Definitions of Disability
Definitions of Long-Term Disability
The contractual definition of disability varies among disability policies. The strength of the definition is the key aspect of a policy that determines whether your injury or illness qualifies you for a claim and for how long. Listed below are the different types of definitions:
- Pure Own-Specialty Definition: If you are unable to work in your specialty after long-term disability, full benefits are payable even if you are working in a different specialty or a different occupation altogether.
- Transitional Definition: If you are unable to work in your specialty, full benefits are payable. If you choose to be employed in another occupation, full benefits will be paid until post disability earnings plus disability insurance benefits equal pre-disability earnings.
- Own-Specialty and Not Engaged Definition: If you are unable to work at your specialty, full benefits are payable if you are not working at a different occupation. Proportionate benefits are payable if you work in a different occupation but experience a loss of income. (Key: choice to work in another occupation is yours and not the company's).
- Own Specialty for a Limited Time Then Any Reasonable Occupation Definition: If you are unable to work at your specialty due to long-term disability, full benefits are payable for a limited time period (usually 2 years). After that, you must be unable to perform the duties of any reasonable occupation. Key: (choice to work in another occupation is not yours. The insurance company can stop paying your claim if you are able to work in another occupation).