Many employers offer employees long-term disability insurance, or LTD insurance. LTD insurance helps pay for employees’ lost wages in the event that they become disabled, whether or not the disability occurred as a result of a workplace injury. An employer has no legal obligation to offer this insurance type.
Similarly, workers’ compensation insurance is meant to help pay an employee’s lost wages if hurt at work and unable to return to gainful activity. However, workers’ compensation is only applicable if the worker is hurt while performing a work-related activity. What’s more, most employers are required under state law to offer workers’ compensation insurance.
LTD insurance and workers’ compensation insurance are different in many ways. However, if you were hurt on the job and have LTD, here’s what you need to know about how they relate.
What Your LTD Insurance Will Pay
Long-term disability insurance usually will pay between 50 and 60 percent of lost income. As such, if you made $1,000 per week prior to incurring your disability, then you will be eligible for up to 60 percent of that amount, or $600 per week. LTD does not pay for medical expenses; rather, it provides a percentage of your income to help cover the costs of living while you are unable to work. This money can be used towards medical bills and any other necessary expenses.
Panel Docs and Nurse Case Managers
Why You May Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you apply for LTD benefits and your application is accepted, it is likely that your LTD insurance company will request that you apply for workers’ compensation insurance if applicable. This is because any disability income that you receive from your workers’ compensation policy will offset the payments that you receive from your LTD policy.
Take the example named above: Your LTD insurance pays $600 a week. Through workers’ compensation, though, you’re entitled to $400 a week. As such, the LTD insurance company only has to pay you $200, rather than the full amount. The same is true if you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. LTD pays secondary to any other benefit types received.
Because workers’ compensation also will pay all medical expenses related to the injury, filing a claim for workers’ compensation is in your best interest.
Petitions in Workers’ Compensation Cases
Applying for LTD and Workers’ Compensation Separately
The application for LTD benefits and workers’ compensation benefits is separate and cannot be filed jointly. In the former, the main thing that you will need to worry about is proof of disability and that the disability prevents you from working. A medical professional can help demonstrate this.
In a workers’ compensation claim for benefits, you will have to prove that a work-related task directly caused your injury. Of course, medical evidence to substantiate the degree of the injury, and your inability to work is essential.
LTD & Workers’ Comp – Get Started on Your Applications Now
Both LTD & workers’ compensation insurance have statutes of limitations in which you much file a claim, so getting started on your application as soon as possible is highly recommended.
Both application processes can be confusing, and if you don’t supply the right evidence types, your claim may be denied. At ARM Lawyers we can help get the documentation you need to prove your disability and can make sure that it’s submitted in a timely manner.
Don’t miss out on benefits because you took too long to apply or because you didn’t have legal representation – our attorneys are ready to get to work today! Call us now at 570-257-4509.