You have probably heard the term “long-term disability” before, but perhaps you’re unsure what it means. It’s helpful to know a little about it, though, since this is always something that might happen to you. You may not expect it, but a single workplace accident is sometimes all it takes for you to reach this condition.
When we say “long-term disability,” that could mean several different things. As the J. Price McNamara Law Offices notes, though, long-term disability can be one of “the most serious economic risks that workers face.”
In this article, we’ll talk about some specific injuries that may constitute a long-term disability. If any of these happen to you, you’re probably going to find yourself dealing with an insurance provider and filing a claim.
1. Back Injuries
We’ll start by saying that most insurance policies describe “long-term” as a disability which lasts longer than three months. In other words, you might sustain what your insurance provider calls a long-term injury, but that does not necessarily mean you’ll be out of action for the rest of your life. It could be that you can recover enough so that you can return to work a few months down the line, or perhaps even years later.
In the meantime, though, you’ll need to file for long-term disability because you will need that money to cover things like rent, mortgage payments, medical bills, utility payments, groceries, car payments, and more.
Back injuries are certainly on the list of things that an insurance provider might call long-term. There are lots of ways you might hurt your back. If you’re at work, maybe you have a job in the construction industry or some other dangerous profession where accidents happen relatively often.
A fall from a scaffold or a piece of heavy machinery hitting you can cause a back injury. Maybe you severe the spinal column or rupture a couple of disks. It is not inconceivable that you might be able to recover from such an injury, but it just as easily might prohibit you from doing that kind of job for the rest of your life.
Maybe you can get around with a cane or walker from that point forward, or perhaps you’ll need to be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. Back injuries can be tricky. With many months or even years of physical therapy, you may be able to regain some of your prior abilities.
In the meantime, you’ll certainly need to collect payments from your insurance provider. If you were one of your household’s primary breadwinners, collecting on your claim becomes even more urgent. You might have dependents who need that money, like a spouse and children.
2. Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can happen if you work at a dangerous job, but they can also occur if you’re doing something which seems pretty innocuous at the time. Maybe you work at a gym, and you slip and hit your head on the pavement because the gym workers failed to shovel the driveway and put down salt to melt the ice following a big snowstorm.
There are thousands of other ways you can injure your brain, but the result is the same. A brain injury can stop you from doing many of the things you once took for granted. Maybe your cognitive decline reaches the point where you have short-term memory loss.
You might not be able to drive safely anymore because you don’t have spatial awareness. You may not be able to speak or understand when someone says something to you. Much of this will depend on what part of the brain you injured when the accident occurred.
Obviously, a severe brain injury will prevent you from working, and it may impede your ability to do all kinds of other things as well. If a doctor looks you over, they will probably quickly conclude that you have a valid claim. Your insurance provider will have little alternative but to make regular payments based on your policy stipulations.
You might not hear as much about the HIV/AIDS epidemic as you used to. The numbers have indeed receded somewhat since the 20th century’s latter half when the disease was more widespread, and there were fewer drug options and treatment courses available to fight it.
This does not mean that humanity has eradicated it, though. It’s still out there, and it’s possible to get it from someone who is HIV-positive. Using protection when engaging in sexual activity is your best move, or practicing abstinence.
If a doctor gives you an HIV or AIDS diagnosis, there are more ways to treat it than there once were, but that does not mean you can continue with your work-life like you normally would. You will have to immediately address the issue by talking to a doctor about your options.
It’s very likely that your medical insurance should grant you long-term disability status based on this diagnosis. The money you get from the policy can go toward the treatments you’ll need to start which can hopefully prolong your life.
There are hundreds of other conditions that might constitute a long-term disability, too many to list right here. Chronic pain from various conditions might mean a long-term disability diagnosis. Cancers and balance disorders might do it.
You might deal with cerebral palsy, diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy, hypertension, or lupus. The list goes on and on.
The point is that if you have a comprehensive medical insurance policy you bought through the marketplace or your workplace grants you, that should be able to pay you regularly once the provider confirmed your long-term disability status. Almost all employers must carry a policy covering their workers, which is a huge incentive to find a job.
If you receive a long-term disability diagnosis, that’s not ideal, and it might frighten you. It’s important to remember, though, that the insurance company that issued the policy should start sending you payments that can help.