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What is the Elimination Period in a Long-Term Disability Claim?

Many adults may experience a disabling illness or injury that could cause them to stop working well before retirement. Not having the income to support yourself and your family is no doubt a stressful situation. Individuals who have become disabled and cannot return to work may be able to find relief through long-term disability benefits. Understanding the elimination period in a long-term disability claim can help disabled individuals prepare financially until their benefits kick in.

What are Elimination Periods?

The elimination period, also known as the waiting period or deductible period, is the period between the beginning of the disability and when a person is eligible to begin receiving long-term disability (LTD) benefit payments. It's important to remember that the elimination period starts on the day the disability began, not the day the claim was filed. However, the claimant may still have to wait out the rest of the disability elimination period before receiving benefits, even if the claim is approved before it ends.

Most insurance policies have a 90-day elimination period. However, some policies have different elimination period deductibles  — from 180 days to 365 days.

Why You Should File Your LTD Claim As Soon As Possible

An employee who is still unable to work after their short-term disability period should immediately apply for LTD benefits. Many people mistakenly believe their short-term disability will roll into long-term disability; however, this is not true, and most insurers require a separate application for LTD benefits. To avoid any gap in receiving disability payments, it is important to file for LTD as soon as possible, especially since there may be a deadline for submitting the initial claim.

The Importance of Timeliness

Meeting deadlines is essential when filing and appealing your LTD claim. For example, under most plans, individuals have 180 days to appeal the initial denial of long-term disability benefits. If an appeal is not filed by the deadline, you will not be able to sue the insurer for denying the claim in federal court due to failing to exhaust all administrative appeals.

If your illness or injury prevents you from working, it is crucial to hire an experienced attorney immediately to increase your chances of success. Filing an LTD claim is a complicated and confusing process for the unrepresented disability applicant. It is easy to put your claim in jeopardy with a single missed deadline or an improperly completed form.

For more information about elimination periods, contact Dabdoub Law Firm today at (800) 969-0488 for answers to your questions and help with all your long-term disability needs.