In order to be considered disabled under most long-term disability policies, you must not be able to perform (some, most, all, each and every – depending on your policy) of the substantial and material duties of your job/occupation.
Do you know them? All of them?
If not, find out and start keeping track. A good place to start is with a job description from your employer or human resources. If you don’t have a copy, request one. But don’t stop there. Another good place to find job and occupation descriptions is the United States Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles (use keyword search to locate your occupational description).
Differences between what is actually done and the job description you receive are not unheard of. Take a detailed look at your job to understand what you do every day — you know all those things that you just do without thinking (like, for example, sitting down for over 1/2 of the day) and don’t really consider part of your job description. It is part of the job.
You need to know these duties, to know if you are disabled. The long-term disability benefits provider will closely scrutinize your material and substantial job duties. Shouldn’t you?
More importantly, your doctor needs to know these things as well. As explained in an earlier post, your doctor’s opinion is very important in your fight for long-term disability benefits. If he knows and understands your job duties and what is required of you daily at work, he can tailor his opinions to your specific requirements. Get the full list of the 9 things you should know before filing your long-term disability claim.