Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
There is a 99% chance that the plans coordinate with each other because virtually all plans now have coordination of benefit language within them. That is to say the LTD will reduce your benefits paid by the amount of any other plan or insurance proceeds you receive so that you never in total get more than the LTD payout, which is probably 60-70% of pay. So, your options are - 1) try to continue the LTD benefits with the new condition (i.e., call the adjuster and tell him/her of the new condition for a continuation of claim, or 2) when the LTD ends submit the STD claim and start over.
STD plans usually only pay out for 6 months or so anyway, and your LTD plan pays out for 17 more months at least and until regular retirement age (65) if it lasts that long. So if you have the choice of one or the other, I think it's clear that keeping the LTD is the best plan.
The answer to why you have to choose one or the other is because they have coordination of benefits. Coordination of benefits means that the max you can collect from any and all sources of payment is the % of pay. It doesn't matter that they are different conditions or that they are from different sources, taxable or not etc.
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