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The chances of a worker now 20-years-old being disabled before retirement age is about 1:3. Surprisingly, the main reason for disability has nothing to do with work and everything to do with chronic disease—leading with cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal problems, and cancer.

Because so many people live from paycheck to paycheck a disability is often catastrophic. In fact, ‘medical reasons’ is the leading cause given for bankruptcy as well as foreclosures. Despite the new bankruptcy laws, intended to provide a series of gauntlets before bankruptcy is granted, the number of bankruptcies is once again on the climb.

NOTE: Long- term disability insurance doesn’t mean you are protected from financial loss. Disability Happens has articles on lawsuits filed against insurance companies for not providing coverage promised.

This writer personally knows of one case where an individual payed for her own long-term disability insurance through CNA insurance. She had been out on physical disability for one year during which time CNA insurance did a co-pay with the state.

When the year was up and CNA insurance was going to have to pay the benefits on their own this woman received a letter from CNA insurance denying her benefits. CNA insurance said that someone with her type of surgery should be better and should be able to work.

The CNA insurance employee who denied her benefits had never examined her. In fact, not one representative from CNA insurance, at that time, ever examined her. The woman had no less than five doctors who said she was 100% disabled. Eventually, even SSDI said she was 100% disabled.

CNA insurance felt no pressure to pay because they knew the case would be heard in the Federal Court. What that meant to CNA insurance is that the most they would have to pay the plaintiff would be the benefits originally due her. They also knew that the Federal court does not allow punitive damages in this type of case, which means finding an attorney would be next to impossible.

If you have been denied disability benefits, from a company like CNA insurance, and unable to find an attorney to handle your case the most likely reason is that the benefits come under the rules of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).