Long-Term Disability Insurance (LTD)

The Basics

Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance is private insurance that replaces some of your income if you can't work because of an injury or illness. LTD is important because it can ease the financial burden on a household when someone has a serious illness or injury. Talk to your Human Resources department to see if your job offers LTD coverage as a benefit.

The main difference between disability income insurance and Workers’ Compensation insurance is that for disability income insurance, the injury or illness does not need to be work-related.

There are two types of private disability income insurance:

  1. Long-Term Disability (LTD) pays you a portion of your income for a long period of time. Depending on your plan, LTD may pay you for a specific number of years, like two years or five years, or until you turn a specific age, like 65. LTD is explained in detail in this article.
  2. Short-Term Disability (STD) pays you a portion of your income for a short period of time. Depending on your plan, STD generally lasts between nine and 52 weeks (or one year). To learn more, read DB101's article about STD.

With LTD, the amount of time you can get benefits and the dollar amount the benefits give you can vary significantly.

Some employers offer group disability income insurance policies as part of their benefits packages. If your employer does not offer LTD or if you want more coverage, you can buy an individual policy from an insurance agent. Each insurance policy has different features. You can get more information about your Long-Term Disability Insurance plan from your employer’s Human Resources department, if you get your coverage through your job, or from your insurance agent if you have an individual policy.

Talk to your job's HR or to an insurance agent

Long-Term Disability (STD) Insurance is not a government benefit, and it is not connected to any public benefit program. It is private insurance coverage that you get through a private company.

To find out if you have LTD coverage through your employer, talk to your Human Resources person. To sign up for an individual policy, contact an insurance company or insurance agent.

Note: If you are looking for information about Social Security benefits for people with disabilities, see DB101's Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) article and DB101's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) article.

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