Most people, if they had a choice between sitting at home and receiving long term disability benefits or going to work and earning a living, would jump at the chance of being able to return to their job. It’s not about getting a paycheck for doing nothing – it’s about physically or mentally not being able to do the work.
This is why it’s so important that claimants understand what it means when they receive a finding of RTW or return-to-work. What the evaluator is saying is that they believe the demands of your job are a match for your abilities – even with your condition. If you don’t agree with this, you need to look at the specifics and figure out where the disconnect is.
Every Functional Capacity Exam Evaluator has a form where they compare the demands of your job with the results of your tests. What does this mean? Well, if your job frequently requires you to lift 20 pounds and you are able to do this, that constitutes a match for the FCE Evaluator. But if you’re often carrying 20-pound objects around and this is a problem because of your condition, that’s not a match. Receiving a return-to-work designation means that you “match” all of the requirements listed.
Seems pretty clear cut, right? But what about when you don’t believe that the stated job demands are accurate? This is why it’s so important to be clear, specific, and exhaustive whenever you are given the opportunity to answer questions about job tasks. If the form your evaluator is using tells them that you you’re only lifting objects of 20 pounds or less but the reality is closer to 30 pounds, that can mean all the difference, and you need to get it down on record.
Talking to an experienced long term disability attorney like those at Marc Whitehead & Associates can provide you with the insight you need to help you answer to your benefit and win your claim. Want more information on disability insurance in general? Download our free eBook on disability insurance policies.