Long Term Disability Requirements: What You Need to Know

If you are unable to work due to a serious illness or injury, you may be eligible for long term disability benefits.

Long term disability (LTD) is a type of insurance that provides income replacement for workers who are unable to perform their regular duties for an extended period of time.

However, not everyone who applies for LTD benefits will qualify. There are certain requirements that you need to meet in order to receive LTD benefits.

In this article, we will explain what is a long term disability, who decides if you are disabled, and what medical conditions qualify for long term disability.

A picture of a form, written on it is long term disability insurance.[photo courtesy: Ball State Daily News]
Long term disability benefits can provide financial security and peace of mind for workers who are unable to work due to a serious illness or injury.[photo courtesy: Ball State Daily News]

What is a Long Term Disability?

A long term disability is a condition that prevents you from working for at least 12 months or longer.

The definition of disability may vary depending on the type of LTD policy you have, but generally, it means that you are unable to perform the essential functions of your own occupation or any other occupation that you are qualified for by education, training, or experience.

Some LTD policies may also require that you are under the regular care of a physician and that you have exhausted all reasonable treatments for your condition.

Visit our website to learn more on the reasons for going for regular check up on your physician and what is long term disability?

Who Decides if You are Disabled?

The decision of whether you are disabled or not depends on the source of your LTD benefits.

If you have a group LTD policy through your employer, then the insurance company that provides the policy will evaluate your claim and determine your eligibility.

The insurance company will review your medical records, work history, education, and other relevant information to decide if you meet their definition of disability.

The company may also request additional information from you or your doctor, such as functional capacity evaluations, independent medical examinations, or vocational assessments.

If you have an individual LTD policy that you purchased on your own, then the process is similar to the group LTD policy, except that you have more control over the terms and conditions of your policy.

You can choose the definition of disability, the elimination period (the waiting time before benefits start), the benefit amount, the benefit duration, and the riders (additional features) that suit your needs and budget.

If you don’t have an LTD policy but you’re covered by the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will decide if you’re disabled.

The SSA has a strict rule for disability. It means you can’t work and earn money (substantial gainful activity or SGA) because of a health problem that doctors can prove. This health problem must last at least 12 months or lead to death.

The SSA will also consider your age, education, work experience, and transferable skills to determine if there is any other work that you can do in the national economy.

A picture showing an approved SSD claim. source:(Evans Disability)
An approved SSD claim.
source:(Evans) Disability)

What Medical Conditions Qualify for Long Term Disability?

There is no definitive list of medical conditions that qualify for long term disability benefits. However, some common examples of conditions that may qualify include:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders, such as back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, or stroke
  • Mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Cardiovascular disorders, such as heart disease, heart failure, or arrhythmia
  • Respiratory disorders, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or sleep apnea
  • Digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or liver disease
  • Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes mellitus type 1 or type 2 , thyroid disease , or adrenal insufficiency
  • Immune system disorders , such as HIV/AIDS , lupus , rheumatoid arthritis , or multiple myeloma
  • Cancer , such as leukemia , lymphoma , breast cancer , or prostate cancer

However, having one of these conditions does not automatically guarantee that you will qualify for long term disability benefits.

You still need to prove that your condition prevents you from working and that it meets the specific criteria of your LTD policy or the SSDI program.


Long term disability benefits can provide financial security and peace of mind for workers who are unable to work due to a serious illness or injury.

However, qualifying for long term disability benefits can be challenging and complex. You need to meet certain requirements and provide sufficient evidence to support your claim.

If you need help with your long term disability claim , you may want to consult with a qualified disability attorney who can guide you through the process and advocate for your rights.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about the SSDI Claim, don’t forget to check out our website for more interesting and informative content.

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