If you cannot work due to a medical condition, you have a disability, but your insurer may still deny your claim. Denials of long-term disability insurance claims can feel final and disconcerting, but they have no bearing on whether you have a disability.
“Denials” are tools for the insurance company
In any insurance dispute, in any venue, for any injury, of any severity, the first and easiest thing that an insurance company can do, is deny it. It’s a cost-control method. It’s a business policy. It’s effective.
Conditions compensable through disability insurance
Any condition that keeps you from “performing the material duties of your occupation” is a disability. A few examples of disabling conditions are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscular dystrophy
- Macular degeneration
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
You might also find yourself disabled by genetic or infectious disease. You might have a disability due to mental illness.
What if I can work, but not in my profession?
If a surgeon were to damage their hands, their career as a surgeon would be over. However, their ability to work at all would not. This individual may receive some disability benefits as part of an “Own Occupation” policy. However, even here, denial of a disability claim based on an ability to work at all misses the policy’s point.
You do not have to accept your denial
You can take steps to ensure your condition is recognized and your needs are met. Your disability is real. If an insurer tells you that your condition doesn’t add up to a disability, you do not have to accept them at their word.