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What are the most common disabling conditions for a long term disability claim?

Disability attorney Gregory Dell discusses some of the most common disabling medical conditions in a claim for long term disability benefits.

There are generally two sources of disability. Number one is accidents and number two is illnesses. 91% of long-term disability claims are caused by illness and not by injury. There was a recent study by the Disability Council of Awareness in which they did a survey of the long-term disability companies, as well as Social Security Disability, and came up with what percentage of claims were caused by what types of illnesses. And, for example, the major disablers were: musculoskeletal/connective tissue, which was 22.6% of claims; cancer was 13.6% of claims; cardiovascular disease was 10.1% of claims; maternity-related issues was 9.4% of claims; injuries/accidents were 8.1% of claims; mental and psychiatric disorders were 6.5% of claims; and 5.8% of claims were neurological disorders. This list is just an example of the few of the major disabling conditions. If you have any questions or concerns about a disabling condition which you feel causes you to be disabled, feel free to call us to discuss your claim.

There are 9 opinions so far. Add your comment below.


I have frozen shoulder after two surgeries. Why would The Hartford have a nurse evaluate my medical record after a orthopedic specialist took me off for another month an possibly a third surgery?

Attorney Greg Dell:


Please read this FAQ entry for an answer to your question. Thank you.


OK, I’ve been reading a lot of your answers. I have been dealing with Cigna for 2 1/2 years now. 5 months ago they decided I could return to work and closed my claim. I am now on my 3rd appeal. I have heart disease, diabetes with neuropathy, degenerative disc disease, nerve damage to my right arm and right leg, COPD with emphysema and poor circulation in my legs. I feel like I am just being denied because they can. What are your thoughts?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


If you are on your third appeal, chances are Cigna will find a way to deny the benefit again, as history has proven that is their inclination. Please note that if your policy is governed by ERISA, the only records and information you will be able argue in the event of trial is what is found in the administrative record. The administrative record is comprised of the information you provide to Cigna and the information Cigna creates during the course of your claim. Therefore, failure to submit a full and complete appeal could adversely affect your case should it go to litigation. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions.


Cigna is rated F by the better business bureau ! Need I say more


I have a UNUM Term Life and AD&D insurance policy. My left leg was amputated below the knee due to a blood clot that started in my heart and traveled down the artery and lodged behind my knee. My foot was cold. I did not think anything was wrong. I was taken to the emergency room where I apparently passed out. After two days the doctor amputated. Unum has a “Portability Accidental Dismemberment Claim Form” that I need to submit. My doctor filled out his part of the form and supplied consultation and operative reports. **He did check a box “yes” answering “In your opinion, was the loss caused in any way by illness or disease?” Now, that makes me nervous. What do you think? Also, on it is a section wanting “Information about the Injury/Loss” with directions to describe how the loss occurred. I don’t know what to put. How detailed or not detailed I should be. Do you know of any similar situations. Please let me know what you think.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Katie, that is problematic as the loss of the limb would be a result of a medical condition and not an accident, which could then in turn preclude a benefit.


I was a Chiropractor and purchased a 2 year any occupation policy back in 1997 with a whole life rider that would pay me back when I turned 65. My policy paid the first year I was injured, then I had to fight to get my second year, due to testing that the insurance company misunderstood. After the second year I had a one year extension on one of the policies and was paid. I currently am experiencing back and neck pain from an auto accident that caused this disability policy to become active in 2015. I am also experiencing chronic brain fatigue. My primary injury Doc stated in a letter to the insurance company that he believes that my injuries make me unable to compete in the job marked. There is no Chiropractic school in my state that I could possibly teach at and I was turned down by a Doctor to work in his clinic due to my injuries.

My question is what would I be expected to do? The policy states that Consideration is given to your education, training and experience. I was practicing Chiropractic for 27 years. Due to my daily fatigue I cannot manage a clinic, otherwise I would have done that with my own. I ended up selling my clinic in 2015. Currently I did pass my real estate boards in 2016 but honestly have no experience. There are 25,000 realtors in my city and if I sell a place it will be by sheer luck. I took the board since I was concerned that my insurance would drop me, which they did and I would have no source of income at all.

Attorney Rachel Alters:

Paul, I would suggest that you send me a copy of your policy so I can go over with you and explain what your rights are under the policy. You can call my office and ask for Attorney Rachel Alters.

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