Archive for June, 2019

What Medical Conditions Qualify for Long-Term Disability?

Listing each chronic or potentially fatal health problem that qualifies a person for long-term disability benefits is not possible. Brief examples and general categories of qualify illnesses and injuries appear below.

The most important thing to understand is the long-term component.

Regardless of whether a person seeks long-term disability benefits from Social Security, a private insurance policy or a public sector pension plans like the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), he or she must document that they have been ill or recovering from an injury for at least 12 months. Short-term disability benefits are primarily available through workers’ compensation, health insurance policies, and supplementary insurance policies like Aflac or Unum.

Documenting a long-term disability requires presenting medical records, prescription records, and testimonials from family members or caregivers. Most benefits programs, especially Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and OPERS, also require applicants to undergo employability assessments. SSDI will actually choose a vocational expert to determine how able an applicant for benefits is to perform basic tasks related to his or her past or possible future job. These tasks range from speaking and understanding spoken instructions to standing and lifting.

In addition to preventing an applicant for long-term disability benefits from returning to his or previous job, an illness or injury must also make it impossible for the person to take a different job. The person’s education, trainability, age, and likelihood of actually finding a new job will factor into whether a person who applies for long-term disability will be approved to receive payments from SSDI or OPERS. What Medical Conditions Qualify for Long Term Disability?

Examples of what illnesses qualify for long-term disability include

  • Mesothelioma
  • Silicosis
  • COPD/Emphysema
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • ALS
  • Congestive heart failure

Examples of long-term disability that result from on-the-job accidents include

  • Amputations
  • Blinding
  • Loss of hearing
  • Neck and spine injuries
  • Should injuries
  • Knee and ankle injuries

As for which types of illnesses and injuries that long-term disability programs will consider, SSDI publishes regularly updated lists that are broken out into the following categories:

  • Low birth weight and failure to thrive for children
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Special senses (e.g., sight, hearing, touch) and speech
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Digestive system
  • Genitourinary disorders
  • Hematological diseases (e.g., leukemia, sickle cell, hemophilia, anemia)
  • Skin disorders
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g., growth disorders, thyroid disorders, kidney disease)
  • Congenital disorders that affect multiple bodily systems (e.g., cerebral palsy)
  • Neurological disorders
  • Mental disorders
  • Cancer
  • Immune system disorders

Applicants for SSDI benefits who suffer from a condition that does not yet appear under an SSDI category retain the right to make the case for having their condition recognized as disabling. When invoking that right becomes necessary, partnering with a knowledgeable and experienced long-term disability attorney is essential in order to navigate the appeals process.

No long-term disability program or insurance policy automatically approves claims. Even people who believe their health or physical condition clearly qualifies them for benefits can avoid delays and denials by consulting with a dedicated and understanding long-term disability attorney. To speak with such a lawyer, contact the Cleveland offices of Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portmen.

Our long-term disability attorneys are available to advise and assist individuals and families all across Ohio. You can schedule a free, no-pressure consultation by calling us at (800) 678-3318 or by reaching out to us online.

Cleveland OH Workers Comp Lawyer
Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman
6100 Oak Tree Blvd., Suite 200, Cleveland Ohio 44131 USA
Tel: (216) 328-2125 Fax: (614) 221-7308 Map