Understanding the ins and outs of long-term disability can be so frustrating. The financial stress you may be under as well as the challenges of your disability can compound this frustration. Even the most seemingly basic questions can seem impossible to answer. If you are wondering whether your medical condition, or even a combination of medical conditions, qualifies for long-term disability benefits, then we have answers for you.
What Conditions Qualify for Long-Term Disability?
In general, you should be aware that a long-term disability is considered to be a disabling condition that lasts longer than 12 months or is fatal. The condition itself can include a wide range of medical issues including an injury, one that is genetic in nature, or one that is related to an illness. The truth is that many different medical conditions will qualify for long-term disability depending on the level of severity. Oftentimes, the disability is the result of multiple illnesses, injuries, or other medical conditions.
To verify whether your condition qualifies for long-term disability benefits, you must turn to your specific policy and plan documents. Carefully review these documents as long-term disability benefits eligibility will depend on the terms set forth in them. Some of the more common conditions that qualify for long-term disability benefits include cancer, autoimmune disorders, and mental health disorders.
Cancer involves the uncontrolled development of abnormal cells in the body which, in turn, attack healthy tissues and organs. There are a variety of cancer types, many of which will qualify a person for long-term disability benefits. Some of the more common types of cancer that will lead to qualifying for disability benefits include:
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
When a person has an autoimmune disorder, the body’s immune system mistakes its own tissue for foreign tissue and attacks. With your immune system attacking its own health tissue, the damage sustained by the body can be severe. That is why autoimmune conditions will often qualify a person for disability benefits. Some of the more common autoimmune conditions include:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Type 1 diabetes
Mental health disorders will also act as the basis for qualifying for long-term disability benefits. Often, such disorders involve alterations in mood, processing thought, or behavior. Depending on the severity of the condition, some of the more common mental health conditions that qualify for long-term disability benefits include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Personality disorders
The list of conditions above is by no means exhaustive and some qualifying conditions will vary based on individual policy. The main point to consider is the fact that the terms of your policy will dictate what conditions will qualify for benefits.
The insurance company carries the burden of proving that you do not actually qualify for long-term disability benefits pursuant to policy terms. In order to try and do this, insurance companies will be exhaustive in their requests for your medical records and other relevant documentation. Be diligent in responding to such requests and pay close attention to any reason an insurer provides for a denial of your request for benefits as it may be misinformed.
For assistance accessing long-term disability benefits under your policy, talk to the team at Roeschke Law. Contact us today.