Long-term Disability

Published: | Updated: June 18, 2017

Definition - What does Long-term Disability mean?

A long-term disability is an injury or an illness that causes a person to be unable to work for an extended period of time. This period of time can be a few years or even longer. Long-term disability insurance, which pays the policyholder a portion of their original income, protects policyholders from having to go without income for the length of the long-term disability.

Insuranceopedia explains Long-term Disability

Long-term disability usually does not cover injuries that occur on a job site or that occur as a result of an activity carried out at work. Workers' compensation would typically cover such cases. Similarly, employers often offer long-term disability insurance, which starts to pay once short-term disability benefits stop. As the likelihood of a working professional becoming disabled at least once before retiring is relatively high, long-term disability insurance may be a worthwhile consideration, especially because these disabilities average around three years in length. This is a very long time to go without a steady income.


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