ERISA Long-Term Disability FAQs

Start getting answers to your questions about employer-sponsored long-term disability insurance benefits by browsing our answers to frequently asked questions. Here, you can find a lot of the information you need to protect your fair recovery of insurance benefits.

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  • What Information do I Need When Filing a Disability Claim?

    According to, you will need the following information:

    • Your personal contact information
    • Your work schedule
    • Your reason for leaving
    • The last day you worked
    • The first day you missed work
    • Your condition
    • The contact information of your physician, including fax and telephone numbers

    You will also need to note if surgery is needed. If you have to have surgery, you will need to list the date of the surgery and the type of surgery you will be receiving. 

  • How Can Veterans' Disability Benefits My Family?

    Receiving veterans' disability will provide you and your family with several benefits. Here is a list of what benefits you could receive:

    • A monthly income
    • More healthcare benefits and services between jobs as well as after retirement
    • Vocational rehabilitation training
    • Long-term health care
    • Eliminated property tax
    • Government hiring preference
    • VA survivor benefits
    • Programs that help with new business development
    • Free or Reduced College Tuition for Children

  • What is an Appeal?

    If your claim is denied, you should consider appealing it. This will give your case a second chance to be approved.

    There are several levels of an appeal. Your appeal will be reviewed by a Decision Review Officer at the VA office or the Board of Veterans' Appeals will review your claim.

    The VA will give you an estimate of your initial rating when you apply for disability. If you believe you are entitled to a higher percentage or you were wrongfully denied benefits, file an appeal.

  • What can I do if I cannot afford the Medicare premiums?

    There are programs put in place to help you pay for premiums if you have a low income. Extra Help and Medicare Savings Programs were both created to help you afford premiums. Medicare Savings Programs will help you with Part B premiums and may cover copays and deductibles. MSPs vary from state to state. Extra Help is a federally funded program to help you pay for Part D coverage.

    Click here to see a list of different types fo Medicare payment assistance programs.

  • Will money be taken out of my SS check to pay for Medicare?

    You can write a check, pay online, or have the money taken out of your Social Security; this is advised. This is also true for the people who must pay for Part A.

  • When am I eligible to receive Medicare insurance?

                You can apply three months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and three months after you turn 65. This is called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). You can enroll for Part B coverage up to eight months after you stop working. This small period of time is called Part B Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

                If you are eligible for Part B but you do not enroll during the eight-month period, you may face a late enrollment fee. If you do not take advantage of the SEP or IEP, you can enroll anytime during January 1 through March 31 of each year. This is called the General Enrollment Period. Your coverage will start on July first. You are automatically enrolled in Medicare once you have been collecting SS for 24 months or you turn 65.

  • Will I have to pay for Medicare?

    Part A is free to individuals who have paid into the system for forty+ years. There is a small premium for those who have not worked for forty years. There is a premium for Part B coverage and Part D also requires you to pay a premium. But there are ways to make these insurance plans affordable through with Medicare assistance programs if you have a low income. 

  • How do I prevent myself from being automatically enrolled into Part B?

    If you have medical insurance and do not need Part B coverage, speak to plan’s benefits administrator to discuss what steps you should take about whether or not to enroll in Part B. Then speak to your local Social Security office about your decision.

  • Do I have to apply for Medicare?

    If you are already collecting Social Security or Social Security disability, then you will become eligible for Medicare benefits after you have been collect for two years or you have turned 65. Once you become eligible, you will automatically be enrolled in Part A and Part B of Medicare. However, if you do not collect Social Security and you are 65, you will not be automatically enrolled. You can still receive Medicare, but you must apply on your own. To receive Medicare Part D, which covers a portion of your prescription drugs, you must apply, even if are collecting Social Security.

  • Should I get both Part A and Part B of Medicare insurance?

    Depending on your needs, you may not need to have both parts of Medicare coverage. If Medicare is your primary insurer, you should consider having both parts. If Medicare is your secondary insurer, you may not want to invest in Part B and only Part A since it is free. Examine your policy and decide what is best for you and what you can afford.

  • What are the different parts of Medicare insurance?

    Under Federal law nursing home residents are entitled to:

    -Proper care and being informed of their medical condition as well as knowing the drugs they have been prescribed. A nursing home resident can also see their own physician.

    -They are not allowed to experience abuse and neglect. They must be monitored so they do not become dehydrated or malnourished.

    -Residents must be free from restraints unless they are medically required.

    -They cannot be discriminated against because of color or religion.

    What are the signs of nursing home neglect and abuse?

    Some signs are fairly obvious such as broken bones, unexplained injuries, malnutrition, an unsanitary living environment, or unexpected death. Signs of depression or sudden changes in behavior may not be as obvious, but these are still signs of neglect and abuse.

  • If I wait to apply for Part B of Medicare insurance, will there be a fee?

    If you do not enroll during your initial enrollment period for Part B coverage; you will have to pay a penalty fee along with your premium each month. Your initial enrollment period to enroll in Part B of Medicare is three months before you turn 65, the month you are 65, and three months after you turn 65. Your premium could increase by 10% for every twelve month period you wait to enroll.

    If you are still working and your employer has insurance, you can apply for Part B up to eight months after you retire. 

  • Will I receive a notice in the mail about Medicare?

    If you are receiving Social Security, you will receive information in the mail about Medicare three months before you turn 65. Once you turn 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Part A and Part B of Medicare insurance.

    If you do not collect Social Security, you will not receive information about Medicare. You will have to enroll yourself in Medicare through your local Social Security office.

    You can click here to find out information about Medicare if you do not collect Social Security. It is important to educate yourself about the Medicare coverage will receive before you enroll.

  • Do I qualify for disability benefits under my union pension plan in North Carolina?

    Many industrial union contracts in North Carolina provide disability benefits to workers who can no longer do their regular work. Whether you qualify, for how long, and for what benefits depend on the language in the contract. You should ask your shop steward or business agent for a copy of the contract and any application forms you need to fill out to qualify. Union contracts are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).