Even if you have not been officially diagnosed with what your doctor concludes is the underlying cause of your disability, if you treated for the symptoms of the disability during the "look back" period, your condition will be considered pre-existing. For example:
You visit your doctor on December 1, 2005 because of numbness and tingling in your arms and your doctor diagnoses you with carpal tunnel syndrome. You begin working on January 1, 2006. You are eligible for Short and Long Term Disability coverage on April 1, 2006. Your symptoms worsen and you stop working on October 1, 2006. On November 1, 2006, your doctor discovers that you actually are suffering from Lupus, not carpal tunnel syndrome. Your plan/policy states that if you become disabled within the first 12 months of coverage that your insurance company will look back to your records for the 12 months before you were eligible for coverage - in other words back to April 1, 2005. Even though you did not have the same diagnosis during the "look back" period, you still treated for the same symptoms, and your insurance company will consider your condition to be pre-existing.
REMEMBER: It is extremely important to read your plan or policy to find out when you are eligible for benefits and when you are out of the "look back" period. If you suffered from any of the same symptoms during the period in question, your condition will be considered pre-existing. If you are not sure when you will be out of the pre-existing condition/"look back" period, consult with an attorney before stopping work.
Copyright (c) 2008 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved. For assistance with your Long Term Disability claim, ERISA Disability benefit claim, Social Security Disability claim, or Veterans Disability compensation or pension claim, call Disability Lawyer John Tucker at (866) 282-5260.