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ERISA Law

How Long Do Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits Last?

May 26, 2020

What is a Maximum Benefit Period for Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits?

The length of time you can receive long-term disability (LTD) benefits depends on the terms of your policy.  Many LTD policies contain a Maximum Benefit Period, which defines how long LTD benefits last.  Because the Maximum Benefit Period can vary from policy to policy, it is important to read your policy to determine how your policy defines it and thus how long your benefits will last.  You should also keep in mind that some policies may use different language or terminology to describe the Maximum Benefit Period (e.g. Maximum Duration, Maximum Indemnity Period, etc.).

Common Maximum Benefit Periods for LTD Policies

Although Maximum Benefit Periods can vary, there are some common ones.  Many policies provide LTD benefits until age 65. Other policies offer benefits until your Social Security Normal Retirement Age (SSNRA).  Your SSNRA depends on the year you were born. Alternatively, some policies will specify the number of months for which benefits are payable according to your age at the time you become disabled.  Finally, although it is rare, some policies even provide lifetime benefits.

How do I receive benefits for the Maximum Benefit Period?

Typically, in order to receive benefits for the Maximum Benefit Period, you must remain disabled under the terms of your policy. There are many factors in determining if you are disabled and entitled to benefits under the terms of your policy.  A good place to start is to locate the Definition of Disability in your policy. As long as you continue to meet the Definition of Disability under the terms of your policy, your benefits should continue.

Long-Term Disability Coverage Limitations

Additionally, depending on the terms of your policy and the basis of your disability, your benefits may be limited to a shorter period of time than the Maximum Benefit Period provides. For example, often, LTD benefits for mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, are limited to 12 or 24 months.  There are occasionally exceptions for certain mental illness conditions.

There are many factors which can impact how long your benefits will last and determine the Maximum Benefit Period.  Be sure to read your LTD policy carefully. Unfortunately, even if you remain disabled, there is no guarantee that you will receive LTD benefits for the Maximum Benefit Period. While you are receiving benefits, insurance companies may conduct numerous reviews of your claim including medical reviews, vocational assessments, and independent medical examinations, in an attempt to terminate your claim.

Contact the Long-Term Disability (LTD) Attorneys at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick

Insurance companies are powerful, have a lot of resources, and are often motivated by their own financial interests.  At Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD, our team of attorneys and professionals help clients access their ERISA and non-ERISA LTD benefits from insurance companies.  We can take on the burden of dealing with the insurance company for you, so that you can focus on your health and family.  Contact us now at 401-331-6300 for a FREE consultation to see if we can help you get the benefits you are owed.