The good news is your employer offers long term disability insurance.
The bad news is because it comes through your employer, you likely need to have contact at some point with your company’s Human Resources (HR) department about your claim.
According to an article appearing in this past Sunday’s business section of The New York Times, workers often assume that their conversations with their HR department’s personnel are confidential. Unlike an attorney or a medical professional, your HR representative is not bound by any such promise to maintain confidentiality. Chances are good that if you speak with HR about the possibility of filing a claim for disability benefits, your supervisor and their supervisor are going to be updated on your situation pretty quickly.
This presents a challenge. If you are contemplating a long term disability claim, do you first go to HR and discuss your condition? Do you file first for short term disability and wait to see what happens? Despite rumors to the contrary, competition for good jobs is still pretty fierce, so once your employer learns that you may be out for an extended period of time, they are likely to start looking for your replacement. This may not matter when you are facing the prospect of immediate disability. However, if your income is critical and you believe that you may be able to continue to work for a little more, it can make a huge difference for you and your family.
This is not an easy situation. Expect that any information you share with HR will be shared with your immediate supervisor and others in the workplace. Contact an experienced disability insurance attorney who will be able to help you navigate the choppy waters ahead.
If you have any questions, call our office today to learn how we can help.