What Are The Requirements for Long-Term Disability in Maryland?
Suffering a long-term disability can lead to many changes in your life – including how much your family has to spend on health care. Another significant financial blow could be the loss of your job. Hope is available for people with long-term disabilities in Maryland. A few different earning opportunities may exist, such as programs through the state or federal governments. You may also have long-term disability insurance to offset the costs. Navigating long-term disability benefits may take help from a long-term disability attorney.
What Is Long-Term Disability Insurance?
Long-term disability is a type of insurance your employer may offer as part of an employee benefits package. You could also purchase long-term disability insurance on your own. This insurance policy can reimburse you for most of your salary if something happens and you cannot work. Most long-term disability insurance plans will reimburse 50 to 70% of the employee’s previous salary during the disability period. Obtaining a settlement for a disability claim through this type of insurance takes a few requirements.
- You must work for an employer for a certain length of time.
- You must work full-time.
- You must use medical records to prove your disability.
- You must meet the insurance company’s definition of disability.
- You must need time off work because of your disability.
- You must wait through your elimination period to receive benefits
- You must wait 12 months to receive coverage for a disability involving a preexisting condition.
- You must not have an excluded disability (i.e. one related to drugs or alcohol).
- You may need to file for disability benefits through Social Security as well.
A medical opinion from your doctor will be the most important piece of evidence during a long-term disability insurance claim. The insurance company will need to confirm your injury or illness fulfills your policy’s definition of disability. This may require your full medical records, including test results, x-rays, surgical reports, and lab results. Then, you must prove the disability put you out of work. Most insurance companies will not offer disability benefits if your employer is still paying you.
Elimination and Benefits Periods
You can choose the lengths of your elimination period, or how long after your disability you must wait to receive benefits, and your benefit period, or the amount of time the insurance company pays your benefits. The plan you select could reimburse you for disability expenses for 2 to 10 years or longer. Elimination periods range from 30 days to a year. The combination you choose depends on your situation and what you can afford in disability insurance. It may be wise to choose a benefits period that will cover you until retirement if you can afford it since this will support you should you suffer a permanent disability.
What Disabilities Qualify?
Coverage for your particular disability will depend on the language of your insurance policy in Maryland. Most insurance plans, however, cover any disability that affects your ability to perform the tasks of your occupation. Some policies require proof of full disability, while others offer coverage even for partial disabilities. A full disability means you cannot return to work in any occupation, while a partial disability means you may be able to find a job doing something else.
You can improve your chances of securing coverage by following your doctor’s treatment plan and receiving treatment while you have a long-term disability insurance claim pending. This can show your insurance company you are doing all you can to get better and return to work. Show the insurance company evidence of your injury or illness and disability in the form of medical records and notes from your doctors. Keep up with your insurance premiums to avoid a gap in coverage. Work with an injury lawyer if your long-term disability insurance provider makes it difficult to secure benefits.