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How Long Can You Stay on Disability?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

How long the disability company will continue to pay benefits depends on a number of different factors, and every scenario is different.

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For starters, the length of coverage will be described in the disability insurance policy. This will depend upon the type of policy – group, private or association – and the condition. Most policies are written for coverage to age 65, which is considered the year that most people retire. Some policies pay until Normal Retirement Age (as much as to Age 67). However, there are disability policies written for five, ten or even twenty years. Fewer years of disability coverage means that the insurance company’s exposure to costs is limited, so the price to purchase the insurance may be lower.

Depending upon the policy, there may be additional provisions for partial, or residual, disability, where the claimant is not able to return to their full time occupation but can work in some manner and may receive benefits while receiving a reduced paycheck.

There are also policies that have provisions where the disability coverage extends for the rest of the claimant’s life. Disability insurance companies will often push back on these claims more intensely, especially if the person is relatively young and their income is high. Frankel & Newfield has successfully represented many claimants in this situation to secure disability benefits for their lifetime.

If yours is a claim that involves a “mental/nervous” or psychiatric claim, it is possible that the disability policy limits coverage to twenty-four months. The same may be true for illnesses including Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein Barr and even some musculoskeletal conditions.

The first answer to this question lies in the language of the policy itself. If you are concerned that your disability may fall into a category that is severely limited in coverage, we encourage you to contact our office immediately to discuss your situation.

It should also be noted that there have been many instances where claim managers attempt to change a person’s disability from one that has a lifetime of coverage to a limited coverage period. We see this often with cases where the person has a disability and their doctor, not knowing this tactic, will make a note that the person is suffering from anxiety or depression because of their disability. The medical records are reviewed and suddenly the person finds themselves being sidetracked to a more limited period of coverage.

Frankel & Newfield has fought on behalf of disability insurance claimants when the companies seek to deny coverage using policy limitations that are based on flawed medical evaluations. Our experience with the tactics used by disability insurance companies benefits our clients. Call us today to discuss your situation. We can be reached at 877-583-2524.

Justin C Frankel

Written By:

Justin C. Frankel - Disability Insurance Attorney

Justin Frankel is a founding partner of the disability insurance law firm Frankel & Newfield and is a highly skilled litigator and advocate. He has published numerous articles on the challenges facing clients with private or individual disability insurance policies and those who own group or ERISA disability insurance policies.

Learn more about Justin | See Justin’s Publications



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Sorry, we do not handle SSDI/Social Security claims.

Frankel & Newfield does not currently handle any Social Security Disability Insurance claims.


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This is about a Social Security Disability claim.

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