If you suffer from a chronic condition or illness, preparing to file for disability benefits is something that you should start thinking about very early on. Everyone should try to work as long as possible. However, it is better to be safe than sorry. Don't be passive about your situation. Get educated as much as possible, and learn what benefits will be available to you in the event that you can no longer work.
Very often I get calls from prospective clients who are thinking about filing for Social Security Disability. During my conversations with them, I notice that many persons out there don't know whether or not they have a private disability plan provided by their employer. Unfortunately, only 30% of employees in the private sector have long term disability insurance.
If you have severe health problems or suffer from a condition that might prevent you from working, it is a good idea to contact your human resources department to determine whether or not you are covered by a long term disability insurance policy. If you are covered, then you should request from HR a copy of your long term disability plan and the plan summary. The long term disability plan administrator is required by federal law to provide you with a copy of the plan.
Once you obtain a copy of the plan and of the plan summary, you should spend sometime reading it and learning how it works. Don't file for short term or long term disability without first reviewing these documents carefully. It is also advisable to contact a long term disability lawyer who can sit with you and with a copy of the plan and explain to you how its provisions apply to your particular situation.