One positive aspect of a degenerative condition, as opposed to an acute disability such as from an accident or cancer, is that you have the opportunity to plan ahead, and to take actions while you are still working to smoothly transition from work to disability, and to increase your chances of being awarded disability benefits. While no one can know the date when you won’t be able to continue working, for most of these conditions, being disabled from working at some point is inevitable. For people who are diagnosed with these conditions with a substantial part of their expected work life left, there are common questions for the process of moving from the diagnosis of a degenerative condition and the day you submit your application for disability benefits: Below are clickable links for posts that have appeared to date:
- When do I tell my employer about my condition?
- Will working while I am disabled hurt my chances to get disability benefits later?
- Should I ask for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, to allow me to do my job longer, and what accommodations am I entitled to? What if I have been out of work on disability but I’ve had a relapse and I think I can return to work? How will that affect my disability benefit claim?
- While I am still working, how do I best work with my physicians to increase the chances that I will get disability benefits when the time comes?
- If I work part-time, how will that affect my application for disability benefits, and the amount of the benefit I will receive ?
- When should I leave my job? Should I ask for severance? What if I am asked to sign a release?
Over the next few months, this blog will address each of these issues in separate posts on each topic. I hope to provide a guide for planning your work life and transition to disability as a result of a degenerative disease.
Work life is only one part of a complex process of addressing the effects of degenerative disorders on your life, but I hope the upcoming posts will be helpful in addressing at least this one area of concern to those working with a diagnosis of a degenerative disease. As a Connecticut ERISA - LTD attorney who has represented many claimants in long-term disability appeals, I know that actions you take now can make a huge difference when you finally make your application for long -term disability benefits. I hope this series will provide guidance to employees with chronic degenerative diseases to make this transition from working to disability as smooth as possible.