Get the Help You Need From Lawyers Who Care. 855-604-1116.

Non-obvious disabilities still entitle Minnesota employees to benefits

Every day across the state, workers suffer from accidents or illnesses that make them unable to work for a time. Some injuries and medical conditions are obvious to co-workers and employers. However, some conditions are not so obvious, subjecting the employee to inappropriate questions about their work abilities.

Hearing loss, visual impairments, emotional illnesses and conditions such as epilepsy or diabetes are all non-obvious disabilities that workers may wish to keep hidden from others in employment situations. While persons with disabilities have legal protections under the Americans With Disabilities Act, revealing their hidden disabilities may subject them to unkind treatment, stigmatizations and even outright discrimination.

Long-term disability policies provide financial support to those who are unable to work due to illness or injury. Such policies are intended to also cover situations where an employee is unable to work a full day, allowing them to collect compensation for the hours they cannot work. Non-obvious conditions are also covered by these disability policies but too many workers fail to carry this necessary coverage.

Why you should have long-term disability coverage

Too many workers do not obtain - or are aware that their employers offer - long-term disability coverage. However, such benefits are often essential for protection of your financial and emotional wellbeing. Following are some top reasons to elect long-term coverage if offered by your employer, or obtain it at your own cost:

  • Inadequate coverage: Workers' compensation benefits will not cover all long-term disability claims. According to a joint Unum and Consumer Federation of America (CFA) report - that assessed the impact of employer-sponsored disability insurance on beneficiaries - only 10 percent of disability claims are for work-related accidents. That means 90 percent are for conditions that are not covered by workers' compensation.
  • Need: Many workers think they will not need long-term disability coverage. However, the Social Security Administration estimates that one quarter of young adults will become disabled at some point during their working career. Just last year, nearly three-quarters of a million employees received compensation through employer-sponsored coverage plans, receiving nearly $10 billion in long-term disability benefits.
  • Gender: Thinking that men are more susceptible to illnesses and injuries requiring long-term disability pay is a mistake. The Unum/CFA report revealed that 60 percent of long-term disability recipients are women.
  • Age: The same report also revealed that nearly 50 percent of long-term disability recipients were under the age of 50, and a third of those recipients were under the age of 40. Accidents and illnesses occurring outside of work are not limited to older workers. Car accidents, sports injuries and serious illnesses requiring extended medical care or a reduced workload strike workers of all ages.

Obtaining rightful coverage

Even if you have coverage under a long-term disability insurance policy, there is no guaranty that you will automatically receive the compensation to which you are entitled. If you have a disability - or wonder whether a condition entitles you to disability benefits - consult an experienced long-term disability lawyer. An attorney knowledgeable about disability and workers' compensation claims may be able to help.