Does my last day of work have an effect on my long-term disability claim?

The day that you stop working is an incredibly important factor in your long-term disability claim. To most people, this is a logical decision. You get your affairs in order, wrap up whatever big projects you have at work, give your notice, and stop working. Most people who end up filing long-term disability claims will also have the well-intentioned advice of their doctors, supervisors, co-workers, family and friends.

But there is one more factor you need to remember when selecting your last day worked (or LDW). You'll ultimately have to justify this decision to your insurance company. When you file your claim, they will ask:

  1. Why did you stop working that day when you worked eight hours the day before and forty hours the week before?
  2. What does the medical evidence show? Is there any objective medical evidence that proves a change in condition between the LDW and the day, week, month, or year before?

And even in cases where you've had a terrible, debilitating disease that you've been working through for years, the insurance company is going to say, "Fine, you've had that terrible, debilitating disease for years and everyone we know would have stopped working years ago, but you didn't... so why are you stopping now?"

It's up to you to make sure that the answers to all these questions and more can be found in your medical records BEFORE the date you file for disability. It doesn't matter that you're able to answer all of these questions. Why would you want to risk trying to fill in the blanks later, after your claim has been denied, when you can take care of those issues today.

Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney