Disability claims are denied on a regular basis.  One of the largest insurance companies, Unum Group, has admitted that it denies nearly 10 percent of the claims it receives.  While you can be denied disability benefits for just about any ailment, some health conditions appear to be rejected more often than others. 

According to the article, “Too Sick to Work? They Disagree,” which appeared in the March 2010 issue of SmartMoney, these commonly denied medical conditions include the following:

Back Pain: The Council for Disability Awareness states that musculoskeletal disorders account for 23 percent of new disability claims every year.  Insurers closely scrutinize people who file for disability based on back pain.  They have even been known to do video surveillance on claimants to see if these disabled workers are doing activities that would allude they are healthy.

Pregnancy Complications: About 9 percent of disability claims involve maternity-related issues.  Many of these claims are denied, including those associated with complications that require extensive bed rest.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This condition is incredibly painful and often requires surgery.  However, when people elect not to have surgery, insurers will sometimes deny their benefits, saying they are ineligible.

Mental Health: People who are receiving disability benefits due to a mental health condition have to be careful about what they say to their therapists, since insurers are allowed to review the notes made by these medical professionals.  If someone says that he or she has had a few good weeks, it could be interpreted the wrong way and benefits could stop.

For more information on why disability claims are denied, order my book, Robbery Without a Gun: Why Your Employer's Long-Term Disability Plan May be a Scam.
Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
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