A long-term disability prognosis typically means that your disabling condition is expected to last for more than a year and that you will not be able to function in about eighty percent of available jobs. If you are not sure that you have a qualifying long-term disability, you can check the list of qualifying conditions with your employer's disability insurance plan and/or your nearest Social Security office. You should also know that disabling conditions defined by long-term disability insurance are not always the same as those defined by government insurance. A few examples of long-term disabilities that are acceptable conditions to most types of insurance and Social Security are as follows.
There is a difference between being completely blind and legally blind. Legally blind means that, with the best possible correction, your vision is worse than 20/200 — you cannot see at 20 feet what most people with perfect vision can see at two hundred feet away. Totally blind means that all you see is blackness — nothing else. Total blindness as the result of a work-related accident is accepted for long-term disability insurance purposes. SSA accepts total blindness as the result of a congenital (i.e., born with it) defect or the result of disease (i.e., cancer of the optic nerves). Legally blind people may qualify for SSA benefits, but legally blind individuals do not generally receive disability compensation from insurance programs because it is a pre-existing condition.
Loss of a Limb vs. Lack of a Limb
Likewise, a similar issue exists with limb loss. If you were born sans a limb, the limb had to be removed when you were younger, or you are a child whose mother was taking thalidomide while pregnant, you would qualify for SSA benefits, but probably not for employer-sponsored disability benefits. If you lose the limb in the course of your employment, you would qualify for your employer's long-term benefits plan and for SSA.
How to Financially Manage These Physical Challenges
Before your finances spiral completely out of control and before you attempt to file a claim for disability benefits of any kind, hire a disability attorney. The attorney will make sure your claim jumps all the right hurdles so that you will receive your benefits without delay. Figure out how you can manage to go without money for a while, as it will take some time to get your claims filed and your checks cleared.
For more information, contact a disability attorney.