Disability insurance policies are riddled with confusing, highly technical provisions and terminologies which may be interpreted differently from a legal standpoint. Whenever you are filing for disability benefits, it’s extremely important that you discuss your options with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Their legal team will explain your options to you and help you understand your long-term disability policy.
It’s also a good idea to be as thorough as possible when examining your policy and make sure that this is best for your circumstances. A personal injury lawyer in Waterloo will not only assist you with this, they will ensure that your rights to those benefits are protected. In addition to this, they will explain the fine print, so you’ll have a better understanding of your policy and its provisions.
Any Occupation Standard
There are two standards that insurance companies use to measure the extent of a person’s disability, one of which is referred to as the “any occupation” standard. This disability standard considers your unique characteristics and qualifications. It doesn’t mean “any” in the literal sense but rather a career that you reasonably qualified for based on the education, experience, and training you’ve received.
Furthermore, you may be required to undergo training. Just be aware that if you can perform a certain job reasonably well, even if you’ve had no formal training, that you will not qualify for benefits under the any occupation standard. However, the question that must be asked is “would substantial retraining be required to in order for you to obtain such qualifications?”
Own Occupation Standard
When someone is denied disability benefits under the “own occupation” standard, their case usually ends up in a court battle. This means that the courts have addressed a series of technical distinctions when defining this particular disability standard and have established certain principles that will help you better understand what it’s about.
“Own occupation” means that you’re unable to perform the most essential duties of your job, not just the minor tasks involved. For instance, if you’re able to go to your job but are unable to perform the specific responsibilities for which you were hired, you would qualify under the own occupation standard. Under this standard, your entire job must be compromised by your injuries, not your responsibilities.
(NOTE: The own occupation standard doesn’t require you to be completely helpless. However, it is a standard based on what is fair and reasonable. The question is this: “Would a reasonable individual in your particular situation cease from working?”)