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Arizona Social Security Disability Blog

Friday, September 29, 2017

Beware of Limitations of LTD Policies

Q: Can Social Security disability insurance payments offset long-term disability benefits?

Seeing an Arizona long term disability insurance attorney as soon as possible after becoming disabled can help expedite financial relief. If you have long-term disability insurance (“LTD”) through your employer, or are considering buying a private policy, the language of the policy and any riders to it is particularly important… and potentially disastrous. An attorney can help you understand what you can expect from a policy.

In Arizona, some large disability insurance companies have Supplemental Social Insurance riders (“SIR”) with relatively straight forward language requiring the insured to apply for Social Security disability insurance benefits (“SSDI”) before receiving long term disability benefits.

Due to the lengthy process of applying for SSDI in Arizona, such a mandate will, at a minimum, impose "painful delays" on the now-disabled and financially-vulnerable insured, specifically when money is needed most. And worse, if SSDI is approved, the LTD benefits are reduced…leaving some people to wonder if having long-term disability insurance with such contractual language even pays.

In Arizona, recent legal challenges to policies that offset LTD with SSDI payments have been unsuccessful, with Arizona courts rejecting the standard contractual argument by policyholders that the language is unclear or ambiguous. As many of the policies which were the subject of these challenges were marketed to professionals, the clear-language argument was a tough sell due to the relatively higher education of the insured-signer and the very clear language itself. Also rejected in Arizona was the argument that such clauses should be void as a matter of public policy—an argument that other states have accepted.

If you or a loved one is disabled, or has questions regarding LTD insurance, having the assistance of a firm that specializes in SSDI applications and appeals as well as long term disability insurance matters can help you navigate and expedite the complex processes of accessing disability insurance benefits.

Contact us at Roeschke Law today to request a free consultation. With offices in Phoenix, Tucson, and Tempe, our firm is devoted exclusively to helping disabled Arizonans throughout the state obtain the benefits to which they're entitled.


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