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Voluntary Long Term Disability: What Does It Mean?

Last updated: December 11, 2023

Voluntary long-term disability insurance, often simply called voluntary LTD, is an insurance plan provided by an employer that pays a percentage of your salary if you cannot work for a long period due to illness, injury, or accident.

The 'voluntary' part means that participation in these plans is optional for employees. Read on to learn more about voluntary long term disability and how it can impact you in the long run.

The Importance of Voluntary Long Term Disability

Why You Might Need It

Consider this: What happens if you cannot work for an extended period due to a severe illness or debilitating accident? How will you continue to meet your financial responsibilities? This is where voluntary long-term disability insurance comes into play. It provides financial protection by covering a portion of your income, helping you to keep up with your bills and maintain your lifestyle.

Scenarios Where It Can Be Beneficial

Imagine you're diagnosed with a serious medical condition that requires months, if not years, of recovery time, or you suffer a critical injury that leaves you unable to work indefinitely. With voluntary LTD, you can focus on improving without worrying about your finances.

How Does Voluntary Long Term Disability Work?

Coverage Details

Generally, voluntary LTD policies pay between 50% and 70% of your base salary. They kick in after a specified elimination period, which is the waiting time before you start receiving benefits, typically 90 days.

Application and Approval Process

Applying for voluntary LTD insurance typically involves providing information about your health history. Some policies may require medical underwriting, depending on the coverage amount and your employer's policy.

The Pros and Cons of Voluntary Long Term Disability


The key benefit of voluntary LTD is financial security. If you cannot work, you'll still receive a portion of your income. Plus, because you pay for it with after-tax dollars, the benefits you receive are generally tax-free.


The main downside is the cost, as premiums can be high depending on your age, salary, and occupation. Also, if you have a pre-existing condition, you may not be eligible, or you may face an elimination period.

Factors to Consider Before Enrolling

Financial Considerations

Review your savings, regular expenses, and coverage before deciding on voluntary LTD. If your savings wouldn't last long without your income, voluntary LTD can be a lifeline.

Health Status and Potential Risks

Consider your health, family history, and lifestyle. If you're at higher risk of disability due to your job or personal factors, voluntary LTD may be a wise choice.


1. What is the difference between short-term and long-term disability insurance?

Short-term disability insurance covers a brief period, typically a few months to a year. Long-term disability insurance covers a longer period, often up to retirement age.

2. Does voluntary long-term disability cover pre-existing conditions?

Coverage for pre-existing conditions varies by policy. Some policies may exclude them, while others might have a waiting period before coverage begins.

3. How long do voluntary long-term disability benefits last?

The duration of benefits can vary, but typically, long-term disability insurance provides benefits until retirement age or until the disability ends.

4. Are the benefits from my voluntary long-term disability insurance taxable?

Generally, if you pay the premiums with after-tax dollars, the benefits you receive are tax-free.

5. What percentage of my salary will I receive if I claim on my voluntary long-term disability insurance?

This depends on your specific policy, but generally, voluntary LTD policies pay between 50% and 70% of your base salary.


Securing voluntary long-term disability insurance can provide peace of mind and financial stability in the event of an unforeseen illness or injury. While it's an additional expense, the potential benefits in the event of a long-term disability often outweigh the costs.

If you wish to know more about getting an attorney for a car accident, read through our blogs at Disability Help.

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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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