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Many people don’t realize the types of disabilities most likely to affect them. While serious injuries from car wrecks or home accidents jump to mind, those generally represent a much smaller portion of causes for long-term disability claims than you might guess.

The most common reasons given for long-term disability claims are varied, and can include abrupt health changes as well as slowly worsening aliments.

Musculoskeletal disorders top the list

According to the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA), the leading reason for long-term disability claims is musculoskeletal disorders, which made up 29% of claims in a 2017 study. Musculoskeletal disorders can encompass numerous conditions, including arthritis, herniated or degenerative discs, tendonitis and sciatica, along with others.

The next most frequent causes of long-term disability claims are:

  • Cancer – 15%
  • Pregnancy, including delivery, cesarean section or pregnancy complications – 9.4%
  • Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia – 9.1%
  • Fractures, sprains and strains – 9%
  • The CDA says heart attacks and diabetes are also prevalent causes of long-term disability.

Claim denials still happen

Despite the prevalence of these issues, insurers may still deny or terminate some long-term disability benefit claims. They may do so for a number of reasons, whether the reasons are valid or not. For employer-offered long-term disability coverage, an initial denial is not the end of the line.

It is imperative that a claimant file an administrative appeal, during which the insurer will reconsider its decision. If that fails as well you may then consider a lawsuit. Doing so can be quite tricky however. Decisions you make and evidence you submit during the appeal process can severely impact potential for positive results down the line.

If you were denied or terminated a long-term disability claim and want to appeal, it’s important to reach out to an experienced ERISA attorney right away. They may be able to help guide you through the appeals process and, if necessary, assist in filing a lawsuit to try to get the benefits you are owed.