You don’t have to feel like you are on an island. Your family and friends are there for you if you ask. While these understanding and caring individuals can help you through the emotional toll a disability brings to bear, they can also help your disability benefits claim.
They are always around you and have become accustomed to your personality and ticks. They may notice things about you that you don’t even notice yourself, things that may be caused by your ailment. But if they are unaware of what’s going on and that you are fighting a serious illness, they may not associate it with your disability.
How could they? Bring them on board. Let them know that you are sick or injured, and that you may be filing a long-term disability claim.
Ask them to start keeping mental notes or write down any changes that they notice in you. You may need their support later in completing your application for benefits or in fighting a denial.
If they don’t remember, they can’t help.
Another good source of help is from your co-workers or employer. While I understand this is not always possible or advisable (for example, others have been fired when they got sick), your employer did pay for the long-term disability insurance that you will soon be trying to utilize.
They may help you get the evidence you need to support your disability application or appeal.
Your employer and co-workers can help you in defining your job duties. They can also make mental notes of your difficulties and/or inability to perform those duties.
The more people you have supporting your disability the better. And, it is better to know before taking a chance and hoping they will support you later. By then, it may be too late.