Long-term disabilities are illnesses, injuries, or medical conditions that have the potential to put a worker out of commission for an extended period of time. The definition of a long-term disability may vary according to employer and insurer. They usually include conditions that last at least several months.

Some examples of long-term disabilities include:

  • Chronic or recurring illnesses
  • Serious conditions requiring multiple or extended surgery treatments
  • Seriously debilitating conditions
  • Situations involving multiple injuries
  • Job-related repetitive stress injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome)

How Are Long-Term Disabilities Processed?

In many cases, employers provide insurance for workers who have incurred long-term disabilities. In fact, employers may be more willing to provide long-term disability insurance, as short-term conditions are typically covered by the employee’s own medical package. Some state laws may also require employers to provide a certain amount of coverage for short and long-term disabilities.

Long-term disabilities should not be confused with permanent disabilities. With a permanent disability, the person often can no longer return to work due to their condition. In contrast, a long-term disability may be very serious, but there is still a good chance that the person will return to work eventually.

Social security disability insurance generally only covers total and permanent disabilities. These include life-threatening diseases and other types of conditions. Some long-term disabilities may qualify the person for limited coverage under social security laws. These generally must have effects lasting at least one year.

Can I File a Lawsuit over a Disability Issue?

Many disability claims are handled through state or federal agency investigations. However, in the event that such investigations are not fruitful, the worker may need to file a lawsuit in order to recover damages. This is especially needed for cases involving other legal issues such as fraud or breach of insurance contract. The worker may then be able to get legal remedies such as a damages award to cover lost wages and other costs.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Long-Term Disability Issues?

Long-term disability issues can be difficult to classify under state and federal social security laws. You may wish to hire a employment lawyer if you need help with a long-term disability issue. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice if you have any questions or concerns about your condition. Also, if you need to file a lawsuit or other type of legal claim, your attorney can represent you in a court of law as needed.