LONG-TERM DISABILITY AND TERMINATIONS
I was terminated from my job, can I still file for long-term disability?
This is a complicated question; but if you were enrolled in an employer sponsored long-term disability policy at the time your disability began, you should be able to receive long-term disability benefits. Generally, there is no provision within group disability policies that requires you to apply for benefits within a certain time frame of employment.
Although you can apply for benefits if terminated from your employment, your disability policy might require that you have a waiting period or exhaust your short-term disability benefits, if applicable, before applying. A careful review of your policy will let you know what your options are for applying for benefits. You will also need to have medical documentation showing that your injury or disability existed while you were still an employee and that it is covered by the plan. Most group policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. However, it is dependent on the insurance company that issues the plan.
If you purchased a private disability policy outside of your employer, the rules are a little different. With private policies, all requirements and terms are expressly laid out in your contract concerning when you can apply for benefits and when you must provide notice to the insurance company. This means that coverage is not dependent on continued employment. However, private policies can still contain elimination periods similar to those within group policies.
In most cases, when you have both a group policy and private policy, you will be able to file for benefits under both policies and stack the benefits you receive. If you are unsure of what you should do, it is always best to consult with a qualified attorney who understands the disability policies. Call Martin Law for a free consultation at 215-587-8400.