Thirty-one months is almost three years. That’s a very long time to be out of work, recovering from an injury or illness. And what if you are not receiving benefits in a timely manner from your long term disability insurance company?
Thirty one months (31.2 to be precise) is the average duration of a long-term disability period, according to the Council for Disability Awareness. Are you prepared?
First, are you prepared financially?
It is one thing to have an emergency fund that can cover all of your household expenses for six months – quite another to be ready for nearly three years of living expenses.
If you have a long term disability policy in place, take it out of the file cabinet and get a good look at it. Does it have the coverage you need for this 31 month worst-case scenario? If you purchased it privately, you could call the insurance agent who sold it to you. But if you are considering filing a claim, you may do better by calling an experienced long term disability insurance attorney who can review it for you in a “just in case” manner that will be more focused on protecting your interest. Call our office if you have questions about what will happen if you need to file a claim (877-LTD-CLAIM, or 877-583-2524). We do this every day.
What kind of provisions are in the contract? Do you have to be out on short term disability before claiming for long term disability? Is it an “own occupation” or an “any occupation” policy? Are there exceptions for certain conditions? In other words, are there any hidden surprises in the policy?
Next, are you prepared to be out of the workplace for thirty one months? If you are a business owner, do you have a system in place so that your business, practice or organization, will survive in your temporary absence? Do you have business interruption insurance in place? Do you have a team that you know you can rely on? And have you had the difficult conversation with them?
How about your family? Are they completely dependent on your income and your ability to manage bills, chores and household maintenance and expenses? Are you the one who does everything from taking out the trash to paying bills to calling the plumber? Take a serious, objective look at the family around you: how will they cope if you are unable to perform any of the many responsibilities that you handle for them? Chores may be assigned, but what about maintaining your family’s current lifestyle in the absence of your income?
Advance preparation may be your best friend when it comes to long term disability claims. Take the time now to prepare for what may be ahead.