Clipboard with multiple sclerosis written on it.If you have been diagnosed with MS, it may be a question of when, not if, you will have to stop working. However, the nature of the disease and its symptoms can make getting multiple sclerosis long-term disability benefits difficult. Find out what you and your doctors need to know to receive the benefits you need when you can no longer work.

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Union Meeting Including Disabled Worker in Wheelchair Union representatives can be an important ally at work. They can negotiate on your behalf, help resolve workplace conflicts, and step in when a long-term disability threatens your employment. But if your employer benefits package includes union-funded long-term disability benefits, you may need to know how best to work with your union reps, and when to get your own independent attorney. Continue reading

Your long-term disability insurance (LTD) policy likely defines disability based on whether are able to perform your “own occupation” or “any occupation.” You probably want to know — and need to know — what the difference is between “own occupation” and “any occupation” in long-term disability insurance policies and what each term means. Those provisions will determine whether you are disabled and entitled to benefits.

Our discussion below centers on provisions that typical in many long-term disability insurance policies. Your own entitlement to benefits will be based entirely on the provisions contained in your policy. If you need assistance in understanding the provisions in your own policy or have questions about your policy, you should discuss your policy and circumstances with an attorney experienced in long-term disability insurance issues. Continue reading

If you suffer from chronic pain, you know well that the pain, itself, is not your only problem. The pain may prevent you from exercising, from taking care of your home and family, and — importantly — from doing your job. But these limitations from pain are only part of the story. The other problem chronic pain sufferers often face is that doctors, employers and others may not believe how bad the pain is. There is, after all, no simple way to measure your experience of pain. This can reasonably make you worry that you will not be able to get time off work or disability benefits for chronic pain. Continue reading

Depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. More than 16 million adults in the U.S. have suffered from at least one major depressive episode in the last year. Clinical depression is a mood disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and isolation so severe that it interferes with one’s daily life. Depression can also have accompanying physical symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, and chronic pain. Depending on the severity, depression can be debilitating both mentally and physically, making it impossible to maintain a regular routine, such as going to work everyday. Continue reading

Checklist to Apply for Long Term-Disability BenefitsIf you are disabled from working, you may well be depending on receiving long-term disability benefits (LTD benefits) through a policy provided by your employer. Knowing the right steps and timeframe in which to apply for LTD benefits can make all the difference in being approved for benefits when you need them most.

Depending on the policy, long-term disability insurance pays a percentage of your salary, typically 50 to 60 percent. The benefits last until you go back to work or for the maximum number of the years stated in the policy (either limited by the policy or near your retirement age). Continue reading

What would you do if an illness or injury left you disabled and unable to work for days, months, or ever again? Every year, thousands of people become disabled before they reach the age of retirement. Disability insurance offers benefits, usually based on a percentage of your salary, during the time you are unable to work. Many employees are aware that they receive health and retirement benefits through their employer, but fewer know if they have disability coverage, or what type of disability coverage they have. Continue reading

Why are LTD disability claims usually terminated or denied?

Every claim is decided individually, but long-term disability insurance companies often follow the same playbook when coming up with reasons to deny benefits.  Finding a long term disability lawyer who knows that playbook can help you respond quickly and effectively to a wrongful denial of your benefits.

Some of the Reasons we see over and over again for denying or terminating benefits:

You can still perform your “regular occupation.”

Most policies don’t look at your job the way you performed it, but instead, rely on an arcane publication called the “Dictionary of Occupational Titles.”  Most of the job descriptions in this publication haven’t been updated since the late 70s, and so they very rarely accurately portray modern work requirements.   By relying on this publication, the insurance companies can find you capable of performing your “regular occupation,” even if it barely resembles what you actually did every day.

There are no “objective findings” to support your disability. 

This gets used by insurance companies most often when someone is disabled based on pain, fatigue, or other subjective symptoms, even when those symptoms are caused by an objectively diagnosed illness.  Denials like this provide almost universal cover for insurance companies to reject any limitations based on symptoms they can’t objectively measure.  Unfortunately, some policies exclude subjective limitations based on pain, fatigue, or other symptoms.  But, if your policy does not contain this kind of exclusion, the insurance company cannot deny your claim simply because there is no easy way to “measure” your disability.

Terminating after 24 months due to a mental health limitation.

This is a very common move by insurance companies.  Most policies limit disabilities that are based in whole or in part on mental health limitations to a maximum period of 24-months.  After this period, you have to prove that your disability is solely due to physical conditions.  This is a convenient cut-off for insurance companies since most people who are disabled struggle with some degree of depression and/or anxiety as they face the reality of no longer being able to earn a living.  Showing that any psychiatric symptoms are solely secondary to underlying physical conditions can sometimes be an effective strategy to overcome this tactic.

We help disabled workers fight denials and terminations regardless of the reason for the denial.  We have helped other professionals, attorneys, physicians, and executives, who often have a particularly hard time proving disability due to their advanced educations and experience.  Likewise we work with clients from team members at Wawa to engineers at Lockheed Martin and everywhere in between.  Disabilities don’t discriminate and neither do insurance companies in their efforts to deny benefits.

If you suffer from lumbar or cervical spine pain, chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, Lyme’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel disease (crohn’s or colitis), or any other serious health problem that prevents you from working, call or message us today for a free claim review.