While none of us anticipate becoming incapacitated to the point that we can no longer work, the reality is that thousands of employees find themselves seriously injured or ill each year. The average long-term disability absence from work will last over two years, as reported by the Council for Disability Awareness. Attempting to survive several months or years without an income can be devastating. Fortunately, many employers provide long-term disability insurance coverage. Employees with injuries that will last more than six months may be eligible to obtain long-term disability benefits.
Long-term disability coverage will pick up where your short term disability insurance ends. Short-term disability benefits will typically last between three and six months. If you are still unable to return to work at this time, long-term disability insurance can pay a percentage of your salary until you can either return to work, or you reach the maximum number of years permitted under your policy. Long term disability policies vary by state and by insurer. Some policies will allow you to remain on disability until the age of 65.
Your ability to continue to receive long-term disability benefits will depend on the nature of your injury or illness. Paying benefits for several years is costly to the insurer and the insurance company will regularly evaluate whether you can return to work, even on a part-time basis or in a different field. If you are able to earn a portion of your previous salary, your disability benefits will be reduced accordingly.
Now is the time to determine whether you have long-term disability coverage through your employer and, if so, what your policy allows. Long-term disability insurance may prove vital in the event you become injured or suffer a significant illness. Without this coverage, your family could be forced to bear the brunt of your inability to return to work. Injured individuals struggling to obtain the short-term or long-term disability benefits they deserve should contact an experienced New York City disability attorney.