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Just approved for LTD!!

TracyLynneTTracyLynne Posts: 598
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Health Insurance Issues
I have been off work (this is the fourth or fifth time, but the longest) for two and a half years now due to my chronic pain issues. I applied for the "first category" of my LTD, which is "disabled - own occupation" and was denied; all it took was a letter from my surgeon, and I ended up approved. That lasted for 25 months, then I had to be reassessed for "disabled - any occupation". Unfortunately, I am one of those people who often "looks SO good!" that people can't believe I'm suffering as I am, so it's been a fight!!

When I had to apply for the new category, I took my time doing the forms. I had the head of ER at our local hospital write a letter explaining the extent of the treatments he's had to do in the ER and his opinion on me returning to work. I had my old boss write a letter explaining how he watched my health deteriorate and distract me more and more at my job, I had my massage, physio and acupuncture therapists write official reports on THEIR findings, and then had about eight friends write letters saying who they are, how long we've known each other, what we USED to do together, and what we STILL do together (not a whole lot, obviously!) and whatever else they chose to share. I attended my Independent Medical Evaluation right after seeing my own rheumatologist,who actually USED the words "disability" and "can not hold down gainful employment" in the same sentence....THANK YOU!! Obviously the IME doc gave me a fair assessment, which is how I felt at the time as well, and I got a letter on Monday saying I was approved.

When I submit my forms, I tell them EVERYTHING. I tell them about the week long or months long setbacks and what I've had to do to "settle them down", I tell them that I've tried swimming again, but it really caused pain here and here, so I had to stop, you name it.

One thing I was advised to do (by a psychologist who was at a residential pain clinic I attended last year) is make SURE your info is accurate and truthful. If they ask you if you can drive, NEVER say you can't if you can...even if you can only drive a block. Make it clear that you can "drive for a short distance, but at great expense to me", or "can drive comfortably for fifteen minutes, but neck and back pain increases substantially", etc.

I could go on and on here, but my point is document, document, document ANY changes in your symptoms, abilities, treatments, drugs, etc., and use it to your advantage when you're filing for benefits. Tell them what you've had to give up because of this (i.e. I made it clear that I've not only been unable to work, but I no longer bike, ski, do long hikes, socialize as much, craft, volunteer, organize community events, etc.).

Be your own advocate, and all the best in your "journey"!



  • congrats on getting approved and thanks for all the helpful tips as well... :)
  • Thank you for sharing the news and the tips. I was just wondering the other day how you made out on this.
  • Hi Tracy

    Congratulations on getting your LTD. I just got my official letter today.

    You know I did write down that I drive 1-2 miles only to get meds and groceries, so perhaps that helped with the approval. I was worried because my PCP clearly wrote that I'm not supposed to drive, but I was honest, because I live alone and have to get these things from the store.

    Congratulations on your victory and thank you for the additional tips!
  • I receive both LTD and SSDI. My LTD co approved me but it is a continual struggle. I agree that you need to document, document and keep copies for yourself for both SSDI and LTD.

    re:LTD Complete the forms as instructed by the LTD although I have had to alter some of the forms. For example, the form asked how long can you sit: choices 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 hours. I had to change it to fit my own case. And the form then went through a list of activities asking how long can you sit..stand..walk..drive...etc. It pretty much is trying to see if you can work and how many hours. But make it match your abilities and not just conform to the form.
    LTD cos may decide to check to see if your form matches what you or your dr says you do- an activities check. Be aware that they may visit or watch. No need to fear but just be aware. :O jade
  • A couple of weeks ago I received a letter from the Canada Pension Plan, disability services. I tossed it aside, thinking that it's usually bad news from them, but to my surprise, my CPP disability claim was APPROVED!! Now I REALLY feel a sense of contentment; all these years and somebody actually listened!

    The best part of this is definitely the validation of it; all the years of running here, there and everywhere trying to prove that I do have an invisible illness has finally paid off.

    I hope the rest of you are making your way through the pages and pages of questionnaires without going crazy.....I always said that if you're not stressed right out when you START the paperwork, you certainly are when it's all said and done! ~X(

  • congrats on being approved for your disability....
  • Tracy, I can't think of more to say at the moment. WOW ! ! ! ok and COOL ! ! !

  • great to hear your approval,i'm just starting down that road,had surgery June 1st and things(pain wise)still going down hill fast.do you know of anyother pensions avaiable other than CPP,new to all of this,I would appreciate any help or advice anybody can offer.
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