What Is an Elimination Period?
A component of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits is the elimination period, which is the time you have to wait before you can begin receiving long-term disability benefits. This can vary from policy to policy. You may be able to get a policy with cheaper premiums by choosing a longer elimination period. However, it is important that you consider how long you might have to go without income if your short-term disability or paid leave from work run out before the end of this period.
The elimination period typically begins on the day you suffer an injury or are first too ill to work your job. Some policies require the elimination period to be consecutive days, but others may allow you to add the days missed because of the same injury or illness during a set period (often a year), even if they are not consecutive.
The Purpose of Elimination Periods for Long-Term Disability Benefits
There are several names for the time a long-term disability (LTD) insurance carrier makes you wait between the date you first qualify for benefits and when these benefits become payable. These include:
- Elimination period
- Waiting period
- Qualifying period
All of these names mean the same thing: policyholders with a qualifying injury or illness must wait a set time before they can receive long-term disability benefits. The length of this wait depends on the policy, but it can be three months, 12 weeks, 120 days, or more.
The clock generally begins its countdown on the date that the covered individual first becomes unable to work their job because of an illness or injury. Depending on the policy, this could be the date the injury occurred or the date a doctor ruled them unable to work.
For workers, the elimination period for long-term disability may be based on sick leave or the length of short-term disability coverage. If this is true in your case, you should not have a gap in income as long as you submit your claim information promptly and receive approval. A denial, though, could leave you without income.
The Insurance Carrier Should Process Your Claim During the Elimination Period
Long-term disability insurance carriers may require policyholders to file a claim for benefits during the elimination period. This allows the carrier to weigh the evidence and decide on the claim before the elimination period ends so that approved claimants can begin receiving benefits as soon as they are payable under their policy’s rules.
It is important that you pay close attention to these time limits and rules. If it is possible, you do not want to have to wait any longer than you have to before your benefits begin.
Some people may even opt for a long-term disability policy with a shorter elimination period so their benefits will begin sooner, as long as they can prove they meet the qualifications in their policy. It is important to weigh your other options, including paid leave at work and short-term disability coverage, when making this decision.
You May Be Able to Challenge a Benefits Denial
The insurance carrier may sometimes deny a claimant’s application for long-term disability. There may be options for challenging the denial, but this could extend the wait time past the end of your elimination period. A lawyer can help you explore your options.
While the insurance carrier gets time to review your claim and determine if they believe you qualify, you only have a limited time to file a lawsuit if they wrongfully deny your claim. In cases like that, a lawyer can review your options with you, and you may be able to sue the insurance carrier.
Under the Limitations Act of 2002, you only have two years from the date of your initial denial to do so. This deadline is firm and does not toll because you appeal the decision. If you miss the deadline, you may lose the right to file a lawsuit in your case.
Talk to a Toronto Lawyer About Your Long-Term Disability Case
If you received a denial of your long-term disability claim, the legal team at Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to act to reverse the insurance company’s decision or recover compensation. Even if the long-term disability insurance carrier has refused to pay you benefits, there may still be hope.
Preszler Injury Lawyers knows how to challenge a disability denial and may be able to handle your Toronto appeal or lawsuit. Call our office today at 1-800-JUSTICE to learn more.