No one thinks they'll ever need it. It's not like health or life insurance: we all need medical care and we all die. We may or may not become disabled.
As nurses, we should be hyper-aware of our potential need for LTD coverage. We all know how physicially demanding our jobs are. A few words to the wise (from one who has been in the trenches and survived):
Does your employer offer LTD coverage? If so:
1) Are you aware that if you pay your premiums with after-tax dollars, your LTD benefit will be tax-free?
2) Are you aware of ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) and how it can impact your ability to claim a benefit in a fair and equitable manner? The vast majority of employer-provided LTD policies are governed by ERISA. Under ERISA, you may not claim any damages against the LTD company for bad faith. If your LTD claim is denied, the burden will be upon you, the claimant, to prove otherwise. The only penalty against the LTD company that can be awarded (no matter how egregious the LTD company's behavior) is backpay of the claim plus interest. Occasionally, a paltry per-diem penalty is allowed when the LTD company misses mandated deadlines.
3) Have you obtained a copy of the Disability Policy, read it, and understand that any other income (SSDI, private LTD policy, VA benefits, etc.) may
(likely will) be offset (taken out of your disability payment)?
4) Are you aware that you can decline your employer's coverage and purchase your own private disability policy, which will NOT be subject to ERISA?
After 10 years and 3 federal lawsuits, my husband and I are experts on this subject, much to our dismay. We wish that we had paid more attention before needing disability coverage. I hope that we can serve as a cautionary tale to all of you. These are all details that I wish I had known before unexpected disability visited my family.