One question which arises all too frequently in a Long Term Disability claim is the definition of your “Own Occupation.”
As you probably know, Long Term Disability benefits are unusually paid, at first, if you are disabled from your own occupation. Thereafter, the question becomes whether the claimant is disabled from what is referred to as “Any Occ” or any occupation for which the claimant is qualified by way of education, training or experience, or words to that effect. The “Own Occ” period usually runs for a period varying from one (1) year after the end of Short Term Disability benefits to up to tow (2) years, depending on the policy. Here’s a little more information on this portion of your Disability claim.
During the “Own Occupation” period the problem is this. Many times the term is defined as your “own occupation” as it is performed in the national economy as a whole, not as you perform the job for your employer. Usually, the insurance company looks to the “Dictionary of Occupational Titles” to assess the work requirement of your “Own Occupation.” The experience of this lawyer is that are sometimes widely varying differences between the job as defined and the job you actually perform. Routinely, the insurance company will declare your job “sedentary” when you are required to lift and move significantly heavy items. Sometimes, the Employer will say you are not able to return to your job while the insurance company says you are not, by definition, disabled! This sad situation is one of the many horizons this law firm has surveyed and fought all too often.
If you have any questions about your Short Term Disability or Long Term Disability claim, please give Herbert M. Hill, P.A. a call and we would be glad to answer any questions you may have. We are available at 407-839-0005 or, toll-free, 844-454-59995, If you would like, after discussing your case, we can set a conference. In most circumstances, that conference would be free of charge but in no circumstance would you be under any obligation to hire me nor would you feel any pressure from me to do so.
Herbert M. Hill, P.A. is a law firm located in Orlando, Florida with a practice extending throughout the state of Florida. While the vast majority of cases handled are for disability insurance benefits, areas of practice include employee benefit claims of all sorts. The firm handles any claims arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) for disability benefits, medical benefits, retirement benefits of any sort, including pension, 401k, termination agreements or the like as well as claims arising under private disability policies.