How do I know when it is time to go out on disability?

How do you know when it is time to go out on disability?  Occasionally people come to us who haven’t yet filed for disability insurance benefits because they are still working and considering applying.  They often ask how to know when it is time to go out of work on disability.  We generally respond that we are a law firm and this is a question best answered by your doctor.  Does your doctor say you can no longer work?  Does your doctor say you cannot perform the duties of your own occupation?  Does your doctor say you are unable to perform other occupations which your training and experience might qualify you to perform?


If your doctor says you can no longer work and that you should file for disability, you have an answer to your original question, and you also have support from a treating physician, essential to successful completion of the paperwork required for the disability insurance application process.  Most disability insurance applications contain what is called an Attending Physician Statement (or the same form with a different name) on which a treating physician certifies that you are disabled.  Mr. Coffman addresses the importance of having this discussion with your doctors before going out of work in this YouTube video (


If you are considering applying, it is generally a good idea to obtain a copy of your Disability Insurance Policy ( and to read it carefully, and to call an ERISA Disability Insurance Attorney to discuss your situation.  Some disability insurance policies and certain occupations (e.g. surgeons, pilots, truck drivers, bus drivers, etc.) also have unique language and additional circumstances (e.g. mental/nervous limitations, other limited conditions, etc.) that apply to obtaining benefits.


The best answer to the question of how to know when it is time to go out on disability when you are still working and thinking of applying for disability benefits is “What does your doctor say?”  If your doctor says you can no longer work and you are considering filing a disability insurance claim, give our office a call to discuss your unique situation and see if we can help.  888-LTD-PAID.

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