Don't Be A Disability "Hero"

When is it time to give up the ghost when you are suffering severe pain or serious restrictions on your ability to do your job? The time is when you are suffering severe pain or those restrictions.

A recent opinion in an SSDI case reinforced this conclusion, Garcia v. Colvin, 2103 U.S.App.LEXIS 25452 (7th Cir., 12/20/13)

Although Garcia’s claim was covered by Social Security, it was denied because he had worked despite his disability until he could do it no more. This is an unusual result in SSDI because SSDI judges have no pecuniary interest in the outcome of a claim.  For more on this.

Disability insurance companies which pay benefits out of their own pockets have an ingrained reluctance to believe anyone who is entitled to benefits is actually entitled to them. Playing the “hero” and fighting day by day through pain to do your job may get you kudos in the everyday world. It will only get you denial in the disability insurance world.

Although courts recognize that ordinary people fight their way through adversity, when disabled, for a variety of reasons, disability insurance companies do not, especially when such recognition would mean they would have to pay benefits to an insured. There is no upside with disability insurers for a claimant working when totally disabled. Actually, the exact opposite is true.

We have written about this before.  www.quiatondisability.com/2012/10/articles/disability-claims/insurance-noses-and-faces/

Disability insurance companies will use the fact that you worked against you. They take the position that you can’t be disabled if you work. They refuse to consider the human factor, i.e., that many people will undergo the most severe pain and stress on their health to provide for their loved ones, no matter the risk.

Such people will face the most serious consequences to keep the wolf from the family’s door. Do insurance companies think they are entitled to the same devotion from claimants? And, if they do, do they think this devotion should go on forever?

Although the claimant who can take it no more and applies for benefits has saved the insurer a good deal of money by continuing to work in the past, he or she gets no Brownie points for it. The opposite is true. The insurance company will continually throw up the fact that the claimant continued to work through the disability, no matter the reason, in an effort to deny benefits under a policy.

Being a “hero” may very well scuttle your and your family’s right to desperately needed disability benefits.

 

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