The definition of disability will vary depending on your employer's plan. Some policies consider you disabled if, due to sickness or accidental injury you're unable to perform the duties of your own job or occupation, while others consider you disabled if you're unable to perform the duties of any job or occupation taking into consideration your training, education and experience. Other policies require that you are unable to earn a certain percentage of your pre-disability income because of injury or sickness.
Some policies may include a rehabilitation provision that gives you an incentive to take part in a vocational rehabilitation program.
Keep in mind that many policies have exclusions and limitations and may not fully cover certain disabilities and pre-existing conditions. Benefits differ from company to company, so speak with your benefits administrator for your workplace’s complete plan details.
If you satisfy the definition of disability, benefit payments will begin after you have met a waiting period – a plan-defined period of time, starting with the date you are disabled from work and the number of days you must continue to be disabled until benefits begin. Most group long term disability plans have an elimination period of 90 days or 180 days. Under group plans, the employer selects the elimination period.
With most group disability plans, the employer selects the maximum duration of benefits. The most frequently offered maximum benefit periods are two years, five years, and to age 65. Policies with shorter maximum benefit periods typically have lower premiums. Benefits will be paid up to the maximum duration provided you continue to the disabled during that period.
Disability coverage that replaces at least 60 percent of your after-tax income is generally recommended.
To estimate the benefit amount you would need if you became disabled, ask yourself how much monthly income would cover your living expenses. Household expenses may include mortgage and car payments, groceries and child care. Consider all these factors to help you come up with an appropriate amount.
The MetLife Disability Calculator is another handy resource you can use to estimate the amount of disability insurance income you would need to help maintain your current standard of living.
Social Security disability benefits may be available to eligible individuals who experience a disability that is expected to last at least one year, in addition to other requirements. Social Security disability benefits are not intended for temporary conditions. You should also note that Social Security's disability rules are different from those of other government or private programs. For more information on Social Security disability benefits eligibility, visit the Social Security Administration's website at www.ssa.gov.
Check with your workplace benefits specialist to find out if your company offers group disability insurance, and if you are eligible. If so, your benefits administrator can provide you with plan details.
You will need written proof of your disability from your treatment provider(s) to file a claim. You may also need to provide additional medical records concerning the details of your disability. MetLife may also want you examined at their cost and/or may require financial information from you. Please see your company’s benefits administrator for details.
MetLife offers various ways to submit your claim based on your plan, including online, mail, phone and fax options. Plus, you can count on MetLife to provide caring, compassionate and accurate claims service if and when you experience a disability.