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How To Apply For Long Term Disability?

Last updated: October 10, 2023

Life is rife with uncertainty, including the potential risk of losing the ability to work due to illness or injury. Enter the safety net of Long Term Disability (LTD) insurance. 

LTD insurance is a financial buoy, providing a portion of your income when you can’t work due to a prolonged health concern. Such insurance is vital in maintaining financial stability when grappling with health issues.

Ascertain the Need for Long Term Disability

LTD becomes essential when you have continuing financial obligations that wouldn't halt even if your income did. These could include mortgages, education fees, or day-to-day living costs.

Qualifying for Long Term Disability: Crucial Steps

Qualifying for LTD isn't a one-size-fits-all scenario. It highly depends on your insurer's policies. However, a common thread across applications is the need to prove that you cannot work due to your medical condition.

To substantiate your claim, prepare to provide detailed medical documentation, including physician notes, diagnostic reports, lab results, and other supporting evidence.

Navigating the Application Process for Long Term Disability

The application process for LTD might seem daunting, but with proper preparation, you can tackle it effectively.

  • Inform your insurer: As soon as possible, alert your insurer about your condition and desire to file a claim.

  • Assemble your documentation: Gather all the necessary medical and personal documents to support your claim.

  • Fill out the application: Complete the application form honestly and thoroughly.

  • Submit your claim: Turn in the application form and all accompanying documentation.

  • Await the review: Your insurer will review your application and make a decision.

Handling the Post-Application Scenario

After submitting your long-term disability claim, you'll undergo a waiting period, typically around 90 days, although it can vary per policy. This period allows the insurer to confirm the long-term nature of the disability. It's essential to keep your insurer updated during this time. 

Once approved, you'll receive benefits as a percentage of your income, providing vital financial support when unable to work. The benefits continue until you can work again, reach retirement age, or as specified in your policy. This post-application phase requires patience, timely updates to the insurer, and thorough record-keeping of your medical condition.

Overcoming Potential Roadblocks: Denied Claims and Appeals

Sometimes, you might face a denied claim. While this is frustrating, don't lose hope. Review the reason for denial carefully, and consider seeking legal advice if necessary.

Remember, you usually have the right to appeal a denial. Be aware of the timeframes and requirements for the appeal process as stipulated by your insurance provider.


1. How long is the typical waiting period for LTD benefits?

It's usually around 90 days but can vary.

2. Do all employers provide LTD insurance?

It depends on the company's benefits policy.

3. Can I still apply for LTD if I have a pre-existing condition?

Yes, although it's subject to your insurer's policy.

4. What should I do if my LTD claim is denied?

You have the right to appeal.

5. How long can I receive LTD benefits?

It varies by policy, up to retirement age in some cases.


Applying for LTD can be a complex process, but it's crucial when faced with an illness or injury that prevents you from working. Understand the process, prepare your documentation, and approach the task with patience and resolve.

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Victor Traylor
An expert to the field of Social Justice, Victor formed Disability Help to connect ideas and expertise from the US with rising global cultural leadership, building networks, fostering collaboration, long-term results, mutual benefit, and more extensive international perception.
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