The Edge Series: What Does “Maximum Benefit Period” Mean?

The lawyers in our firm are focused on helping people with disability policies and ERISA claims. We want to give you the edge in understanding your policy. Today, we want to help you understand what the term “maximum benefit period” means in your disability policy.

This term, maximum benefit period, refers to the longest time frame that benefits can be paid under the policy, regardless of ongoing disability. If you prove your claim each month, then payments end on the maximum date in the policy. That is usually found in the Schedule of Benefits (which we discussed in a previous video).

On private policies, that benefit might be paid for your lifetime. On nearly all group policies and many private disability policies, it ends at retirement age, which is either 65 up to age 67. Some policies set the date to a shorter time period. Make sure you know what your Schedule of Benefits says about the maximum benefit period.

Limitations on the Maximum Benefit Period

  • There can be a limitation on the maximum benefit period as to certain disabilities such as psychological or psychiatric conditions as well as disabilities that are based on pain without objective conditions supporting that disability. The maximum benefit period might be limited to one to two years.
  • Another limitation on the maximum benefit period is a disability only as to your own occupation. If you work in a different occupation, you may find that your maximum benefit period is only one or two years.

The maximum benefit period is obviously a critical term in the policy, especially if it limits benefits to only a few years and does not ensure the loss of wages until retirement age.

More than a few people have been caught unaware of this. Don’t wait to find out about this until after you file a disability claim. If your policy is only going to pay one or two years of benefits, how is that going to help you? You may want to replace your policy if the maximum benefit period is too short.

Remember our ERISA attorneys and long-term disability lawyers are here to help if you run into problems. Contact us at the first sign of trouble with your disability claim.

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