Do You Qualify for Private Disability Benefits?
Private disability insurance is common — whether obtained through an employer (i.e., a group disability insurance plan, or subsidized individual disability insurance) or independent of one’s employer — and is highly advantageous when compared to public disability options, such as Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).
However, many policyholders are unaware of the nature and extent of their compensation rights under their private disability insurance contracts, and as a result, they may be rather unexpectedly faced with a dispute over their disability insurance claim. For now, let’s take a look at some of the issues concerning private disability insurance qualification.
What is a Disability in the Context Private Insurance?
In the context of private and public insurance, one must be deemed disabled before they are entitled to receive benefits. Importantly, however, the definition of “disabled” can vary wildly from plan to plan. With respect to SSDI, for example, one must demonstrate that they are completely disabled — in other words, that they are unable to work at their current job and any alternative job — before they may receive benefits. By contrast, when it comes to private disability insurance, the definition of disability can be as strict or as loose as the language of the plan dictates. In some cases, you may not have to demonstrate that you cannot work as a consequence of your disabling condition. In other cases, however, you may only have to demonstrate that you cannot work at your current job.
Generally speaking, the definition of disability is dependent on: a) your ability to work and b) whether you qualify automatically pursuant to a listed condition in your private disability insurance plan. With some insurance plans, if you are afflicted with a condition that is explicitly listed in the plan, you may not have to prove that you are “disabled” and cannot work — instead, you need only prove that you do, in fact, have the listed condition at issue.
For example, if you have been diagnosed with certain forms of cancer, then you may qualify for disability benefits regardless of whether you can show that you have been rendered incapable of working. Consult with a Chicago private disability attorney for guidance on the language of your specific policy and whether your condition qualifies you as disabled pursuant to the language of the policy.
Receiving Benefits With Additional Sources of Income
With private disability insurance plans, your benefits are generally not dependent on your income level. As such, you are entitled to receive benefits despite having additional sources of income. If you have various passive investments — perhaps in the form of rental income, for example — then you will not necessarily be disqualified from receiving disability benefits pursuant to your private plan.
Speak With an Experienced Chicago Private Disability Attorney Today
If you are involved in a policy dispute with your private disability insurer, then it’s critical that you work with an experienced Chicago private disability attorney who is capable of navigating the challenges typical of such disputes. Here at Bryant Legal Group, P.C., our team of attorneys have decades of combined experience effectively securing benefits for disability claimants in the private insurance context. We are well-equipped to assist throughout the application, appeals, and litigation processes.
Call (312) 561-3010 today to consult with one of our qualified attorneys. We look forward to speaking with you.