Is Depression A Long Term Disability?

Depression as a disability can be a difficult thing to pin down.

It can be “case of the blues” for two weeks, or something that prevents you from walking outside of your front door for a while. If you’re suffering from a depression that is more than just “a case of the blues,” you may be unable to do your job, or even live a regular life.

Is Depression A Long Term Disability?

Different Types Of Depression

Nearly everyone has felt depressed once or twice in their life or at least knows someone who has. Many cases are short-term and resolve without any intervention.

So-called “situational depression” happens after a sudden, unexpected life change that impacts the individual. These changes can include:

  • Loss of a loved one (partner, spouse, etc.)
  • Loss of employment (layoff, firing, loss of clientele, business closing)
  • Serious illness or injury
  • Any kind of accident

When the situation has been righted, (i.e., the unemployed individual finds a new job) or enough time passes, this depression eventually resolves in most people.

But serious, debilitating clinical depression is an entirely different matter. Some of these symptoms as possible indicators are:

  • Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
  • Pessimism and hopelessness
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that won’t go away
  • Digestive problems that don’t get better, even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

When mental symptoms turn into physical symptoms, it’s time to seek out medical help. There isn’t a blood or lab test to detect depression; the diagnosis usually comes from the patient’s discussion with his or her physician. A doctor may conduct some testing to determine if it is caused by a medical condition or a medication.

Once diagnosed, suggested treatments may include psychotherapy and medications to manage the condition. In some circumstances, these treatments may be nominally effective, or even ineffective. Depression then may turn into a disability.

Is It A Long-Term Disability?

Depression that doesn’t resolve on its own, or with treatment, may be considered a “disability,” but there are a number of caveats that go with it. Getting approved for long-term disability may take some time, and be more difficult than SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) if depression is stopping you from working.

Many long-term disability policies don’t allow mental illness as a disability, or put a two-year limitation on them (if your claim is only for depression.)  Because they’re more difficult, you’ll need to prove your condition according to your policy’s disability definition. In other words, you’ll need proof that your disability is so serious and acute that it prevents you from working and inhibits your life in general. Review your policy to find out exactly what it says on the subject so you can gather up the proper paperwork and evidence.

You’ll also need to seek proper care for your depression, and have it documented (i.e., medical records.) If your depression is a result of another underlying medical issue (i.e., injury, chronic pain) you may be able to receive benefits without the two-year limitation. Additional medical evidence that your physical disability alone prevents you from working may be sufficient to secure long-term disability.

Denied? Appeal Your Decision

Anytime you apply for long-term disability, it can be a long process, and your claim may be denied outright. If your depression is holding you back, and making work difficult or impossible, you need time to heal. An attorney skilled in disability cases can work with you to file your long-term disability as well as handle any appeals. It may take time, but you can get help for depression.

Helping You Get Help

If your depression is keeping you from working and living your life, you need help on the way to getting better. The Herren Law Firm can help you with your application, appeals and help you get the long-term disability benefits you need so you can treat your depression and get on with your life. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation, and no up-front fees.  We only collect if we win your case.

FINALLY Get The Long-Term Disability You Deserve In 2018

If you’ve been out of work after a disabling accident, illness or injury, chances are you have a lot going on at once. Between doctor visits and other necessary outings, you’re taking care of yourself and trying to heal while dealing with insurance company requirements. But what about long-term disability?

FINALLY Get The Long-Term Disability You Deserve In 2018

Are you trying to get long-term disability, or headed in that direction? Here are a few things you need to know.

Disability Defined

The definition of your disability is whatever your policy says it is. But the policy definition, rules and exclusions define what they consider to be “disabled.” Your policy definition may look something like this:

Disability exists when, due to illness or accidental injury, you are not able to perform, for wage or profit, the material and substantial duties of your regular occupation.

This definition, known as “own occupation,” means that your illness or injury prevents you from performing your current job and/or occupation. However, an “any job” definition means that you may not be able to perform your current job/occupation, but you are well enough to perform another one, even if it pays less than your current salary. This assessment is also based on your training, education, and experience.

Some policies change from “own occupation” to “any occupation” after 24 months, and benefits may be terminated at that time, particularly if there has been significant medical improvement.

Are You Still Using Paid Time Off?

Long-term disability has a waiting or “elimination” period, generally three to six months, before you’re eligible. You’re required to exhaust all of your sick, vacation, personal and any other paid absence time before you can become eligible for LTO.

Short-Term Disability

The elimination period LTD also takes into account the short-term disability payments you may be receiving. This type of insurance typically lasts less than six months and is intended for a short-term illness that isn’t work-related.

Long-term disability starts when your short-term disability ends.

Short-term disability differs from worker’s compensation, which is for employees who have work-related injuries and/or are injured on the job.

The Length Of Long-Term Disability

LTD starts three to six months after your disability begins, and after you’ve exhausted all time off and short-term disability.

Some policies will pay you until the age of 65 when most people generally retire and will file for Social Security (retirement) and Medicare. If not, there is a limit to the number of years the policy will pay you. Most will pay between 50% and 80% of your former salary.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Most LTD policies will require you to apply for SSDI. If and when your SSDI application is approved, and you start receiving benefits, your LTD payments will be offset by that amount. For instance, if your monthly LTD payment is $2500, and you’re awarded $1800 in SSDI, your insurance company will reduce your LTD payments by that amount, to $700 per month. You’ll still receive $2500 a month, but not from one source.

Working While Collecting LTD

It is possible (although not necessarily recommended) to work while you’re collecting long-term disability. Your benefits could be cut or terminated, particularly if you make too much. Before you start sending out resumes for a new job, even for part-time work, it’s best to read your policy and make sure you understand it first. Speak to your claims administrator to answer any questions.

Some policies may discontinue your benefits even if you’re still technically disabled, especially if you make more than 80% of your previous income. If yours is an “own occupation” policy, you may be able to work in a different occupation and still collect LTD. Again, this is based on how the policy is written, so you’ll need to read it before you start.

Some policies have “return to work” incentives, limiting your benefits and income to 100% of your previous earnings. If your earnings and LTD payments exceed 100% of your previous income, your benefits will be reduced to your pre-disability earnings and will reduce further over time.

Denied Your LTD?

If your insurance company (or your employers) has unfairly denied your claim, stopped your benefits or you need help filing an appeal, The Herren Law Firm is ready to help. We’ve helped over 4.000 Houstonians with their long-term disability cases and can answer any questions.  Call us at (713) 682-8194 or (800) 529-7707 for a free consultation. Our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case.

Can I Receive Long Term Disability While on FMLA Leave?

If you find yourself needing to take time from your job for an illness, injury, pregnancy or other reason, there are a lot of things you’ll need to address. Replacing your income via disability insurance is one important factor to consider, particularly if your leave is unexpected. Here are some things to know when going on FMLA leave.

Can I Receive Long Term Disability While on FMLA Leave?

Long Term and Short Term Disability are two separate insurance policies that many people get through their employer. They’re used separately as well as in conjunction when you’re injured and can’t work.

To better answer this question, let’s examine the parts of it first.

FMLA

The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a law that allows workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a variety of medial or family reasons. Your job is protected because your employer is required to hold your job for those 12 weeks. (Many states, localities and municipalities have also adopted their own supplemental “family leave” styled policies.) When you’re able to go back to work, you’ll return to that job or one that is “substantially similar,” assuming you are still able to do your job after your leave is over. You’ll have job reinstatement rights and continued health coverage during the 12-week period (but not after.)

FMLA leave is generally unpaid, although there are some employers who pay during the leave time. However, your health coverage and other benefits are still in place as if you’d never left (although you may be required to pay your portion if your employer covers most of it.)

The FMLA applies to companies with 50 or more employees who work within 75 miles of the company’s location. You must have worked for 12 months in the preview year, totaling at least 1,250 hours, part or full time.

Notification should be given to your company at least 30 days in advance, if possible. (This is for cases like pregnancy, scheduled surgery, etc.) FMLA leave can also be used intermittently, for medical treatments that can’t be done off-hours, physical therapy, etc. Your personnel department can advise you about the best way to schedule this leave and when to notify your supervisor that you’ll be using it.

Short Term Disability

Short Term Disability (STDI) is an income replacement insurance offered as a benefit by many companies, and isn’t available for purchase as an individual policy. STDI partially replaces your income (usually about 60% to 65%) for your immediate financial needs until you are able to return to work.

STDI lasts anywhere from 30 to 180 days, and doesn’t start until after you’ve used up all of your paid time off (sick time, vacation, etc.) Decisions are quick, and payments usually start within about 14 days. A lot of what and how long you’ll receive benefits depends on how your employer structures the benefit policy.

On-the-job injuries are covered under Worker’s Compensation.

Long Term Disability

Long Term Disability (LTD) is an income replacement insurance that begins when your short-term disability ends. LTD is both an employee benefit at many companies as well as a policy you can purchase yourself.

This type of coverage pays you a reduced amount of your salary (generally two-thirds) for the length of your disability. Most disabilities last anywhere from six months to three years, but some may be lifelong disabilities. Your policy will cover you according to how it’s structured. Depending on your disability, LTD could replace your income until you reach retirement age.

Generally, LTD policies require that you exhaust your STDI coverage before you can receive LTD payments, and there isn’t any “overlap.” The LTD elimination period is anywhere from one month to one year.

So To Answer The Question

It Depends.

FMLA leave only lasts 12 weeks (about 3 months) so most of it will depend on how long your STDI coverage lasts. If your STDI coverage is less than 120 days, you’ll have to apply for LTD after the STDI coverage ends, and you have no other “coverage” available (savings, lines of credit, etc.)

Should your STDI coverage last less than the 12 weeks, and you need to cover the rest of your leave with LTD, it is possible to use LTD during an FMLA period.

If You Need Help

Call The Herren Law Firm at 713-682-8194. We’ll be happy to help you with claims, appeals, and other insurance claim related issues that you’re having trouble with. We’ll give you a free consultation and offer a contingency fee arrangement to make payment easier.

How Long Do I Have To File For Long Term Disability?

Finding yourself disabled, even temporarily, can be a confusing haze of administrative work you may not be familiar with while you’re trying to heal. There are different types of disability classes, but long-term disability generally means that you are unable to go back to work in a short period of time. This type of policy provides income when you are unable to work, usually 60% of your previous income. The Herren Law Firm has been helping Houstonians through the disability process for over 20 years, and we can help you too.

How Long Do I Have To File For Long Term Disability?

What Does “Long-Term” Disability Mean?

A “disability” is a legal term that just means a medical condition that prevents you from working. Long-term disability means that you are unable to work an extended period. The average case lasts about 3 years. When you file for long-term disability and get it, you’re covered for things like car accidents, having a baby and serious illnesses and injuries, but it doesn’t always mean that you are permanently disabled.

You can only file your claim after a waiting or “elimination period,” when you have exhausted all paid time off (vacation, sick and any other PTO) and short-term disability has ended. Payments start after your claim is approved. Payments aren’t immediate, so it’s best to file as soon as possible so that there is overlap with the end of short-term disability.

Review Your Policy Before You Need It

When you receive your policy (whether through your employer, or on you own), review it carefully and take note of specific previsions. How does the policy define “disability?” What’s the waiting period (or “exclusion period”) on your policy? Will they pay if you’re unable to work the job you’re in, or if you’re unable to work any job, part time or full time? (There’s a difference.) How long will the policy pay you while you’re disabled—a year? Two or three years? Until you retire?

Review your exclusions. Most policies will not cover a disability for things like pre-existing conditions, acts of war, drug abuse, suicide attempts and any injuries sustained during the commission of a crime. There may be other exclusions in the policy—read carefully so you understand them before you prepare your claim.

Pay Attention To Deadlines

Find the deadline in your policy for submitting your claim. The policy will tell you when you’re required to file, and how long you have. Once the deadline is passed, most insurers will not allow you to file a claim.

Ensure That Your Claim File Is Complete

When you submit your claim, make sure that everything is included. Don’t assume that the insurance company has everything they need to process and approve your claim. Request a copy of your claim file for your own review. If anything is missing (X-rays, test results, etc.), request copies from the appropriate parties, forward them and ask the insurer to include them in your file. Complete medical records are a must, including a letter from your doctor explaining why you are disabled. If there are any errors, request that your doctor correct them.

Although he or she may charge you, asking your doctor for an additional detailed report about your current disabilities, limitations and medical history would be an advantage.

Long Term Disability Is Not Health Insurance

Disability payments replace your income when you are unable to work. Medical expenses are not covered under long-term disability. Health insurance, which is separate, only covers your related medical expenses.

Keep Copies Of Everything

It’s always important to know who you spoke to, when, what was mailed, to whom, and when. If you do find yourself fighting the denial of your claim, you’ll need copies of everything to file and appeal, and to take to your attorney. Keeping detailed records will help you fight denial and make it easier for an attorney to work on your case.

With over 4,000 successful disability claims under our belt, we’re ready to help you too. We work on a contingency fee basis—you only pay us a fee if we can win your case. Call us today at (713) 682-8194 or (800) 529-7707 to schedule your free consultation.

Can You Be Fired While On Long-Term Disability?

Long-term disability can be confusing. The disability payments, insurance filings, doctor visits and everything that goes along with it. Eventually, you’ll be ready to go back to work.

But will your job still be there?

It Can Happen

getting fired while on long-term disability

Your employer can’t fire you just because you are on long-term disability, or because of your disability. But your employer can fire you while you’re out for reasons besides disability. There are laws to protect you in the event that you are disabled, and make sure you can go back to your job when you’re no longer disabled or recovered enough to return to work. The Herren Law Firm has helped over 4,000 Houstonians work through the maze of long-term disability. Let’s look at how the law protects you.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA is a federal law that applies to companies with more than 50 employees (small businesses are generally exempted) and you must live within 75 miles of your company. Your company is required to give you 24 weeks of unpaid leave for things like physical or mental illness (yours or a family member), having a baby, etc. You must request FMLA leave according to your company’s policies, or you could be terminated for not notifying your employer that you need FMLA leave.

If you’ve properly requested FMLA leave, your employer must a) give you back the position you left, or b) give you a similar position, if you’re still able to do the same job you did before.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA is another federal law that applies to businesses with 15 or more employees. The ADA defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” If you meet this definition, you may be able to extend long-term disability after your FMLA time runs out. Your employer must offer reasonable accommodations after you notify them of your need. This can include flexible scheduling, wheelchair access, Braille signage, or even granting additional ADA leave.

Reasonable accommodation should not cause your employer an “undue hardship,” and your employer will determine if the accommodations will be enough for you to do your job. Negotiations may be necessary, and your employer may request that you try a number of different accommodations to see which ones work. If none are available, or they are unable to accommodate you to return to work, the company can legally fire you.

Business Changes

Your company may undergo a reorganization while you are out on disability. If this happens, and your job is eliminated, you can be terminated while you’re on leave. The company may not be able to keep your job open for an extended period of time due to business needs, and may be forced to hire someone else to do your job in your absence, whether temporarily or permanently.

You can be Fired at Any Time

Most employees are considered “at-will,” meaning that unless you have an employment contract/guarantee in writing and in place, you can be fired for nearly any reason at any time, or for no reason at all, unless that reason is illegal, i.e., discrimination, a medical condition, etc. It’s important to keep records of your requests for leave and accommodations under FMLA and ADA, as well as other important employment-related paperwork you may need later to prove your case. If you feel you’ve been wrongfully terminated, contact the Herren Law Firm for a free consultation.

If you were fired for poor performance, excessive absenteeism or another reason that an employer would normally fire someone for, then your employer can fire you legally. Under these circumstances, you can be fired during the long-term disability leave or when it ends.

Your employer can also legally fire you if:

• You do not return to work after using all of your sick/vacation time
• After FMLA leave, (or fail to declare it before leaving) after your employer has provided reasonable accommodations
• Can’t do the job despite the offered accommodations

Don’t Do It Alone!

We’ve helped over 4,000 Houstonians with disability related legal issues, and we’re ready to help you with yours. For a free consultation with attorney Bill Herren, call us today at (713) 682-8194 if you need legal help while you’re on long-term disability.

Don’t wait—it might be too late.

What is the Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion in Disability Insurance Claims?

All disability claims have limits in what they cover. If you have a group long-term disability policy, there’s a good chance that it includes a complete exclusion for any disabilities caused by a pre-existing condition. Many private long-term disability insurance policies normally include this exclusion as well. To get around this exclusion, some policies force individuals to pay higher premiums for special coverage that does not include this exclusion.

Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion | Houston TX Disability Attorney

With a pre-existing condition, whether physical or mental, you might not be able to receive benefits if your disability arises from the pre-existing conditions. By contacting Herren Law in Houston TX, long-term disability attorney William Herren fully understands the nuances of pre-existing condition exclusions in LTD policies. As such, if you are thinking of claiming disability benefits, call attorney Herren today by dialing (800) 529-7707. Free consultations are always available.

What is the Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion?

A disability insurance pre-existing condition is a mental or physical condition that the applicant has prior to the effective date of the insurance policy. If you have such a condition that you knew about or should have known about for two years prior to the effective date of the policy, then you need to look over your policy, as many LTD insurance policies won’t pay benefits for disabilities coming out of a pre-existing condition.

The company that issued the LTD insurance may deny a claim if it finds that the disability:

  • Resulted from a pre-existing condition which was not disclosed in this policy’s application; and
  • Begins within 2 years after the Policy Date

Additionally, a pre-existing condition is defined as:

  • A condition in which medical treatment was recommended by a doctor or received from a doctor within the 2 year period prior to your Policy Date; or
  • A condition that has caused symptoms within the 1 year period prior to your Policy Date, which would cause an ordinarily prudent person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment.
  • Any condition that was misrepresented or undisclosed at the time of application.

It is important to note that some insurance providers misuse the exclusion to avoid paying disability insurance claims or to delay or deny payment of legitimate claims. As such, when three years or more have elapsed since the onset of a disabling condition which manifested itself from a pre-existing ailment, then, in theory, the insurance company should pay benefits. Nevertheless, the insurance company may still deny benefits, in which it is highly advised to contact an experienced disability insurance attorney.

Disability Insurance and Pre-Existing Conditions

There are virtually endless pre-existing conditions that can form the basis of a disability. However, some of the most common pre-existing conditions to know about include, but are not limited to:

  • Pregnancy — A pregnant woman applying in her first trimester may still receive benefits; nevertheless, the insurance company may deny benefits if she is unable to continue to work as a result of complications arising from her pregnancy.
  • Diabetes — Most people with diabetes have difficulties in even getting a policy. Experts recommend getting the disease under control first to increase chances of finding an insurer.
  • Alcoholism and Drug Use — Getting a disability policy as an alcoholic or drug addict depends on how these conditions contribute to the person’s disabling health condition. A DAA determination (drug and alcohol abuse) will be used to evaluate an applicant.
  • Cancer — Cancer survivors also find difficulties in getting a policy. In general, access to insurance may depend on the individual company or Texas laws.

How to Avoid Claims From Being Denied Because of Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

To minimize the chances of your claim being denied because of a pre-existing medical condition, there are a couple of things you can do. For instance, you should be aware of the medicines you are taking, as some medicines may classify you under a high-risk group. Also, take note of any past injury treatments administered before you purchased your policy; these may be used against your claim. Lastly, simply understand that any record of treatment or surgery that shows you are prone to suffer disability can also be used to deny a claim.

Contact Disability Insurance Attorney William Herren Today!

If your insurance claim is denied due to a pre-existing condition and you might want to appeal, make sure to call Houston TX long-term disability attorney William Herren today. We offer comprehensive legal representation to make sure that your rights are protected and that your voice is heard. In the Houston area, we have helped numerous people just like you with their insurance claims, and we have the resources and legal know-how to represent your interests in front of the major insurance providers, including the Social Security Administration.

For a free, no-obligation consultation with attorney Herren, call Herren Law in Houston today at (713) 682-8194.

At what point in the process should I consider hiring an attorney?

Transcript

For long-term disability claims, it’s important to have help almost immediately. You should file your claim with the insurance company on your own, but shortly after that, you should find someone to help you with your claim. The reason is because the insurance companies and their people who work for them are not your friend. They will ask you questions and they will get information from you that is designed to deny your claim and not to approve it. So file your claim and don’t deal with the insurance company after that. Find yourself some professional help as soon as possible.

What is “Gainful Employment” for Long Term Disability?

When trying to better understand long-term disability, or when applying for disability benefits for your long-term disability, one term that you may come across is “gainful employment.” In short, this term refers to an LTD applicant’s ability to work, and if an individual is unable to engage in a substantial gainful activity (SGA), then he/she may be eligible to receive long-term disability benefits for his/her disability.

What Is "Gainful Employment" for Long Term Disability? - Herren Law

More specifically, if you are unable to hold any job where you would make 60-80% of your pre-disability earnings, then your long-term disability provider should pay benefits. Whether you are applying for LTD benefits, or the gainful employment aspect of your application is giving you troubles, then call Houston LTD attorney William Herren today. With decades of experience helping individuals like you, we fully understand the legal processes, what insurance companies are looking for, and how you can optimize your application.

We work on a contingency basis, and so you won’t pay a thing unless we win your case. For a free consultation with Houston attorney Bill Herren, call Herren Law today at (800) 529-7707.

What is a Gainful Occupation?

LTD policies often define “disability” in one of two ways, including:

  • Own Occupation: Your disability prevents you from the duties of your own occupation.
  • Any Occupation: Your disability prevents you from working in any gainful occupation for which you are reasonably suited, considering your education, training, and experience.

If you are able to work in any gainful employment, there is a higher possibility that your insurance company will deny your benefits. Furthermore, many LTD policies shift from “own occupation” to “any occupation” after a period of time (usually, it’s 24 months). This allows disabled individuals to find work outside of their own occupation.

Most LTD policies define “gainful employment,” however, as a job that is able to provide you with at least 60% of your pre-disability wages. Keep in mind that this 60% number is not universal, and so it’s important to refer to your specific LTD policy.

How Do You Know If You’re Reasonably Suited to Work?

In addition to understanding “gainful employment,” you also need to understand whether or not an LTD policy considers you as “reasonably suited” to work in your own occupation or any occupation. As you can imagine, the word “reasonably” is broad and open to interpretation, but in most cases, “reasonable suited” refers to an individual’s location, skills, education, and limitations.

An occupation would be considered “unreasonable” if some of the following factors apply:

  • There are few or no occupations available that are within a reasonable commute from your home.
  • The occupations available are beyond your skills or education level.
  • The occupation will interfere with your regular medical appointments, if applicable.
  • Your doctor has not provided a release that allows you to perform the tasks required of the occupation.

When submitting your application for LTD disability benefits, it’s very important to include as much evidence and information as you can. This information should include an opinion from your doctor that fully explains your working limitations, allowing the LTD provider to better assess your limitations as well as what types of jobs, if any, you’d be reasonably suitable to do.

Who Determines Whether You Work at Another Job?

Although you’ll be submitting your LTD benefits application to your insurance provider, your insurance provider will often work with vocational experts (VEs) to determine your employment possibilities and the compensation offered at various types of jobs available to you.

When making these assessments, the VE should be an expert in his/her field and rely on a number of sources, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among others.

With the help of an LTD benefits attorney, your attorney should cross-examine the VE associated with your case, while making sure that the VE has all of the information he/she needs to know. A good attorney will also try to elicit a favorable response from the VE.

Call Houston LTD Attorney Bill Herren

Many insurance companies employ a long, complex rubric when determining whether an applicant has a disability that prevents him/her from working in his/her own occupation or any occupation. Showing your ability, or inability, for gainful employment will be an essential component for winning your LTD benefits case.

As such, you’ll need an experienced and capable attorney at the helm of your case, making sure that all of the necessary information is included in your application. For a free, no-obligation consultation with Houston attorney William Herren, call our law office today at (800) 529-7707.

Does my injury or illness have to be work-related to receive long-term disability?

Transcript:

The simple is “No.” The injury or illness can be related to anything. It doesn’t have to be work-related; however, if one has a pre-existing injury, the insurance policy will not allow for benefits for pre-existing injury if the disability occurs during a certain period of time. So, it’s a very critical issue, in the case of the pre-existing injury, as to what period of time the disability begins.

Is a long-term disability award paid in a lump sum or over time? (Video)

Transcript:

Long-term disability benefits are payable monthly. The insurance company is allowed to pay the benefit every month; however, if there is a period of backpay because the insurance company has refused to pay, and then is later required to pay by court, then the period of backpay is paid in one lump sum.

However, the court cannot require the insurance company to pay future payments, future monthly payments, in advance. So, the best that the court can do for the individual is to require the insurance company to put him or her back on monthly payments. Now, sometimes when the claim is disputed by the insurance company and it has gone to court, sometimes the insurance company will want to settle the entire claim for both the backpay that’s owed and the future pay that’s owed. Now, that’s up to the individual and up to the lawyer that’s representing the individual, for the two of them to make a decision as to whether it’s in the best interest of the claimant to make a lump sum settlement.