TPD—The Meaning of Total Permanent Disability and How to Qualify for Insurance

Updated · Oct 17, 2022

Millions of people suffer from some form of disability.

For many, the only hope for financial security is total permanent disability (TPD) insurance.

But what is the meaning of TPD exactly?

And who qualifies for insurance?

Read on for the answers to those and other questions.

What Qualifies as Total and Permanent Disability?

Total and permanent disability (TPD) is a term used to describe a person’s inability to work as a result of an injury or illness.

When it comes to insurance, the meaning of TPD can vary depending on the provider.

Insurance companies classify disabilities depending on their severity and duration. They can be permanent or temporary and partial or total.

  • Temporary total disability is when you can't do any work for a period of time.
  • If you can't do full-time work for a period of time, that’s a temporary partial disability.
  • Permanent partial disability prevents you from working full time for life.
  • Total permanent disability affects your ability to do any time of work again.

What Does Total and Permanent Disability Insurance Mean?

TPD insurance provides financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work.

It helps cover the costs of living and medical expenses.

You can choose between government-sponsored Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and private company disability insurance.

It’s usually much easier to qualify for the latter. That said, it’s also more expensive, and not everyone can afford it.

You might also get short-term disability insurance through your employer.

In addition, there are other benefits, like total and permanent disability discharge. This means that you can apply for student loan debt forgiveness.

How to Get Total Permanent Disability Insurance?

Total permanent disability insurance is designed to provide financial protection for people who cannot work due to a disabling condition.

The requirements vary depending on the insurer.

Usually, there’s a waiting period of at least three months before you can apply.

Then, you must provide medical evidence proving that you are unable to work.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Disability Approval Letter?

This is a lengthy process.

Typically, it lasts three to six months. But complex cases could be assessed for years.

First, there’s a waiting period after the incident before you can apply.

The application process can also take a while. Insurance companies could return your application if you don’t have all the required documents.

Most providers evaluate the cases and return a response within six months

SSDI usually takes longer than private insurance.

Permanent Disability Benefits

The sum the policyholder gets is often a fixed percentage of their average wage.

Typically, it is determined by the time left until the person turns 65 or when they qualify for retirement under Social Security.

But again, the duration and the sum depend on the provider and the type of disability.

That said, if the policyholder retires or quits work for any reason unrelated to the injury, the benefits may stop.

TPD Discharge

If you have a disability, you may also qualify for a student loan disability discharge.

This means you won't have to repay federal student loans provided by the following programs:

  • The Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program
  • The Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program
  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program
  • TEACH Grant

Wrap Up

The meaning of TPD insurance is coverage for those who are unable to work or care for themselves due to an injury or illness.

To qualify, claimants must provide medical evidence to prove their condition is permanent.

Still, there are other types of disability insurance for temporary or partial disability.

To see if you can get the help you need through TPD insurance, read our detailed guide above.

Aleksandra Yosifova
Aleksandra Yosifova

With an eye for research, Aleksandra is determined to always get to the bottom of things. If there’s a glitch in the system, she’ll find it and make sure you know about it.