How Long Is Long-term Disability in South Carolina?
Unexpected events can happen. Injuries and illness are a part of life. Being prepared and understanding your rights can make a strenuous time in your life a little less complicated. There are several types of disability benefits available in South Carolina. Short- and long-term disability benefits are just two.
Some injuries are minor, and you can make a quick, full recovery and return to work in no time. But some injuries or illnesses are more severe and may cause you to be out of work for weeks, months, or even years. Long-term disabilities can have a severe, long-lasting impact on your standard of living. Your disability will also likely impact your physical, mental, and emotional health. Unfortunately, it is all too common for individuals to have difficulty obtaining long-term disability benefits or choosing the proper coverage. The Peace Law Firm can help.
What Is Long-Term Disability Insurance?
Disability insurance is often referred to as disability income insurance because it is intended to replace a portion of your income if you become disabled and cannot work. Long-term disability (LTD) insurance, as the name suggests, offers income protection if you can’t work for months, years, and even decades. Typically, LTD insurance will pay benefits until you either recover and can return to work or until you reach retirement age. It all depends on your specific policy and the benefit period.
Long-Term Disability Benefits
In South Carolina, there are benefits to assist individuals living with a disability. However, the long-term disability claim process can be complicated and lengthy. As disability attorneys, we are often asked two questions: What is the length of time for long-term disability? And what is the minimum period of time for long-term disability? Let’s take a deeper look below.
Some employers offer LTD insurance benefits, or you can purchase an individual policy. If you are a government employee, you may be eligible for specific plans discussed later in this post.
If you are planning to apply for an LTD policy, there are essential considerations when choosing a plan. You want to think about the length of the elimination period and the length of the benefit period.
Terms to Know
What is the time frame for long-term disability eligibility? The elimination period, also known as the benefits waiting period, is the amount of time you have to wait after you become disabled to start receiving benefits. The elimination period can vary from 30 days to one year, depending on the policy.
Not to be confused with the benefits waiting period, the benefit period is the total length of time you may receive benefits. Long-term disability benefit periods are typically in increments of years versus weeks or months. Benefits can range from two years up until retirement or when you recover from disability.
As with the elimination period, the benefit period will vary depending on the plan. The benefit period can sometimes be two, five, or ten years, or it might extend until retirement age. In contrast, short-term disability benefit periods will typically be under one year.
Which plan will be right for you depends on several factors, including:
- Your anticipated financial needs should you become disabled;
- Other insurance benefits you may have; and
- What you can afford.
Generally, the shorter the elimination period and the longer the benefit period, the more expensive the policy will cost.
South Carolina Government Employee LTD Benefits
Generally, two types of long-term disability benefits are available to government employees: basic and supplemental.
Basic Long-Term Disability
In South Carolina, if you are a state, county, or municipal employee, you are automatically enrolled in basic long-term disability at no additional cost if you enroll in health insurance. The maximum benefit is capped at $800 per month. In addition, there is a set 90-day elimination period and maximum benefit periods.
Supplemental Long-Term Disability
There are options for eligible employees to select more coverage for additional protection. Additional long-term disability (SLTD) benefits provide extra coverage for injuries, mental disorders, diseases, survivor benefits, and pregnancy. These policies can also include coverage for cost-of-living adjustments.
Applying for Benefits
Applying for long-term disability can be cumbersome and often beset with roadblocks. A disability attorney can assist you through the application process.
Your attorney can help you with the following:
- File your initial claim,
- Interpret denials,
- File an appeal,
- Negotiate a settlement, and
- Litigate if necessary.
No matter where you are in the process, whether you are just beginning to file a claim or receiving an improper denial, the Peace Law Firm can help.
If you have questions or are unsure about your eligibility, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
South Carolina Long-Term Disability Lawyer
For 20 years, the Peace Law Firm has handled long-term disability cases from beginning to end. Over the last two decades, we have helped our clients get the compensation and benefits they deserve. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we take payment only if you win. If you are injured and unable to work, you should be able to live comfortably and have the peace of mind that your loved ones are well cared for during this time. Contact us today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.