How Long Does Long-Term Disability Pay?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

How Long Does Long-Term Disability Pay?

Long-term disability (LTD) insurance provides financial protection by replacing a portion of your income during extended periods of work absence due to illness, injury, or disability. The duration of LTD benefits can vary significantly depending on the policy terms, the nature of your disability, and your plan’s specific provisions.

How Long Does Long-Term Disability Last

Key Factors Determining Duration of Payments

  • Benefit Period: The length of time benefits are paid out, often ranging from a few years to until retirement age (typically 65 or 67).
  • Elimination Period: The waiting period between the onset of disability and when benefits start, usually 90 to 180 days.
  • Nature of Disability: Some policies have specific durations depending on the type of disability or illness.
  • Policy Terms: Each policy has its own terms that specify how long benefits last, which can affect the duration of payments.

Common Benefit Periods

Benefit Period OptionDescription
2 YearsBenefits are paid for a maximum of 2 years, often for less severe conditions.
5 YearsA mid-range option where benefits are provided for up to 5 years.
To Age 65Benefits continue until the policyholder reaches retirement age, typically 65.
LifetimeSome policies offer lifetime benefits, though this is less common and usually more expensive.

Examples of How Long-Term Disability Pays

  • Short-Term Illness: For conditions expected to improve, LTD might cover the individual until they can return to work, even if it’s within the 2-5 year range.
  • Chronic Conditions: For ongoing health issues, benefits might be extended up to retirement age to provide continuous support.
  • Permanent Disabilities: In rare cases with lifetime coverage, benefits continue indefinitely, offering financial stability for the duration of the disability.

Considerations for Policyholders

  • Policy Selection: Choosing the right benefit period is crucial, as it impacts the duration and extent of your coverage.
  • Employer-Sponsored vs. Private Insurance: Employer-sponsored plans have predefined terms, while private insurance offers more flexibility in selecting benefit periods.
  • Cost vs. Benefit: Longer benefit periods typically result in higher premiums, so weigh the potential need against the cost.
How Long Does Ltd Last


The duration of long-term disability payments is primarily determined by the benefit period outlined in your policy, ranging from a few years to until retirement age or even for life. Understanding the terms of your policy, including the elimination period and conditions for different types of disabilities, is essential for maximizing your coverage. Carefully consider your needs and the available options to ensure financial protection against long-term disabilities. If you have more questions or need assistance choosing the right LTD insurance, contact us today for a free quote.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Long-Term disability insurance take so long?

Determining eligibility for LTD requires an exhaustive review of medical records, doctor’s assessments, employment history, and the nature and severity of the disability. This evaluation ensures that only legitimate claims are approved, but it can be time-consuming.

Can you get SSDI and LTD at the same time?

You can receive both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits simultaneously. However, receiving SSDI might reduce the amount of your LTD benefits, as some policies offset the payment with the Social Security benefits you receive. It’s advisable to review your specific policy details.

At what age do I no longer need disability insurance?

Disability insurance is typically less relevant after reaching retirement age, which can vary but is often around 65-67 years old.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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