Living with a disability is an uphill struggle, yet support is available for those who suffer injuries or develop conditions that hinder them significantly.
One of the most common ways to secure financial assistance is through long-term disability (LTD) cover. This type of insurance may be available via your employer, or can be secured independently.
So how can you secure LTD coverage and what circumstances will enable you to make a claim? Let’s unpick the ins and outs of this important issue.
With LTD cover, you may be able to claim compensation if you become disabled and are no longer able to work as a result.
This type of insurance could mean that even if an accident or illness leaves you disabled, your income will not drop significantly. If you are the main breadwinner in the household, LTD coverage is a must-have.
The key criteria
Knowing that you have the right cover to protect you if a disability reduces your employability is one thing, but actually making a successful claim is another.
Eligibility for a pay-out can vary from policy to policy, and it is usually best to get the help of a long-term disability attorney to improve your chances of success in this scenario.
Your insurer’s documentation should provide a precise definition of what counts as a disability, and thus the circumstances in which you will be able to apply for compensation.
This can vary, but in general, ‘total disability’ is usually defined as being essentially incapable of fulfilling the requirements of your job. ‘Partial disability’ can also be covered by some policies, so you will have the option to claim if your health deteriorates to the point that you can only complete part-time work, having previously been employed in a full-time role.
The proof of LTD compensation eligibility
Insurers will need a few pieces of evidence to support your claim before they will go ahead and pay out on LTD cover.
Firstly, the doctor that has been responsible for treating you will need to provide detailed notes about your health, the nature of your disability and their general opinion about whether or not you will be able to continue working in your previous occupation in your current state.
Second, insurers will also request medical records that have been accumulated since your injury or illness began. Things like x-rays and MRI scan results will be seen as objective evidence to support the statements made by your physician.
Thirdly, you will need to no longer be on your employer’s payroll. This is a requirement under most policies, because of course if you are still being paid, then this could imply that you are indeed able to fulfil your job in spite of your disability.
Lastly, you must keep accepting the treatment that is needed to deal with your disability after you have applied for compensation under your LTD coverage. It might seem obvious, but if you stop treatment, then to an insurer this will look like your condition is improving, and so it could be inferred that you have overstated the extent of your physical or mental limitations.
The additional considerations
A whole host of other factors come into play when applying for LTD coverage, as well as when making a claim.
For example, if you have a pre-existing condition, then any disability which arises from it within a year of your policy’s commencement might not be covered.
In short, get professional support and guidance in order to secure the right LTD coverage, and also to help you apply for compensation.
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