Long-term disability insurance can be a complex subject. It is recommended to educate yourself and to make sure you fully understand what is included in order to get the most out of your coverage. When researching long-term disability topics, many terms come up over and over again. One of these phrases is the elimination period.
What is the meaning behind the term elimination period? In simple terms, the elimination period indicates a period of time of how long you must be disabled, ill, or injured before you start receiving your benefits. Without exception, all long-term disability insurance policies have a waiting period or elimination period to receive your benefits. However, short-term disability benefits are usually payable during this time, so you shouldn’t be without income if you qualify for short-term disability benefits during the same time period.
So how long does this period last? It can range from sixty days to one year, but the most common elimination period is 180 days. If you are curious about the differences between long-term and short-term disability insurance, the elimination period is one of the main differentiators. The waiting period identifies the length of time that you must be disabled before the policy will “kick in” and start paying you benefits. It is possible to select a shorter elimination period, but the cost of the policy will increase. Generally, the length of the elimination period is a standard amount of time negotiated by your employer when purchasing the plan.
When it comes to elimination periods, there are a few more helpful terms that you should get familiar with.
Most long-term disability insurance companies will exclude pre-existing conditions from your policy. This is done during the application process as a way for insurance companies to protect themselves from people who are treating for a disability, injury or illness just prior to the long-term disability policy from becoming active. It is also a way to prevent fraud. In order to provide you with the best options in your policy, insurance companies want you to be 100% upfront with the pre-existing condition if you have it.
In certain situations, if you file a second claim for the same condition, insurance companies will disregard the elimination period if you have already gone through the waiting time for the same disability. It happens a lot in cases of a reoccurring illness or injury such as cancer. But you will have to go through the elimination period again if you suffer from a different long-term disability and have returned to work for an extended period of time.
When reviewing your options before getting a disability insurance policy pay close attention to the elimination period. It might be a good idea to compare multiple companies before signing up to ensure you are getting the best long-term disability insurance policy possible.
At Bonnici Law Group, we’ll assist with any questions you may have about long-term disability so you can decide what is best for you and your family. Call us at (619) 259-5199 or click here for a FREE consultation!