reach retirement age, or until the date listed on your LTD policy.

Be sure to read the fine print on your policy or talk to your agent to determine exactly how long your policy will pay out.

How much are monthly LTD benefits?

LTD policies pay claimants 50 to 70 percent of their average pre-disability wages. Most policies fall on the lower end. You will need to refer to your policy documents for specific information about your plan.

Because LTD only provides a portion of your loss of wages, most people have difficulty making ends meet when they become disabled.

Is LTD the same thing as Social Security disability (SSD) benefits?

No. LTD and Social Security disability (SSD) are two completely different programs. The Social Security Administration administers and funds SSD benefits (through your taxes), while either you or your employer funds LTD benefits. You may qualify to receive both benefits concurrently, but your LTD benefits will likely offset any SSD benefits you receive.

Before filing any claim, speak to a Berger and Green attorney for more information about how to file for benefits and which claim to file first.

Call Berger and Green for Help with LTD in Pittsburgh

When you sustain a disability, call Berger and Green to explore your legal options. You may have several avenues in which you can seek compensation and benefits, such as STD, LTD, SSD, and personal injury claims. Contact us today at 412-661-1400 and request a free consultation to learn about how to file for LTD benefits.