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Dealing With Long-Term Disability

After a serious physical or mental injury, you may not be able to work and provide for your family as you could before the trauma. Besides managing with the pain and possible embarrassment of the injury itself, you also have to deal with proving that you have indeed suffered a career-ending injury as well as apply for the long-term disability coverage that you deserve.

People with severe mental or physical injuries can both qualify for long-disability coverage. However, it can be difficult that your injury does in fact prevent you from being employed. One interesting thing to note is that someone may have the same injury as you, but he or she qualifies as having a long-term disability (LTD), whereas you do not.

The reasoning for this discrepancy is that some jobs require different skills than others. For example, let’s say you are a receptionist whose main job it is to answer the phone. On the other hand, there is someone who works as part of an assembly line, bolting two specific parts together with a hand-held screwdriver or drill. If you both develop carpal tunnel syndrome, the person from the assembly line may have suffered a career-ending LTD while you did not. This is because the assembly line job requires that person to have significant manual dexterity, whereas you just have to pick up the phone.

If you are in the process of proving that you have an LTD, it is important to keep track of all of your medical information. If your doctor’s office allows you to have copies of your medical records, it can be important to keep these in a safe place to track the progression of your injury and treatment. When you apply for LTD coverage, you will probably have to submit a letter from your physician detailing your injury. When you ask your doctor for the document, tell him or her that it is important to be very specific about your limitations.

Next, if you do qualify for LTD coverage, you have two main types of coverage to choose from. Both Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and supplemental security income (SSI) are provided by the Social Security Administration. However, they differ in the SSI tends to be awarded to those who are blind, elderly, or disabled for their basic needs, and the money comes from general taxes. SSDI comes from social security money, and it can cover additional family members.

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