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Long Term Disability Lawyer Near Me

When a person has been injured in an accident or has been diagnosed with a serious illness, he or she is often required to take weeks or even months off from work in order to obtain treatment. This can make it difficult, if not impossible, for some families to stay financially afloat as they may be required to foot the bill for expensive medical treatments in addition to paying for household expenses. For this reason, many Ohio residents choose to purchase long-term disability insurance, which kicks in to provide them with income for an extended period of time in the event of a serious disability.

While many employers offer long-term disability insurance to their employees, some residents are required to purchase their own policies from private insurance brokers. Whether a policy is offered by an employer or is purchased privately, the process of filing a claim can be difficult, so if you or a loved one were recently disabled, it is critical to speak with an experienced long-term disability attorney who can explain your legal options.

Defining Disability

All long-term disability insurers define disability somewhat differently. For instance, many companies will consider a person disabled if he or she is unable to fulfill the duties required of his or her “own occupation.” Other policies, on the other hand, will only provide benefits to claimants who can establish that they are unable to fill “any occupation.” Some companies combine the two standards, transitioning from the “own occupation” standard to the “any occupation” standard after a certain length of time, usually two years.

Regardless of the type of standard used by the insurer, some conditions almost always fall under the category of a disability, including:

  • Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders;
  • Cancer;
  • Cardiovascular and circulatory disorders;
  • Certain mental disorders; and
  • Pregnancy and childbirth complications.

It is important for claimants to check their policy’s summary plan description (SPD), which will contain a list of excluded conditions, such as medical impairments related to substance abuse or preexisting conditions. For example, claimants who have been diagnosed with conditions based on subjective complaints rather than objective testing, such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia are often only able to receive benefits for a limited time period.

Partial Disability

Depending on an insurer’s definition of disability, many companies are willing to provide claimants with partial benefits if they are able to work, but only in an occupation that pays much less. Generally, claimants who are only able to earn around 20 percent of their pre-disability salary will be considered completely disabled and will be able to collect full benefits. Those who make less than they used to, but more than 20 percent may still be able to collect income, in an amount that represents the difference between what they are able to make and what they could make if they were not disabled. In some cases, insurers are even willing to offer dependent care reimbursement benefits, which means that claimants will receive reimbursement for child care expenses if the injured individual’s spouse must go back to work as a result of the disability.

Call a Dedicated Long-Term Disability Attorney

If you are unable to work as a result of a disability, please schedule an initial consultation with an experienced long-term disability attorney at the Law Office of Mike Gertner by calling 614-463-9393 today.