Are Partial Disabilities Typically Covered?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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You are totally disabled if you cannot perform any of the normal functions required by your occupation. If you can perform some, but not all of the functions of your job, you are partially disabled. For example, assume you work for a circus and are expected to tame lions and do magic tricks. If you hurt your back and are unable to cope with lions, you might still able to perform sleight of hand. You are now partially disabled.

Some disability policies have a provision for partial disability. Whether or not your disability policy covers partial disability depends on the details of the specific policy. If the policy covers partial disability, it will probably pay a portion of the full payment until you can resume all of your regular job duties.

The notion of partial disability is closely related to the occupational description. For example, if you are a salesman who becomes housebound but can still make telephone sales calls, have you become partially disabled or are you now engaged in a different occupation? To determine how such situations would be treated under your policy, read it or talk to your insurance company representative. Preferably, you should get information before you get the coverage.

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