We rely on insurance companies to be there for us when an event or condition prevents us from making financial ends meet. Long term disability (LTD) insurance policies are meant to provide monthly payments in case of a disability that lasts six or more months. Whether you are looking into LTD insurance as a private policyholder or your employer has provided it for you, you may be wondering how LTD benefits work.

Common reasons for disability claims

Disability claims come in various forms, but they are all debilitating in some way or another. The following are common reasons for a claim:

  • Arthritis or tendon and muscle disorders
  • Back and neck pain
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Cancer and infectious diseases
  • Hand, foot and ankle disorders
  • Strokes

Factors insurers may consider

Your insurer may consider the following in their cost assessment for your LTD insurance:

  • Smoking status
  • Current health conditions
  • Age and gender
  • Current income

Your available benefits may vary depending on the insurer’s assessment; the cost will also depend on your circumstances.

Insurer coverage exclusions

While these will vary case-by-case, policy exclusions may keep you from obtaining all LTD benefits. In other words, while you may experience certain disabilities that receive coverage, the following conditions (often pre-conditions) may be excluded from the policy:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Issues with alcohol or drug abuse
  • Mental or nervous limitations/illnesses
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Insurance documents and contracts can often confuse policyholders and employees. What’s more, a denial of an LTD claim could have serious impacts on your financial well-being. It is important, if you have questions regarding your policy or claim, that you consult a legal professional with related experience.