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Can I Work and Continue to Receive Long Term Disability Benefits?  

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Can I Work and Continue to Receive Long Term Disability Benefits?  

26 May, 2020
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Long term disabilities can impact you in a variety of ways. While an injury, illness, or chronic health condition may keep you from performing your previous job, it may not keep you from engaging in other, less demanding activities. Similarly, as you begin to recuperate or recover from your condition, you may find yourself being able to perform more complex tasks. This often leads clients to wonder if they are able to return to work on a limited or part-time basis and still be able to collect long term disability benefits. The answer depends on your health as well as the terms of the policy you have in place. 

Working While Receiving Long Term Disability Benefits

Long term disabilities are common, impacting people in all age ranges. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 60 million people currently suffer some type of physical, cognitive, sensory, or emotional condition that prevents them from working or performing certain types of tasks. In this situation, employer-provided long term disability benefits can provide a safety net, making up a portion of the wages you would otherwise have earned. 

Generally, these policies cover conditions that keep you from working a year or longer. However, after collecting long term disability benefits for a certain period, you may have recuperated enough to perform some simple tasks. As your benefits do not compensate you for the entire amount you would have otherwise earned, it is at this point that people often consider working on a part-time basis. 

Does Your Policy Allow You to Work While Receiving Long Term Disability?

It is important to review your long term disability policy documents before making any decision on whether to go back to work. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), your employer is required to provide these to you free of charge at your request. There are two terms to look for in determining whether working for even a few hours could impact your benefits: 

  • Disability defined as preventing you from working in your own occupation: You may still be entitled to benefits if your condition keeps you from working your prior job but not a position in another field. For example, a construction worker who picks up hours working as a consultant. 
  • Disability defined as keeping you from working in any occupation: If your disability benefits include this provision, any employment could impact your rights to benefits. 

Contact Our Chicago Long Term Disability Attorney

Before making decisions that could impact your benefits, reach out to the Law Offices of Michael Bartolic first. To schedule a consultation, call or contact our Chicago long term disability attorney online today.

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