Disability Insurance Blog

Disability Claim Payments Reached $9.8 Billion in 2013


Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Every year we take a look at the annual review of the state of LTD claims among the working population of the US, presented by the Council for Disability Awareness Long Term Disability Claims Review. This organization, made up of behemoth LTD insurance companies, always includes a little self-congratulatory chest thumping, but there’s also good information in between the self-promotional language. Like the following:

The total amount of LTD claim payments are up by 1.6% from 2012.

More employers are offering LTD benefit plans, with fewer employers getting coverage. More plans are offered on a voluntary basis, and many employees are declining participation. They may be too cash-strapped to add the LTD benefits to their payroll plans.

The number of claims has declined, and the trend since the peak in 2011 is heading downward.

Approved claims are on the decline. Just fewer than 150,000 new individuals were approved for LTD benefits. This grabs our attention.

There are a lot of moving parts in the LTD insurance space, and they all work in different directions. Consider this:

As the population ages and the poor job climate continues, many workers in their 50s and 60s are simply giving up and are no longer actively seeking employment. That means a smaller pool of people to file claims.

If there are fewer employees opting to have LTD insurance policies as part of their benefits package, actuarially, this decreases the number of people filing claims.

LTD claims payments are up, while the number of individuals receiving payments are down. Is it possible that the claims that are being paid are larger than ever before, being paid to a smaller number of claimants?

Here are the numbers we would like to see:

  • How many claimants had their claims denied?
  • How many claimants are on claim but are their files are under review?
  • How many claimants are about to learn that they have been terminated, even though there has been no change to their ability to work?
  • What are the numbers used by management that claims adjusters are using as guidelines to determine how many claims should be approved, denied, and delayed?

We don’t expect to see any of these numbers in an industry report anytime soon, but if we do, we’ll certainly report on them.

In the meantime, if you are on claim and think the insurance company is looking for a reason to deny your claim, or if you are about to file a disability claim and are concerned about having all your information prepared correctly, call our office at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524) to learn how an experienced team of LTD attorneys can help you.