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Do You Have Disability Insurance Coverage?

Disability Insurance Coverage

There are typically two types of Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance: employer-provided group policies, and individual policies.  You may have purchased disability insurance coverage privately, or earned it as an employment benefit from work.

If you become disabled, it is important to know what disability insurance coverage is available to you so that you can file a claim under all available policies.

LTD insurance is often provided by employers.  If you are not sure whether your employer provides disability insurance coverage, you can ask your employer (ordinarily human resources or supervisor) for a copy of the Summary Plan Description (SPD) for each benefit and pension plan in which you participate.  The SPD is intended to advise you of the basic rights and obligations that you have as a plan participant.

If you purchased an individual disability policy, you have probably paid premiums for the coverage on an ongoing basis until the disabling event or illness – monthly, quarterly, or annually.  Review your bank and other financial records for evidence of these payments.  If you find payments to an LTD insurance company, you can request a copy of your policy from the insurance company.

It is possible to be covered by both an individual policy and a group Long-Term Disability policy.  You may choose to supplement employer-provided disability insurance with your own individual policy.  If you have LTD insurance through your employer, it is most likely governed by a federal law known as ERISA, or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. If you have purchased an individual LTD policy, it is governed by state insurance law, as it is a contract between the policyholder and the LTD insurance carrier.