Many American workers have long term disability insurance policies through their job. Have you ever wondered what actually causes people to have to go on disability? It is estimated that 25-30% of U.S. workers will become at least temporarily disabled at some point, impacting their ability to work. The list of reasons for having to use a long term disability policy are as long as the list of possible injuries, diseases and illnesses themselves, with some being more common than others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), arthritis is the number one problem confronting American workers on disability. Characterized as inflammation and tenderness in the joints, arthritis often results in swelling and pain. Depending on the severity and location of the arthritis, it often leads to some level of physical incapacity. When severe, it has a significant impact on one’s ability to perform basic work tasks. Once it reaches the point of significantly interfering with being able to work, many people have no choice but to leave their jobs. They then call upon their short or long term disability policies to protect their lost income.
Other common causes of long term disability are:
- Other musculoskeletal disorders
- Cancer (often for the time needed to seek treatment and deal with side effects)
- Heart Disease
- Back Pain
- Infectious Diseases
- Brain Injuries
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Covid, including long haul coronavirus symptoms
Sometimes, people have more than one medical problems which, taken in combination, can qualify them for disability under their group insurance policies.
Does having a common medical problem qualify me for Long Term Disability?
Just because you suffer from arthritis or one of the other issues often cited for disability does not automatically qualify you for either short or long term disability benefits. These benefits are paid out by private insurance companies and they are very interested in healthy profits. This means that adjusters will look for justification not to pay out on a policy. As a policy holder, if you cannot work, it is on you to present a strong case for receiving benefits. Qualification often comes down to the language of your policy (contract), the severity of your problems, and strong medical support for your inability to return to work.
What if my Claim for Short or Long Term Disability was Denied?
If an insurance company denied your short or long term disability claim, you likely have a limited time to appeal. With some exceptions, most policies are governed by the federal law of ERISA. These very complex laws were written in a way that favors the insurance companies. This is not a legal matter that anyone should handle on their own, even with a great letter from the doctor. Doctors are not lawyers and the medical support is only one piece. If you have a denial letter from your STD or LTD insurance company, get in touch with us immediately by calling 630 250-8813 or via email. Our lawyer will be happy to review the denial letter at no charge, and suggest next steps. Also, be sure to request a free copy of our disability book in order to help you better understand what you are up against. These claims can be won, but the law gives you a very short time to do so.