Do you know enough about long-term disability insurance?

Despite its importance, the majority of people greet annual enrollment — the time of the year when employees sign up for health insurance and other benefits — with a degree of annoyance. That’s because it often forces them to take time out of their already busy schedules to re-examine their finances or, at the very least, go through what they see as a largely redundant process.

While this is understandable, it’s important for employees to resist the urge to simply click through all of their options during annual enrollment and carefully consider what is being offered. For example, they may want to learn whether their employer is providing long-term disability insurance.

What exactly is long-term disability insurance?

While employees have things like vacation time, sick leave and even short-term disability to help cover time away from work for any temporary illnesses or injuries, things can become decidedly more complicated when their condition requires them to be away from work for six months or longer — or perhaps even permanently.

This is where long-term disability insurance can come into play, as it takes affect once short-term disability ends, generally providing a person with monthly benefits totaling close to 60 percent of their salary (up to a maximum amount).

How long do these benefits last?  

While it varies, long-term disability payments typically last until a person’s Social Security retirement age or their return to work.

Are these benefits really all that helpful?

While it’s true that long-term disability payments are not meant to serve as a salary replacement, they can nevertheless help a person cover their basic living expenses for the foreseeable future. This can prove to be of immense comfort when suffering from a debilitating condition.

Is securing long-term disability through my employer expensive?

Not necessarily. While some employers do require employees to pay 100 percent of the premiums, others cover the entire amount or at least share some of the expense with employees.

We’ll continue examining this topic in our next post, including debunking some of the more common misconceptions regarding long-term disability insurance.

In the meantime, if you have been denied benefits under an employer provided long-term disability insurance policy, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your rights and your options.