What Is an Elimination Period for Long Term Disability Insurance?

5 minute read

Disability insurance is complicated. To make sure you get the best disability insurance policy it’s essential to fully understand what’s included in your policy. That being said, when doing research on disability insurance there are many phrases that come up again and again.

One phrase you might notice is the term: ELIMINATION PERIOD.

So what is an elimination period anyways?

To put it simply, the elimination period is how long you must be injured, ill, or disabled before you begin to receive your policy. All long-term disability insurance policies have an elimination or waiting period to receive the benefit.

The most common elimination period is 90 days, but it can range from about 60 days to 365 days. This elimination period is one of the main differentiators between long and short term disability insurance.

Read more on the differences between long and short term disability insurance here.

This waiting period means that you must be disabled for the specified length of time before the policy will begin paying your benefit.

If you choose a shorter elimination period, it will increase the cost of the policy. This feature on your policy is a personal choice and is different for everyone. But if you’re more open to some risk, choosing a longer elimination period is one way to save some money on your premiums.

If you choose a longer elimination period, make sure that you’ve got enough in your emergency savings fund to cover your expenses until your benefits kick in!

There are a few key pieces of information that are helpful to know when it comes to elimination periods.

Pre-existing Conditions

When it comes to pre-existing conditions, most insurance companies will exclude these types of disability from your policy during the application process. This is a way for insurance companies to protect themselves from fraud or people who purchase a policy after being disabled. So if you have a pre-existing condition, it is best to be 100% upfront with that condition during the application process in order to get the best policy and options.

Multiple Claims

In some cases, insurance companies will disregard the elimination period if you file a second claim for the same condition if you have already gone through the elimination period.

A common situation where this might happen is a reoccurring illness or injury such as cancer. However, if you suffer from a different disability, you’ll need to wait out the elimination period again.

The elimination period is something you should pay attention to when looking at your disability insurance policy options and is one of the main reasons why at Pattern we compare multiple companies to insure you are getting the best policy possible.

If you are ready to get started with the best disability insurance policy for you, fill out a quote request!