If an Employer Terminates You While You Are Receiving Long Term Disability Benefits, Do You Still Receive Your Benefits?
The simple answer is yes. If you were on long term disability (LTD) before you were terminated, then you will still receive benefits regardless of termination. The distinguishment is made on when you became disabled. For example: If you became disabled on March 24 and started to receive benefits on April 15th, but your employer fired or laid you off on May 1st, you should still receive your LTD benefits.
The benefits you will receive for your LTD will depend on your policy. Your policy will state the minimum eligibility requirements for both short term and long term disability. Usually, LTD policies have a minimum number of hours worked requirement -a standard 35 hours per week over a certain period of time is the typical amount but you would need to check your policy.
Even if you have been terminated, you still have the right to a copy of the LTD policy from your employer if you were receiving benefits or became disabled during the time you worked for them. Request a copy of the policy in writing as some companies do not make it easy and will try to deny or delay giving you the information you have requested.
Can You Apply for Long Term Disability Benefits After Being Terminated?
Yes. If you became disabled while you were working but didn’t file for disability benefits, you still can file after you were terminated.
Here is an example case:
Before termination, Nancy M. was involved in multiple car accidents, was being treated by several doctors and continued to work. Two years after her last car accident she was terminated. She filed for disability benefits 8 months after being terminated. Her disability claim was denied based on the fact that she did not file a claim while she was still employed but waited until after she was terminated. The court ruled that just because she worked up until the date of termination, doesn’t mean she wasn’t disabled while employed. Her claim was also substantiated by adequate medical evidence that clearly showed the progression of the severity of her disability. Usually, this evidence includes evidence that shows it is difficult to maintain employment due to the disability.
If You Have Not Applied for LTD Benefits yet, Here is a List of Documents that You Will Want to Make Sure You Gather Before Filing Your Claim:
- Copy of your LTD policy.
- Why you can not perform your job duties (this will require medical documentation).
- A list of all medical providers that you have seen for this condition and a letter from each provider stating that your condition prevents you from working.
- Letters that summarize all conversations (by phone or in person) between you and the insurance company representatives, nurses, doctors, and your employer.
- Keep everything chronological so that if your claim is denied you have a complete record of how your claim was handled.
- Proof of your monthly earnings.
- Proof that you are under the care of a physician for your condition.
- All medical documents from your physician regarding your condition including but not limited to your official medical file, lab reports, X-ray and MRI reports, physician notes, list of surgeries including surgical reports.
- Medical evidence that shows that although you were receiving treatment during the time you were employed, your disability started to progressively get worse making it more difficult to work.
What Do You Do If Your Company Terminates Your LTD Benefits After They Fire You?
The first thing you need to do if your company terminates your LTD benefits is to check the policy. As stated above, you should be eligible for benefits if you were disabled prior to being terminated and you met the eligibility requirements for the policy. It would be a good idea to contact a LTD attorney that can help you navigate the process with the insurance company.
It’s important to note that your Long-Term Disability attorney does not get paid until you do so that you can proceed with your case without fear of upfront legal bills or costs.
Although based in Florida, the Ortiz Law Firm represents claimants across the United States.
If you’d like to speak to one of our Pensacola Long-Term Disability Insurance Attorneys about your denied claim, contact us at (888) 321-8131 to schedule a consultation. We can help you evaluate your claim to determine if you will be able to access Long-Term Disability Benefits and how to move forward with the process.