Long-Term Disability Lawyers for Information Technology Professionals
Every day, information technology professionals face challenges. If you’re an IT professional, from fixing system crashes to ensuring data security, you bear a heavy load. Yet, there’s a lurking challenge most people don’t often discuss: The potential of a long-term disability impacting your career and future.
The long-term disability attorneys at Abell and Capitan Law understand this all too well. Our practice focuses solely on long-term disability cases for workers of all stripes, giving us unmatched experience and insight. We are here to ensure that when the unexpected happens, you have a team who understands your profession and can guide you through obtaining the benefits you deserve. Call (267) 419-7888 today or reach out online for a complimentary case evaluation.
What Is Long-Term Disability Insurance?
Long-term disability insurance provides financial benefits if you cannot work due to an extended illness or injury. Unlike short-term disability insurance, which covers immediate and temporary setbacks, long-term disability insurance covers injuries or illnesses that last several months or years. By providing a steady income stream when you can’t work, long-term disability insurance helps you meet your financial needs.
What Benefits Does Long-Term Disability Insurance Provide?
While the specific benefits of long-term disability insurance policies vary across companies and insurers, most policies typically include the following coverage:
- Income Replacement: Most long-term disability insurance policies pay a portion of your regular income. The payments are typically about 50 percent of your pre-disability income, though some policies provide up to 80 percent.
- Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA): Some policies have a COLA feature that adjusts your disability benefits based on inflation, ensuring the amount you receive maintains its purchasing power over time.
- Waiver of Premium: After a certain period of being disabled, the policyholder may no longer be required to pay premiums, yet the coverage continues.
- Coverage for Mental and Nervous Disorders: Many modern policies include coverage for disabilities stemming from mental health issues.
- Non-cancelable: With a non-cancelable policy, as long as you pay the premiums, your insurer can’t cancel your coverage or increase your premiums.
Long-Term Disability Insurance vs. Workers’ Comp
Long-term disability insurance and workers’ compensation both serve as crucial financial lifelines for those who can’t work due to illness or injury. However, their origination, application, and coverage areas differ in several important ways.
Both long-term disability insurance and workers’ compensation provide wage replacement benefits to individuals who are injured or become ill and cannot work as a result. They both serve to replace a portion of the individual’s regular income, ensuring some degree of financial stability during challenging times.
Workers’ compensation only covers injuries or illnesses that arise out of job-related duties. For instance, if an employee slips and falls at the workplace or develops a health condition due to exposure to certain materials at work, workers’ compensation would kick in. On the other hand, long-term disability insurance covers the policyholder regardless of where or how the disability occurred.
Another significant difference is the source of the benefits. State laws require most businesses to provide workers’ compensation, and employers purchase insurance or self-insure to cover potential claims. Long-term disability insurance, however, is either part of an employee’s benefits package or something that a worker purchases individually.
Finally, the duration and amount of benefits can vary. Workers’ compensation might offer permanent benefits if an individual is permanently disabled due to a work-related incident, while long-term disability insurance typically provides benefits for a specified period or until the individual reaches retirement age.
Common Disabling Health Conditions Among IT Workers
Even though IT professionals typically spend their days behind a desk, they are not immune to health challenges that can lead to long-term disabilities. Some common health conditions IT workers experience include:
- Back and Neck Problems: Prolonged sitting and poor ergonomics can lead to chronic back and neck pain. Conditions such as herniated discs, sciatica, or chronic muscle strain can result from years of poor posture and inadequate workstation setups.
- Mental Health Challenges: The pressure to keep systems running, work extended hours, and the often-isolating nature of IT work can lead to mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or burnout.
- Cardiovascular Issues: A sedentary lifestyle, often seen in the IT profession, combined with the potential for high stress, can increase the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and other cardiovascular problems.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Extended periods of immobility can lead to DVT, where blood clots form in the deep veins of the body, typically the legs. If untreated, these clots can travel to the lungs, posing severe health risks.
Legal Challenges Related to Long-Term Disability Claims
In our experience, IT workers frequently encounter a wide range of legal issues when they file a long-term disability claim. Some of the most common issues we see include:
- Definition of Disability: The definition of “disability” can vary between insurance policies. Some might require the claimant to be unable to perform any job to qualify, while others provide benefits if the claimant can’t perform their specific job. This distinction can make a significant difference for IT professionals, whose tasks often require specialized skills.
- Proving the Disability: Unlike more physically evident ailments, some conditions commonly affecting IT professionals, like repetitive strain injuries or mental health challenges, are harder to prove. Insurance companies might challenge the severity of the condition or argue that it doesn’t prevent the individual from performing their job.
- Pre-existing Conditions: If an IT worker had a pre-existing health condition before obtaining their LTD insurance, the insurance company might deny a claim based on the assertion that the disability resulted from that condition.
- Employer Disputes: When an employer provides long-term disability insurance, there might be disputes about whether the injury or illness is work-related (and should be covered by workers’ compensation) or is a long-term disability matter.
- Delayed or Denied Claims: In their efforts to limit payouts, insurance companies might delay processing claims or deny them outright based on technicalities or stringent interpretations of the policy terms.
The long-term disability attorneys at Abell and Capitan Law are here to safeguard your rights and help you find the financial security you need after a severe injury or illness. We serve clients in KY, NJ, and PA from our offices in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. We don’t charge any upfront fees, and you don’t owe us anything unless you win. Call (267) 419-7888 today or complete our contact form for a free case review.