7 Things You Should Know About ERISA Benefits
If you are unable to work for a period of time and you have long term disability (LTD) benefits, you should contact an ERISA law firm to help you navigate the claims process. When you’re unable to work, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. However, you don’t have to deal with the situation alone. An Ocala FL ERISA law firm can answer your questions about LTD benefits and advise help you understand your plan. Call CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC for more information about your specific case.
1. How Does Your LTD Policy Define “Disability”?
Your long term disability policy may define disability in a broad manner or narrowly. It’s important to know how disability is defined before filing for LTD insurance benefits. Your plan may consider you disabled if you’re unable to perform the duties of your own occupation or any occupation. It is more difficult to meet the requirements of a policy that considers you disabled only if you cannot complete any other occupation.
It’s possible that your LTD insurance policy definition of disability will change over time. Typically after 24 months of receiving benefits, some policies change definitions. If you have an own occupation policy that defines you as having a disability if you cannot complete the duties of your own job, after 24 months that definition may change to any occupation. This can cause your benefits to be terminated after 24 months of coverage.
An ERISA law firm can help you determine how your LTD policy defines disability and whether you qualify.
2. Is There a Waiting Period to Receive LTD Benefits?
Most LTD benefit plans require a waiting period of 90 or 180 days before you’re eligible for benefits. That means you must be unable to work for a period of time before being eligible for LTD benefits. Often, this amount of time coincides with your short term disability policy. Thus, while you are eligible for STD benefits, you will be waiting to qualify for LTD benefits. An ERISA law firm can help you determine what type of waiting period you may have prior to receiving LTD benefits.
3. Are Your LTD Benefits Taxable?
It’s likely that your ERISA benefits policies are paid for with pre-tax dollars. That means that when you receive benefits, your benefits may be taxed. State, federal, and local taxes may be withheld from your payments from the LTD insurance company. However, if your plan was not purchased through your employer and you paid for it with after-tax dollars, then your benefits may not be taxed. An ERISA law firm can help you determine if and how much taxes should be withheld from your LTD benefits.
4. What Should You Do If the Insurance Company Hires an Investigator?
Many LTD insurance companies will deny or dispute your claim. In doing so, they may hire an independent investigator to obtain evidence in your case. They may be looking for evidence that you are able to work, or that you are not as badly injured as you claim. If you suspect your insurance company has hired an investigator, you should immediately contact an ERISA law firm. The investigator can follow you and collect information, but you still have rights. An ERISA law firm will protect your rights and help you understand your legal options.
5. Do You Also Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance?
Often people who qualify for LTD benefits also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In fact, many of the medical reports and doctors’ statements that helped you get LTD benefits can also help you obtain SSDI. If you are able to obtain SSDI, it may be offset by your LTD benefits. However, obtaining both types of benefits would greatly help you over time. An ERISA law firm can help you determine what you qualify for.
6. What Percentage of Your Salary Will Be Your Benefit Amount?
Contrary to some belief, you will not get your entire salary as an LTD benefit. Instead, you will usually get around 60% of your former salary. Your insurance benefit paperwork and plan summary should specify this amount. An ERISA law firm can help you determine what amount you should be able to receive.
7. What Type of Evidence Do You Need to Submit to the LTD Company?
You will need to submit information about your medical treatment, vocational history, and current abilities. You may also have to submit your job description and information about your job responsibilities. Your LTD company will send you a plethora of information that an ERISA law firm can help you complete.
Call an Ocala FL ERISA Law Firm Today
If you have questions about your plan, call an ERISA law firm that can give you answers. Call CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC today for more information.