How Do Long-Term Disability Benefits Work?
If you have been diagnosed with a serious illness or have sustained an injury that prevents you from performing the duties of your occupation, you may be eligible to collect long-term disability benefits. In order to do so, you must be enrolled in an insurance plan that covers long-term disabilities, either through your employer’s group plan or your own individual policy.
When applying for long-term disability benefits, you may need to provide proof of your disabling condition, including medical records, testimonials from medical professionals, and possibly more.
If you do not qualify for long-term disability insurance through your employer’s group insurance plan or your private policy, but your medical condition prevents you from earning a living, you may be able to receive compensation from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).
Collecting Long-Term Disability Insurance Benefits Payments
Long-term disability insurance benefits compensate employees with disabling medical conditions for a percentage of the salary they can no longer earn. In Canada, long-term disability plans usually replace between 60-70% of a recipient’s normal income.
Eligible recipients may be able to collect benefits from multiple sources. However, benefits issued by other sources may be used to offset the amount of benefits issued by a recipient’s insurance policy.
For example, if you receive disability benefits from the CPP, your insurance provider may reduce the amount of long-term disability payments available to you through their policy, so that the total cost of all your benefits payments does not exceed the specified percentage of your normal salary as set out in the policy.
While collecting long-term disability benefits, you may still qualify for your employer’s regular health insurance program, as well.
Injuries That Qualify as Long-Term Disabilities
In order to receive long-term disability benefits, you must have been diagnosed with an illness or sustained an injury that prevents you from returning to the workplace for a significant period of time. Both physical and mental conditions may prevent an employee from returning to the workforce and can be the basis for a claim.
Some examples of physical medical conditions that could qualify you for long-term disability benefits include:
- Heart disease
- Back problems
- Chronic pain or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Lupus or Lyme disease
- Psoriatic arthritis or fibromyalgia
Claimants who have been diagnosed with serious mental illnesses may also be able to collect long-term disability benefits. Examples of mental illnesses that may prohibit a claimant from performing the duties of their job include:
- Bipolar mood disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
How Long Long-Term Disability Insurance Benefits Last
Depending on the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to receive long-term disability benefits until the age of retirement, if your medical condition prevents you from executing the same job-related duties you were required to perform before your diagnosis. However, most insurance plans have term limits.
Insurance companies may also adjust their eligibility requirements after a recipient has collected benefits payments for a certain period of time. They may require benefits recipients to undergo frequent health checks to assess their ongoing condition.
Your insurance provider may decide to terminate your benefits payments after a certain time if they determine you are physically able to perform the duties of a different job. If your condition prevents you from returning to the workforce in any capacity, your long-term disability benefits may continue, in some cases, even past the age of 65.
Speak to Preszler Injury Lawyers About Your Long-Term Disability Benefits
If you have questions about your eligibility for long-term disability benefits or believe your claim for benefits has been unfairly denied, Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to offer useful advice and assistance. Contact Preszler Injury Lawyers today by calling 1-800-JUSTICE.