How Long Does Group Long Term Disability Last

Group Long-Term Disability Insurance: What Is It, Why Do I Need It, and How Long Does It Last?

(The insurance nobody thinks about until they need it)

How Long Does Group Long Term Disability Last

What’s your most valuable asset? If you’re like most people, you’ll probably say your house, your car, or your retirement savings. But unless those things are worth well over a million dollars, you’re probably wrong. Your most valuable asset is your future earnings.

According to the Social Security Administration, the average high school graduate will earn over one million dollars during their life, and the average college graduate will earn over two-and-a-half million. 

Your home and your car are probably well insured, and your 401(k) is probably very secure, but what about your future income that’s worth far more than all of those things combined? 

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How Long Does Group Long-Term Disability Insurance Last?

Most people who have group disability insurance receive it through their employer, usually at little or no cost to themselves. Some large associations such as professional organizations also offer group disability insurance to their members.

There are two aspects to this question:

  • How long can I remain covered by group long-term disability insurance? In general, you will remain covered by a group policy as long as you remain employed by  your current employer or are a member of the association providing the insurance. If you retire, lose your job, or change jobs, you will lose your coverage immediately. It is not portable and will not continue past retirement.
  • How long will the benefits last if I become disabled? This is known as the benefit period and is specified by the policy. Typical benefit periods are in increments of five years and will typically be 5 years, 10 years, or until retirement.

How Long Does It Last Compared to Individual Disability Insurance?

Group disability isn’t fundamentally different from individual disability, so the benefit period is as described above. The major difference between group and individual policies is the cost, not the coverage periods.

How Long Does It Last Compared to Short-Term Disability Insurance?

Short-term disability is intended to cover the gap between the time you become disabled and the time your long-term disability coverage begins, or the time when you become able to resume working, whichever comes first. The length of short-term disability can range from one or two weeks up to two years, with 30 to 90 days being common.

What Occupations Should Consider Long-Term Disability?

The answer to this is simple: any occupation you depend on for income. While dangerous occupations and hobbies may increase the risk of becoming disabled, there are many ways you can become disabled other than through injuries. 

In fact, illnesses account for the majority of disability claims. So it’s safe to say that if you depend on your income to maintain your standard of living, then you should probably carry long-term disability insurance.

How Long Does Long-Term Disability Last after Leaving a Job or Getting Fired?

If you quit or lose your job, you no longer have an income to protect and become ineligible for disability insurance. However, if you were collecting disability payments when you quit or lost your job, those payments will continue either until  you’re able to resume working again or the benefit period ends.  

What to Do When It Runs Out?

If you’re on long-term disability when the benefit period expires and you’re still unable to work, you may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. In order to qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be unable to work because you have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death
  • Not have a partial or short-term disability
  • Meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability
  • Be younger than your full retirement age

The application process for Social Security disability can be a lengthy affair and many applicants are denied, so you should begin the application process well before your long-term disability insurance expires.

Why Choose an Independent Insurance Agent?

A vast network of independent insurance agents can provide you with a large selection of group long-term disability policies that will provide you with the security you need to protect yourself and your family from an unexpected loss of income.

Independent insurance agents simplify the process of shopping for and comparing disability insurance. They will explain the complex terms for you, cut through the jargon, and make sure you understand the fine print.

But perhaps most importantly, they work for you – not one insurance company. They can compare policies from many companies and pick the ones that are best for you at the best possible price.

They’ll also be there for you in the future if your needs change or questions arise. They work for you, and their only job is keeping you satisfied now and in the future.

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