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The Most Likely Causes of a Long Term Disability in 2017

If you have a disability and it’s preventing you from being able to do you job, you may qualify for long term disability (LTD) through your employer.  If you do, the following list will help you in understanding what constitutes a qualifying disability for a potential LTD claim.

But first, before we go this list of the most likely causes of a long term disability claim let’s be clear that this isn’t an exhaustive list of all reasons to claim LTD.  And even if you do have one or several of these conditions, depending on your long term disability policy stipulations, you might still need to gear up for a fight with your insurance company before they’ll approve your benefits.


Muscles, Back, and Joint Disorders

Muscles, back, and joint disorders all fall under a category called, “musculoskeletal,” disorders.  These are by far the most common types of injuries or disorders, in regards to disability claims.  Almost all of us have personal experience with someone who has been permanently impacted by back injuries due to lifting, twisting, falling, or some other work related activity.  Other musculoskeletal injures could be muscle tears, knee and ankle injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and others listed here.


Cancer & Neoplasms

Cancer is more than just one disease.  There are many types of cancer, some more impactful than others.  But no matter which type of cancer we’re talking about, few things strike to the core of our confidence, like hearing you’ve been diagnosed with the “C” word.

Even when cancer is treatable, the treatment itself can be debilitating and disabling for a long while.  The takeaway from this point is that when thinking about cancer in regards to a long term disability claim, you must also consider the impact the treatment for cancer will have to your ability to work.

Neoplasms are usually referred to as tumors.  They are a mass of cells, that are dividing more than they should.  If they are malignant, they are usually referred to as cancer.  And if they are benign, they are typically not referred to as cancerous.  Regardless, depending on the location, size, and type of tumor/neoplasm, they could have an impact on your ability to work, and very easily could be the reason behind a good long term disability claim (or appeal).


Surgery, Accidents, and other Injuries

This might be considered a catchall, but a significant number of long term disability claims fall under these labels.  You might have surgery to correct any number of issues.  Even other items on this list.  But, if you’re going to be unable to do your vocation for more than 3 months, it’s likely your short term disability will not cover you anymore.

Three months can be a pretty aggressive timetable to get better for serious injuries!  With some injuries, accidents, and surgeries, it’s no wonder that many are unable to go back to work after such a short period of time.


Heart and Cardiovascular System

Heart disease has been a leading cause of disability and even death for as long as people have been keeping track of such things.  Whatever the cause of heart disease is in your case, the outcomes are often very impactful on your way of life.  Surgery, emergency intervention, long term medication, therapy, counseling, diet modification, stress reduction, and so on… As with cancer, surviving sudden events might be more impactful in your long term ability to work, than you ever realized.


Mental & Behavioral Health Challenges

Mental disorders, or behavioral health challenges, depending on whose vocabulary you’re using, can and do impact the ability of many to perform normal daily tasks.  There are many different diagnosis, so to summarize them here would be a challenge.  But one of the things we can say about this particular set of challenges, is that it they are often misunderstood by the people evaluating claims.  There is often contention about the severity.  And these diagnosis are often claimed to be a pre-existing condition.

It’s very possible that you will need the help of a good ERISA lawyer if you have a long term disability claim related to a mental health disorder or behavioral health challenge.


Nervous System

Nervous System disorders might include Multiple Sclerosis, seizures (including epilepsy), Parkinson’s disease (or syndrome), ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Anzheimer’s, and other issues or symptoms such as these.

The progressive nature of some of these disorders and diseases can be a challenge for long term disability claims.  But the totality of the life impact to the individual and to their family, from these challenges can be extraordinary.

Here’s an example of a young married couple and family who are working through early onset Alzheimer’s.  You can see the impact it has had on their life.  Long term disability benefits won’t solve their problems, but it would provide much needed financial support as they work through the challenges of supporting the member of their family who cannot work anymore.


Respiratory Disease

Whether it’s asthma, COPD, or other respiratory issues, the impact on your ability to work and earn a living can be extreme.  If your constantly unable to breath, or breath effectively, your ability to maintain employment is probably going to be severely restricted.  COPD itself is said to be the 4th leading cause of death in the United States.  These conditions could easily and often do warrant a successful claim for long term disability.


What to Do if You’ve Been Denied Long Term Disability Benefits for Any of These Conditions

If you’ve been denied for long term disability benefits due to any of these conditions, you should contact an experienced and effective ERISA law firm like Roy LawA successful appeal for long term disability is possible

Fill out the contact form below to find out how.

About the Author

In 1998, Chris obtained his law degree from the University of Oregon, and in 1999, he accepted his first job as an attorney with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. In 2000, Chris entered a private litigation practice in Vancouver, Washington. In private practice, Chris litigated a variety matters including administrative, criminal, real estate, construction, business, and insurance.