A cancer diagnosis can disrupt your life. You can experience debilitating symptoms that interfere with your daily activities; these symptoms are caused not only by the illness, but also the intense treatment that you may require. In many cases, you are unable to return to work while battling cancer.
Many Minnesota residents hold long-term disability insurance that pays for their wages if they cannot work due to an injury or illness. If you were diagnosed with cancer, you may wonder if it qualifies as a long-term disability under this insurance. In most cases, the answer is yes—but your eligibility will depend on the terms of your policy and the severity of the disease.
Long-term disability insurance is a private policy that can provide important benefits in the event that you are no longer able to work. Usually, people receive these insurance policies from their employers. However, it is possible to purchase a policy directly from the insurance company.
Every policy is different, but long-term disability insurance typically replaces the wages that you previously earned at your job. Some policies provide a standard amount for each claimant, while others provide compensation based on a percentage of your previous wages. Your benefits, commissions, and tips may also be included, depending on your policy.
If you were diagnosed with cancer, it is common to experience symptoms like intense nausea, chronic pain, and fatigue. These symptoms can make it difficult to concentrate on your job or perform manual tasks.
Doctors typically classify cancer into stages based on the progression of the disease and the severity of the benefits. Stage 1 cancer is relatively simple to treat and can usually be removed via surgery. Stage 2, 3, and 4 cancer spreads beyond the initial location and often leads to more severe symptoms.
Depending on the stage of your cancer, you could recover long-term disability benefits. If you have early-stage cancer, you are not likely to receive benefits; the insurance company may claim that your condition is not severe or advanced enough to interfere with your ability to work. If your cancer has progressed, you are more likely to qualify for long-term disability.
Cancer patients often have to undergo intensive treatment like chemotherapy and radiation. These procedures can lead to painful and unpleasant side effects, including fatigue, nausea, pain, and digestive problems. It can be difficult to work while you are receiving this level of care.
In these situations, you could recover compensation for short-term disability. However, long-term disability benefits are not typically awarded for cancer treatment. You may have coverage for both long- and short-term benefits in your plan; bring your insurance documents to an attorney to better understand your policy.
Claiming long-term disability benefits for cancer is possible, but many patients struggle to recover adequate compensation from their insurers. Some companies outright deny these claims for a variety of reasons, causing significant hardship for cancer patients.
If you plan on applying for long-term disability, an attorney can help you navigate the process and build a case for your right to benefits. As soon as possible after your diagnosis, contact a Minneapolis long-term disability lawyer to discuss your options for compensation.