The benefits and limits of long-term disability insurance

| Mar 2, 2020 | Blog

Mental disability is not always an impediment to work. Some people diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses can hold down a job and enjoy long and successful careers. Yet you may feel crippled by your disability. Your attempts at treating it may have proven fruitless, and you may have to leave the workforce early.

Attaining mental disability benefits can feel like a tortuous process. Yet by keeping these facts in mind, you can understand your legal right to support.

Understanding the limitation of benefits

Many people pursue disability benefits through Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). Yet its benefits are not enough to live on alone. Private long-term disability insurance (LTDI) could keep your monthly income closer to what you earned in the workforce.

But some insurers consider certain mental illnesses preexisting conditions. Because of your diagnosis, they may try to reduce your coverage – or deny it altogether. If your insurer does approve your claim, you will have to wait between 90 and 180 days to receive benefits after leaving the workforce. And you may become ineligible for them after two years if your insurer’s definition of disability is strict. Some consider it as the incapability of working in any profession, rather than in the specific role you performed.

Working past these limitations

If your benefits face rejection, you can appeal this decision. When doing so, make sure you document any psychological treatment and detail your mental health history. Your thorough record-keeping could help improve the chance of your benefits’ approval.

You receive unlimited coverage for your mental disability, depending on your insurance plan. But most plans require you to apply for SSDI benefits as well to offset their costs. Once your LTDI gets approved, you will continue receiving around 60% of your former salary until your benefits expire.

Your psychiatric illness may not impact your ability to work. But in case it does one day, you can spare yourself pain and frustration by understanding what benefits you can receive. Consulting with a disability lawyer can help you fight for them.