If you work as a CEO, CFO, Director, or other executive level position within a company, whether small or large, and are in need of disability benefits, it is important to understand what it takes to get your long term disability claim approved. Our disability lawyers have helped hundreds of executives, CEOs, Directors, and other high-level professionals nationwide and we know what the disability insurance companies require in order for your long term disability benefits to get paid. In our CEO & Director disability claim tips video, attorneys Stephen Jessup and Gregory Dell discuss common disability insurance claim issues whether you are already on disability or if you are planning to file a disability claim.
In this article:
How Do Disability Companies Define the Occupation of a CEO, CFO, or Director?
The job duties of a CEO or Executive varies significantly, and it will depend on what company you work for and what industry you are working in, so it is important that insurance companies understand these potential variances. The insurance companies would rather take a singular approach to the demands of your occupation as a CEO, Executive, or Director, and often make unfounded assumptions about your regular occupational duties. Most group disability plans will view your occupation as it is performed in the national economy, and will not look closely at the physical, cognitive, and mental demands of your actual job with your employer. Insurance companies usually overlook the cognitive and mental demands altogether, and assume if you can sit in a chair then you can do your job.
What You Can Do to Prepare for Filing a Long Term Disability Claim
With all disability claims, establishing and continuing regular care with your treating physicians and being able to provide medical support for why your condition interferes with your ability to perform one or more of the essential duties of your occupation is crucial. If you have a chronic medical condition but were able to work in your occupation for perhaps months or even years, the insurance company will want to know what changed such that you could no longer perform your occupational duties. Having a conversation with your physician, and documenting those conversations and medical findings to support your inability to work is a necessary step in getting your disability claim approved. Insurance companies primarily determine your eligibility based on the medical records and information from your physician.
Why You Should Have a Plan for Filing Your Long Term Disability Benefits
Just as you have a strategic plan as a CEO, CFO, or Director to run a company, you should have a strategic plan regarding your long term disability. As already noted, having the proper medical and vocational support is essential but you should also have a succession plan in place if you do have to file for long term disability. In most cases, your disability is not the result of an acute injury or accident, so having a strategy in mind that includes talking with your physicians and employer will be important in establishing your succession plan and in providing adequate support for your claim of long term disability.
In many cases you may be even able to continue working and not have a loss of income despite having symptoms or pain. Or, you may be able to work in a different capacity so it will be important to also understand how the insurance company defines any modified or different occupation with your employer and your potential income loss. Given your prior position with the company you likely want to keep working and are driven to do so, but simply cannot because of your medical condition.
The Difference between a Private Plan and Group Disability Plan
It is also important to consider having both a group and private disability plan. Private plans typically offer more tailored language regarding your occupational demands and income loss that would support disability whereas the group disability plan offered by your employer is more generic and only focuses on your occupation as it is generally understood in the national economy. We have represented a lot of CEOs and executives who hold both group disability plans and private plans and will review both plans in detail to offer the best course of action and offer a strategic approach for applying for or continuing your long term disability benefits.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You Get Approved for Disability Benefits
You should search our website and learn much more information about your disability insurance company and the process of obtaining short or long term disability benefits. We have already represented hundreds of CEOs, CFOs, and Directors, and we know what to expect and know how to help you. We represent claimants nationwide and have hundreds of references available. Give our attorneys a call and we will provide you with an initial free review of your policy or your denial letter if you’ve been denied. We will let you know right away if we can assist with your disability claim.