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Moving from Short-Term to Long-Term Disability 

Posted on: February 23rd, 2023 by Joe Cunnane

Are you thinking about converting your short-term disability to a long-term disability (LTD)? It’s a big decision, and switching from short-term to long-term disability can be stressful. When deciding to transition, there are many things to take into account, including how long you will be on disability, your financial situation, and the kind of disability insurance you have.

Short-Term vs Long-Term Disability?

  • Short-term disability insurance cover is used to replace lost income for those who are unable to return to work due to an injury or illness, and lasts for three to six months or up to one year.
  • On the other hand, long-term disability is meant for people who have a more serious illness that prevents them from going back to work. Benefits from this kind of policy may be available for a significantly longer time frame, sometimes up to five years or more.

Determine Your Eligibility

Moving from Short-Term to Long-Term Disability - Featured Image - Cunnane Law - Edmonds, WA

It can be difficult to move to long-term disability. But you don’t have to do it alone. Let Cunnane Law help.

Understanding what is necessary to meet the requirements is essential because the eligibility requirements for different insurance companies vary. In general, if an illness or injury prevents you from working for an extended period of time, you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits. Do your homework and speak with a qualified disability attorney at Cunnane Law, who can assist you in determining whether you qualify for long-term disability benefits. At Cunnane Law we have over 100 years experience in successfully handling disability and insurance claims.

Applying for Long-Term Disability

You and your attorney can complete your application once you’ve established the requirements your insurance policy specifies for receiving benefits. To submit a successful application, you must have all the supporting medical documentation requested by the form. A separate letter from your doctor stating that you are unable to work, the nature of your disorder, and the expected length of your disability, may be required for the documentation. Some doctors do not want to get involved with insurance claims, but Cunnane Law works and knows how to get cooperation with the necessary medical professionals.

Appeal the Decision

You have the right to appeal the decision if your application for LTD benefits was denied. You must be very careful here. Because the documents and evidence you provide may not be enough to win your claim.  You will be required to present evidence in support of your claim.  Your attorney can defend your rights and assist you throughout the appeals process. Simply, filing a letter from you asking the insurance company to appeal likely will not be enough to get on claim.

Use Legal Counsel

To help you make the switch from short-term to long-term disability, it might be in your best interest to hire an attorney. Having a skilled attorney on your side can ensure proper handling of your case and increase the likelihood that you will be granted the benefits to which you are entitled.  A long-term disability attorney can give you advice on the best course of action and assist you in building your case. We make sure we get all the necessary evidence and medical records to support your claim for disability.

Take It to Court

The court process can be time-consuming and expensive, but it may be your only option if you believe you were wrongfully denied benefits. It is crucial that you have a qualified lawyer with experience in disability cases representing you in court and assisting you in making the best case possible.

Consult a Long-Term Disability Lawyer

Cunnane Law’s experienced attorneys excel at assisting clients in transitioning from short-term to long-term disability. We understand the difficulties and complexities of switching from one to the other and can assist you in navigating the process with confidence. Our attorneys have a thorough understanding of long-term disability claims and can advise you on how to appeal a decision and gather evidence, as well as represent you in court if necessary. Call us today for a consultation to learn how we can assist you in successfully transferring from short-term to long-term disability.


Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance?

Posted on: January 24th, 2023 by Joe Cunnane

When you are unable to work due to a disability, one of the first things you must do is file for disability compensation. If you have a disability at work, this will most likely be your first option. However, if you have been out of work for a significant period of time and no longer have disability insurance, you have another alternative. If you have a work record, you may be eligible for SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance.

Disability Insurance Through Social Security

What is Social Security Disability Insurance? - Cunnane Law, Edmonds, WA

Social Security Disability Insurance may be helpful for you. Talk to us about how to file an SSDI claim.

Individuals with a work history and enough credits earned through employment are eligible for this program. It is funded by the same scheme that provides retirement benefits to older employees who have retired. SSDI pays a monthly benefit to people who are unable to work because of a disabling or long-term medical condition.

To be eligible, you must have made SSDI contributions through payroll tax deductions from Social Security-covered employment. To qualify, you must have worked recently and for a sufficient length of time.

How to Apply for SSDI

A person seeking SSDI must be unable to work because of their disability. The term “disability” is narrowly defined by Social Security. The applicant’s medical condition (mental or physical) must be expected to persist at least one year or result in death. SSDI is not designed to cover temporary or partial disability.

SSDI eligibility is based on a person’s work history, and the monthly payment is calculated on average lifetime earnings from Social Security-covered employment.

Recipients must be U.S. citizens or have lawful alien status if born outside of the United States.

Submitting an Application

Before you begin your application, you’ll need to acquire several documents. Such as:

  • Your Social Security Card
  • Your health care providers contact information, including any doctors, as well as the dates of your appointments
  • Records of treatment
  • List of all medications names and dosages
  • All laboratory and diagnostic tests results
  • If you were self-employed, your most recent W2 form, or last year’s tax return
  • Bank account information
  • Your marriage certificate or other proof of marriage, if your spouse also qualifies
  • Social Security numbers and proof of age for all family member who also qualify for benefits

Because getting benefits takes time, you should apply as soon as you become disabled.

You should see your doctor before making your SSDI claim and explain your plans. If your doctor does not agree that you are disabled, their opinion could jeopardize your claim. And if this is the case, you should look for another doctor or medical practitioner who does agree.

If your doctor does agree, you must follow their medical recommendations. Failure to keep planned appointments and follow treatment instructions may make your claim appear fraudulent.

Many SSDI applications are denied on the first attempt. It is critical that you appeal this decision so that you do not lose your right to do so.

Working with a disability lawyer who understands SSDI and how to properly complete an application is a wise decision. You’ll have a better probability of being approved on your first application or on appeal.

Cunnane Law can assist you with your Social Security Disability Insurance claim

Cunnane Law does not handle SSDI cases. However, we work with several SSDI attorneys in the community. We handle Long Term Disability cases which are different from SSDI cases. The legal work we do for our LTD clients, in most cases can be used for your SSDI claim. Contact us today to set up your complimentary consultation.


Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.

Are You Ready for Spring?

Posted on: April 15th, 2015 by Joe Cunnane

WSekaniith spring upon us the days are getting longer and the weather is getting nicer. It’s time to catch up on all those projects around the house that you put off in the winter. That means trips to the hardware store and in your downtime getting out and about to enjoy the sunshine. However you’re not alone out there.

Better weather means more traffic, road construction, and increased chances of automobile accidents. You usual commute may take longer than expected as a result. Spring also tends to be the time for new driver to practice their skills.

Changing your driving habits to accommodate these changes may take time. Prepare yourself by ensuring your vehicle is insured, in good condition, and allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.


The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only.  You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

The Importance of Proper Household Repairs

Posted on: March 6th, 2015 by Joe Cunnane

file1521271603232With the somewhat sluggish economy, some of us may have put off some much needed household repairs. While this may seem not to be a big deal, if someone is injured on your property you may be held liable if they are injured while on your property.

Household hazards need not be something major like a hole in the roof or floor to pose a danger.  A loose floorboard or an oil slick on the driveway may be enough to cause a slip that results in an injury and a claim against you.

As a property owner it is your legal responsibility to make a reasonable effort to ensure the safety of anyone on your property. Contact a local contractor you trust to ensure the repairs are done properly and that your home is safe from all foreseeable injuries.  A few minor repairs now can alleviate a larger headache in the future.

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only.  You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

Take Care of The Ones You Love

Posted on: February 24th, 2015 by Joe Cunnane

file0001133443192While none of us like to think of a future where we are not around to take care of our families it is an eventuality that we must all face someday. Here at Cunnane Law we strive to make the process as easy as possible to make sure your whishes are honored.

We make the process simple and convenient by sending out a questionnaire for you to fill out at your convenience which we will then use to draft out your Will and Estate documents for your approval.  After you have approved these documents we will set up a time to meet with you and finalize the documents.  Our standard will package contains four documents: Last Will and Testament, Healthcare Directive, Healthcare Power of Attorney, and Financial Power of Attorney.

Our goal is to give you peace of mind knowing that your family will be taken care of in the event of your absence.


The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only.  You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Posted on: February 13th, 2015 by Joe Cunnane

Water SpoutAfter being injured in an auto accident is no time to start learning how to navigate the insurance world on your own. You may already be burdened with medical expenses and car repairs while being unable to work due to your injury. This is where a navigator or personal injury lawyer comes into play. They can help you file the proper paperwork and insure that everything is done by the book allowing you to focus on what you need to do to get better.

The insurance company is a business. They make their profits by paying out the least amount of money possible for your injury claim. They do this every day and have become successful for it. Likewise a good personal injury lawyer makes their profit by ensuring you get every cent that you are entitled to. In fact in my book “What Every Injured Victim In Washington State Must Know To Avoid Getting Ripped Off!”, I mention that Allstate paid out the average NON represented case at $3,464 while represented cases averaged $7,450.

If you are still wary about contacting a personal injury lawyer regarding your case there are four criteria in which I believe you should still at least speak with an attorney : If you have been seriously injured, or a loved one was killed as a result of an accident, the actions of the insurance company involved are unacceptable to you, your injury claim has been denied, or the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance. A quick consultation can help you decide if you are ready for legal representation.


The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only.  You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

Be Cautious When Speaking to an Insurance Adjuster

Posted on: January 29th, 2015 by Joe Cunnane

file0001645006196In the moments after an accident has occurred you may be disoriented or in a heightened emotional state. This is not the time to be making any type of formal statement to an insurance adjuster about the incident. In my book What every Injured Victim in Washington State Must know to avoid getting Ripped Off!, I discuss this as one of the common blunders that can destroy your accident settlement. You can find my book at

The insurance adjuster will want to get you to make your statement as soon as possible, not to help you but to increase the probability of you making mistakes that will decrease the settlement amount they need to pay. Simple statements such as “I’m Fine,” after an accident can be interpreted to mean that you were not seriously injured and therefore are not entitled to compensation.  Even the common courtesy of saying you’re sorry could mean that you have admitted guilt or fault for the accident while your intention could be that you are sorry the event occurred.

It is important to remember even in a heightened emotional state that the insurance company is not necessarily your friend. They are a business and their profits are based on paying out as little as possible for your claim. It is during these stressful times that legal representation can be most effectively used to protect you and your insurance claim.


The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only.  You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

Create a Safe Environment in Your Home

Posted on: October 8th, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

file6781242268130Accidents can happen anywhere. They might be the result of nature, distractions or neglect. You can minimize injuries in your home by creating a safe environment.

Keep Medication and Chemicals out of Reach – If you have chemicals or medications in your home, clearly mark the containers and store them in a safe place out of reach by children and animals.

Maintain Property – Decks with broken floor boards or overgrown trees near power lines can be the perfect recipe for an accident. Keeping up with maintenance can help prevent accidents.

Pools and Hot Tubs – Keep pools and hot tubs covered when not in use. A fence will prevent unsupervised children and small animals from getting in.

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

Dealing with PTSD after an Accident

Posted on: October 1st, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

After a car accident, driving can become stressful. Merging onto the freeway may raise your heart rate, change your breathing and put you into a cold sweat.

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may develop after experiencing a traumatic event such as a car accident that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless. So how do you deal with Post Traumatic Stress after an accident?

For most people symptoms are only temporary lasting days, weeks or months and decrease as time goes on. Symptoms may be triggered by something that reminds you of the original traumatic events. There are three types of symptoms: increased anxiety and emotional arousal, re-experiencing the traumatic event and avoiding reminders of the trauma.
Gradually exposing yourself to thoughts, feelings and situations that remind you of the trauma is one type of treatment called Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy.

A woman who was in an accident on the freeway experienced symptoms of PTSD every time she drove during rush-hour traffic, in unfamiliar areas and in bad weather. She began driving 20 minutes to and from yoga once a week. On the drive there she would feel stressed from a long day of work. On her return home she was relaxed and happy. Over time she began to associate driving with good feelings again. This story demonstrates how we can reprogram ourselves through replacing bad associations with good ones.

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

Ways to Limit Stress

Posted on: September 26th, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

022_ppStress slows healing by blocking the delivery of nutrients throughout the body. Elevated levels of cortisol can increase depression, obesity, insomnia, heart disease and digestive problems. So if you are recovering from an accident and are experiencing excessive stress then here are some ways to decompress and rid your body of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Exercise – Go for a walk though nature, do yoga or play a sport. Exercise helps circulate nutrients in your body and reduces levels of cortisol. Cortisol’s purpose is to promote the release of glucose, your body’s source of fuel.

Meditate – Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Slowing your breathing will also slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure. Be present, not thinking about the future nor the past. Set aside a time for yourself when you can truly relax because there is nowhere that you have to be and nothing that you need to do.

Eat Healthy – Fast foods with high concentrations of grease and sugar can make you feel lethargic and take your energy levels on a rollercoaster ride. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to give your body the right kind of energy.

Get Enough Sleep – A good night’s sleep allows the body and mind to recharge. When you are tired you experience more stress than when you are refreshed and full of energy.

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.