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Can you take a vacation if you’re receiving LTD benefits?

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2024 | Long-Term Disability (LTD)

If you’re receiving long-term disability (LTD) benefits after suffering a serious injury or illness that has left you unable to work, you may be afraid that if you leave your home for anything besides medical appointments, you risk losing your benefits. Even if you realize that your restrictions aren’t that extreme, you may believe you can’t take any kind of vacation or even travel out of town to see family or attend a wedding without putting those much-needed benefits at risk.

Your situation all depends on your medical condition. If your doctor has advised you not to travel or if you might worsen your condition by traveling, then you shouldn’t. However, if you simply want to get away for a relaxing few days at the family cabin and enjoy some fresh air and a change of scenery, that likely won’t jeopardize your benefits. However, there are some caveats.

Read your policy first

It’s crucial to check with your doctor and to review the fine print in your policy. Some LTD policies don’t say anything about travel. Others require those receiving benefits to notify those that administer a particular policy before traveling. You may have to provide a letter from your doctor. There may be prohibition against travel outside the U.S. The important thing is that you take any necessary steps to avoid losing your benefits and potentially being accused of fraud.

You’ll also want to ensure that your trip doesn’t slow down your recovery. Find out from your doctor, physical therapist and other health care providers what you can and can’t do. Be sure you bring your medications and keep up with any exercises you need to do. The last thing you want to do is re-injure yourself or make your condition worse. Also, stay connected so that if your insurer tries to contact you, you can respond.

Stay off social media

While everyone likes to post pictures of their travels, it’s best not to if you’re on a medical leave, even if your vacation activities aren’t nearly as taxing as your usual work responsibilities. While your insurer may not be monitoring your social media, word can get back to co-workers and managers who may not appreciate that you’re enjoying the mountains while they’re putting in extra hours making up for your absence. This is often how insurers find out about these things.

If already you’re facing a potential loss of your LTD benefits and potentially even penalties because you traveled or did something else during your leave that caused your insurer to accuse you of fraud, it’s wise to seek legal guidance. This can help you protect your rights and your benefits.