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How Long Does Long Term Disability Last?

Tucker Law Group
May 13, 2021

There are several factors that can impact how long you can be on long term disability (LTD) to receive disability insurance benefits.

In this article, we will discuss the definition of disability and address questions such as “how long does long term disability last?” and “does long term disability continue after termination?”

Definition of Disability

If you are seeking LTD benefits, you will want to check your plan documents for the definition of disability provided by your policy. Typically, a policy will define disability based on the individual’s ability to perform their own occupation or any occupation. Because requirements of the definition of disability vary by policy, it is important that you thoroughly read your entire policy to determine how long you can be on long term disability.

How Long Can You Be On Long Term Disability?

The length of time that you can receive LTD benefits depends on your policy. If your disabling condition is not subject to a policy limitation and you remain disabled under the terms of your plan, LTD benefits will generally end once you reach the Maximum Benefit Period.

Many LTD policies contain what is called a Maximum Benefit Period that defines how long disability benefits can last. The Maximum Benefit Period varies from policy to policy, but it can last until you reach through age 65 or 67. It is important to note that some policies use different terminology or language to describe the Maximum Benefit Period.

Maximum Benefit Period for LTD Benefits

Maximum Benefit Periods can vary policy to policy, so it is important to read your plan documents to determine how your policy defines it. This can help you understand how long your benefits will last.

Although Maximum Benefit Periods vary by policy, there are a few common ones, including:

  • Long Term Disability Benefits Until Age 65. Many policies provide LTD benefits until age 65.
  • Social Security Normal Retirement Age (SSNRA). Your SSNRA will depend on the year that you were born. You can check your SSNRA here.
  • Specified Number of Months. Some policies will use your age at the time you became disabled to determine the number of months in which your benefits are payable.
  • Lifetime Benefits. While this is rare, some policies provide lifetime benefits.

Does Long Term Disability Continue After Termination?

While the Maximum Benefit Period can last until you reach at least age 65, this does not mean you will stay employed through your disability. What happens if your employment is terminated? Does long term disability continue after termination? We regularly get asked if benefits will stop if employment is terminated. See the following answer to this question.

If disability benefit payments are made by your:

  • Insurance company, you can continue to receive your benefits.
  • Employer, you may lose benefits after termination of employment in rare situations. Review your disability insurance policy to determine if your benefits are at risk.

Can I Work While on Long Term Disability?

Generally, you cannot work while receiving long term disability insurance benefits. There are some long term disability policies that allow individuals to return to work but you want to review your policy to ensure you are not putting your benefits at risk. If you are not careful and you return to work part time or full time, you could lose your LTD benefits.

Contact Long Term Disability Attorneys at Tucker Law Group

It is not uncommon for insurance companies such as Hartford, Unum or Liberty Mutual to periodically review claims to see if you still qualify for benefits. If you have concerns about your long term disability benefits, we encourage you to schedule your free consultation with our long term disability lawyers. You can reach us online, or by calling us at (866) 233-5044.

Our team can provide counsel to help protect your disability insurance benefits while you’re on claim. Our legal team is trained and ready to handle claims from the initial filing, to appealing denied claims, and through to filing and litigating lawsuits.