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How Do I Prove That I’m Disabled?

Individuals with a long-term disability may be qualified to receive most of their salary if they cannot work, whether the employer offers long-term disability coverage in the context of a benefits package, or if they’ve acquired their own individual policy. In order to successfully file a claim, you will likely need to overcome several hurdles. One of the most important matters is proving that your health conditions matches the definition of “disability” according to your insurance policy. Additionally, applicants often must consider premiums, waiting periods and a baseline number of hours worked as well. 

Proving your disability can be challenging, but with Bartolic Law at your side, it’s possible. Call our firm to talk with our attorney about your individual circumstances. 

How Can I Prove My Disability?

If you are planning on filing a long-term disability claim, first confirm how “disability” is defined in your insurance policy’s summary plan description. Usually, you will be considered “totally disabled” if an illness or injury significantly prevents your ability to complete work-related duties. You may receive benefits for a “partial disability” as defined by your long-term disability policy if you cannot work at your current job full-time, even if you can physically do so at a different job. If you remain on your employer’s payroll, this may disqualify you from filing a long-term disability claim depending on your policy. 

One of the most important factors in proving a disability is your general physician’s opinion. For your application, your doctor will need to file a form that outlines his or her opinion on your health condition. The claims administrator will also require objective proof demonstrating your disability. Evidence is typically presented as medical records, test results, x-rays and other diagnostic information related to your condition. You can show that your disability is ongoing by receiving treatment while the claim is pending, as failing to do so may prompt the insurance company to reject your case. 

Other Requirements to Receive long-term disability Benefits

There are other requirements that the applicant should be aware of before filing a claim, including: 

  • Full-Time Work. Most long-term disability plans provided by employers require the applicant to be working full-time when the disability occurs. “Full time” is typically considered to be a minimum of 30 to 35 hours of work each week, but this may vary by policy. 
  • Waiting Period. Nearly every long-term disability policy has an “elimination period” that occurs between the time you develop a disability and when you are able to receive benefits. The waiting period typically lasts between three to six months, and you may be required to use all of your sick leave before you can file for short-term disability, which must be exhausted before applying for long-term disability.  
  • Pre-Existing Conditions. It’s common for long-term disability policies to exclude certain pre-existing conditions, which are defined as an illness or injury that was diagnosed or treated before you began to receive long-term disability benefits. If you have a pre-existing condition, you won’t be compensated for any long-term disabilities that are caused by that condition for the first year of coverage. 

Talk to an Attorney About Your Case

If you are seeking long-term disability benefits and aren’t sure what to expect, discuss your options with an ERISA lawyer at Bartolic Law. We are here to assist you with the specifics of your case. Call now for a consultation. 

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