Private LTD vs. SSDI

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Smurfette17, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Smurfette17

    Smurfette17 New Member

    This question may be naive, but I'm new to the whole process...

    I'm wondering why, if someone applies for and gets private LTD, you would bother applying for SSDI? I've applied for LTD through my work, which would pay 60% of my salary with no time limit (according to their policy). So, if that gets approved, would there be any point in my applying for SSDI? Especially since they're not additive (LTD then reduces their payment by whatever you get from SSDI), and since the SSDI process is such a pain. What are the pros and cons of each?

    [This Message was Edited on 02/04/2009]
  2. petemora

    petemora Member

    I had great LTD insurance through my employer, a government agency.

    After being on disability for 2 1/2 years, they were looking for reasons to cut me off. They sent me for an IME (independent medical exam) and then a FCE (functional capacity exam). Please remember, these are hired guns looking for any reason to cut off your benefits. Which they did! My LTD provider quit paying my benefits after about 3 years.

    So, I have hired an attorney to represent me for that, as well as for Social Security Disability benefits.

    In the meantime, I get nothing....

    Janice P.
  3. emmally

    emmally New Member

    of most LTD contacts, it states that you must apply for social security and that they amount will be deducted from your LTD benefit.. They than subtract what you get from SS, therefore the LTD gets the advantage here and they get to pay you less that they would without Social Security. If you do not apply for it, than they can legally stop paying you IF the condition is listed in your contact. Most of the time with big insurance companies, it is. LTD is basically one step above a scam. My best advice for you is to start building your case now. They are vicious vidictive people who do not have your best interest in mind. They will do anything and look for any reason to deny you. They are currently trying to state to me that since some healthy people have elevated ebv and hhv6 titers and show no signs of fatigue, that my extreme high titers does not prove that I am sick. I plan on fighting them to the end. Maybe I wont win, but atlease I will know that I tried.. But the stress of this is really pushing me to my breaking point. I feel all of the progress I was making prior to this has been flushed away. My viral titers even have increased since this started and had been in the negative range from the valcyte which I am still on .I read horror stories about them prior to my trouble for people who even had cancer and I never ever thought that it was going to happen to me since I was so sick and had proof of it and was seeing religiously one of the best doctors in the world who states that I in no way can I work....I cant remember if you said that you were approved or not for your LTD allready (I hope you are) but start early by showing them that you are not someone to mess with. Act like a freaking pitbull. DO NOT be conned by there niceness and schemes... They had no problem with my high viral scored suring my STD but that way because it was employer that they have to pay me, it is a whole different story.....
  4. Cinderbug

    Cinderbug New Member


    I applied for both at the same time. I got my SSDI in 9 months and a small settlement from my LTD company after 3 years with the help of an attorney.

    SSDI gives cost of living raises. LTD does not.

    You get Medicare 2 1/2 years after your SSDI approval date, no insurance with LTD.

    The LTD never approved mine but as I am sure someone already said : LTD insurers are NOT reliable and if you are approved they require that you apply for SSDI anyway.

    I've had MUCH better results from SSDI and MUCH less trouble than with that AWFUL LINCOLN financial company ( and mine was not even ERISA)

    Good Luck!

    [This Message was Edited on 02/05/2009]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/05/2009]
  5. buttercakes

    buttercakes New Member

    I was denied also, by the awful Lincoln financial Group, but approved by SSDI in only 4 months.

    In my case, SSDI was way easier to deal with.

    I didn't have the energy to fight with Lincoln, so they got away with it, that makes me so mad!

    Good Luck, Sandie
  6. Smurfette17

    Smurfette17 New Member

    Thanks everyone for the responses. I didn't know the LTD folks were even worse than the SSDi folks. At the moment, the LTD company is still reviewing my case. Dr. Lerner clearly stated that "patient is virtually bedridden". I also had friends and co-workers write letters attesting to the fact that I am too ill to do much of anything. We'll see.

    Perhaps I should start applying for SSDI now too, but I just don't have the energy.

    Also, this may sound crazy, but I am considering whether I should fight for all these benefits. Don't get me wrong, I've always been a fighter and I know I am entitled to this income. However, even now my spouse's income is sufficient for us, so part of me wonders if it's worth the stress of figthing with these idiots. It's not like we're rich and I know I'm entitled to my benefits, but I don't want to go through some long, stressful process that may make me feel even worse.
  7. emmally

    emmally New Member

    I bet before you got sick that you never ever in your life thought that this would happen to you. Well not to be a "debbie downer" but this has taught me that life is full of unexpected things. You never know what is going to happen in the future and you should have as many financial resources as possible for the unexpected. God forbid, what if you husband got sick and his income dropped..You should learn from this that nothing in life is for certain and that you should always be prepared for the worst possible outcome......
  8. Zenith_Z

    Zenith_Z New Member

    Hi, I applied for LTD benefits and it took me well over 3 years to get regular monthly payments for them....I got SSDI sooner...but not by much...both in 2008. My company (PRUDENTIAL, the #@%$$%'s) required me to apply for SSD -- and if I had not, they would have gleefully used that to terminate me.

    LTD companies are out to collect premiums and not to pay claims. They are not regulated like your auto and homeowners insurance companies are. They also, if it is an ERISA case, even more difficult to get payments as they cannot be hurt by denying your coverage. If you do have to file suit under ERISA and you manage to win (and you are not proving that you really are disabled, only that they acted capriciously in denying your claim and had information in their file at the time of the suit that should have made them make a different decision) then they do not have to pay your attorneys fees, they do not have to pay interest, they do not have to pay anything over what they should have paid you in the first they have every reason to deny, and absolutely none to pay.

    If they can hold you off long enough, then maybe you will run out of money to fight them as attorneys rarely take these cases without paying up front or as you go like social security attornies. I got so disgusted and sick and tired of fighting them, but I was not going to let them win. I figure the more that we fight, the better it will be for the next person. And I simply was not going to let them get away with it.

    ERISA laws need to be changed. I was reading some article about it and remember it said something about one attempt to change it a long time ago was met with LTD's spending millions to stop it.

    I do not know how long I will recieve payments (started in August?) before they come after me and try to stop paying -- from what I've seen, I don't suppose it will be long but when they do, I will fight them again. When I finally "won" and they sent the letter saying they were paying to date, they included in it "from what Dr. __ said, that they think i could work part time" and referenced a part of the policy that says if i could and don't they could deny me. Couldn't let it go, could they, had to send that to me. I looked and there was absolutely nothing that indicated I could work part time -- he'd stated I could not work at any job P e r i o d! so that was made up!

    I e-mailed what they had said to my attorney who wrote back " Ignore the "part time" threat. If they go there I will deal with it free of charge." which I thought was so nice. Then again, he made quite a bit of money.

    Keep Fighting!!!!!! If you have the coverage GO AFTER IT!!!

    [This Message was Edited on 02/05/2009]
  9. Smurfette17

    Smurfette17 New Member

    Thanks everyone! You are all absolutely right-- I never in a million years would have seen this coming to me; therefore, I need to plan in the event that my spouse loses his job, dies, divorce or god forbid, becomes disabled too.

    So, not to be pessimistic, but I am going to assume that my LTD claim will probably be denied the first time. In that case, I want to be prepared when they call me/send me a letter. What do I tell them on the phone? Do I ask the reasons for their denial, do I argue with them, do I ask about an appeal process? I just want to be prepared so that I am not caught off guard when they contact me...What are my next steps with regard to LTD?