No one wants to have to make use of long term disability (LTD) coverage. If you are using it, you’ve likely been in a relatively serious accident, perhaps in a car or a slip and fall, and you can’t go back to the life you knew before.
It’s a serious business to say nothing of complicated.
This round up takes you through different blog posts I’ve written over time. If you are in a situation where you need to start using long term disability, you are currently on LTD and think you may be cut off soon, or perhaps you applied and were denied, this round-up will help you have all the info you need in one place.
Let’s start at the beginning…
What Is Long Term Disability Insurance?
That and other high level questions about LTD are answered in this FAQ post I wrote in December 2015. For details on different aspects of long term disability coverage and processes, keep reading…
Do I Need Long Term Disability Coverage?
While a little off topic for a personal injury lawyer, I get asked ALL the time about whether or not it’s a good idea to purchase an LTD policy over and above an auto policy and the accident benefits coverage it provides.
The short answer, according to this 2014 post, is yes. Accident Benefits are limited: you could need more coverage than they provide.
Also, if your injury is the result of a slip and fall, rather than a car accident, you might need a policy to lean on until you can get back on your feet. If you don’t have a policy through work to cover other types of injuries, you might want to think about it. After all, how would you pay your bills if you were injured and couldn’t work for a year or more?
I’ve Had An Accident And I Can’t Work. Now What?
Contact a lawyer. It’s a simple as that. Particularly if your injuries are relatively serious and you’re unlikely to be able to go back to work any time soon, you’ll want to make sure your claims are accurately documented. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can ensure that you stay on top of it all.
I know this sounds like a trite comment coming from a personal injury lawyer, but here’s the thing: Sometimes, early in an injury, it’s hard to know whether or not you have a case, and it’s easy to write off your injury as not serious and fail to prepare for a suit.
Even if this is your opinion, seeing a lawyer is still worth it because a lawyer will advise you on how to keep the right records and what to watch for in the event you do end up having to file a suit. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
This post from May 2017 outlines why it’s best to hire a lawyer with experience in the area of personal injury, rather than your cousin Vinny. He might be a great guy but when it comes to wrangling with insurance companies over settlements, you want someone in the room who has been there and done that.
While I’m Waiting For My Benefits To Start, Is There Something I Should Be Doing?
YES. Treating your injuries as per your doctor’s advice is the most important thing. It’s the reason we are here! For many injuries, those instructions will include going for physiotherapy or other wellness treatments.
Here’s the thing, (above and beyond the obvious reasons you should be following the doctor’s advice): Failing to comply with treatment – including things like physiotherapy – can be perceived by the insurance company that your injuries not serious enough to warrant a long-term benefits.
Hamilton may be small city, but we do have some fantastic clinics. In 2014, I looked at some of the top clinics in the Hamilton area that also have blogs. All the links are still valid, so if you need to choose a physio clinic to set you on the road to recovery, this list will help.
How Long Will It Take To Get A Settlement On My LTD Claim?
The good news is that it’s usually a much shorter time frame than on a car accident claim, which can take 2 years. In contrast, LTD claims can usually be settled in a year or so.
To be clear, this time span applies when your claim has already been denied.
I wrote about the why, how and what you should know about that side of your claim in August 2014. Take a look: It’s still true information today.
Is There A Chance My Insurance Company Could Cut Off My LTD Benefits?
In a word, yes. Every policy is different and the limits of what the company will accept in terms of your inability to work will vary.
There are some signs that you might be close to being cut off including hitting the two year mark on your claim. For example, if the insurance company asking for more medical documentation or suddenly going quiet, and more…
For a longer list and what you can do about it, visit my post from May 2015 on this very subject.
I’ve Been Denied Or Cut Off From LTD Benefits. Now What?
There is an appeals process if you’ve been denied or cut off, but it’s my best advice that you should not go it alone. The insurance company is very experienced at dealing with these cases, and dare I say it, paying out as little as they need to.
You need someone on your team who knows the traps to watch for.
This post from August 2016 gets into some real details on what happens as part of the appeals process, why time is of the essence, how a lawyer can help you and how settlements work.
If I haven’t answered all your questions here, please feel free to get in touch with my office. I’m here to help.