Defining your occupation can be key to your ability to be awarded long-term disability benefits. Especially if your eligibility for benefits is based on the required duties of your “own occupation,” clearly defining those duties is crucial. Many insurance policies move to a far more restrictive “any occupation” standard for continuing to receive long-term disability benefits after claimants receive benefits for a specific length of time, such as two years.
The general standard for qualifying for LTD benefits under an “own occupation” standard is whether your medical condition impacts your ability to complete those tasks that are central to your job. Under an “any occupation” standard, however, you must prove that your medical condition prevents you from completing any gainful employment that you are reasonably qualified for based on your education, experience, and other individual factors.
In many cases, your official job description that your employer’s human resources office maintains may not be truly representative of your actual job duties. For instance, the job duties of your position may have changed over time, your office may have undergone a reorganization, or new duties may have developed out of necessity, such as due to changes in technology. Another common issue is when the human resources office uses a very generalized job description for several similar positions, even though the positions may require duties that differ markedly.
While you certainly should include the official job description as part of your long-term disability benefits application, you also should write out your own description based on the tasks that you must complete daily, weekly, monthly, and/or quarterly. You also can ask your supervisor to describe your job duties in greater detail than provided in the general job description. This sort of documentation can help identify the specific tasks that your medical condition prevents you from performing. It also can show how central certain tasks are to your job performance.
It can benefit you greatly to get legal advice about the most effective means of building and maintaining the most successful ERISA long-term disability claim possible. Bonnici Law Group provides skilled, aggressive legal representation regularly for individuals who are seeking long-term disability benefits under insurance policies governed by ERISA. Our priority is to represent your interests and protect your rights to the benefits that you deserve. Call us at 619-259-5199 and schedule an appointment to meet with us about your case today.