A software engineer is a computer science professional who uses knowledge of engineering principles and programming for projects such as building software products; designing, developing, and installing software solutions; developing computer games; and running network control systems.
In this article, we will explore the following:
- Why it’s so difficult to file a Long Term Disability claim as a software engineer
- How to create a winning claim
Why Is It Challenging to File LTD For a Software Engineer
Software engineers have a lot of duties and responsibilities. Here is a short-list of just some of the duties and responsibilities of a software engineer:
- Determining operational feasibility by evaluating analysis, problem definition, requirements, solution development, and proposed solutions
- Documenting and demonstrating software solutions by developing documentation, flowcharts, layouts, diagrams, charts, code comments, and clear code
- Preparing and installing solutions by determining and designing system specifications, standards, and programming
- Improving operations by conducting systems analysis; recommending changes in policies and procedures
- Obtaining and licensing software by obtaining required information from vendors; recommending purchases; testing and approving products
- Updating job knowledge by studying state-of-the-art development tools, programming techniques, and computing equipment; participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations
- Protecting operations by keeping information confidential
- Providing information by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing development and service issues
- Accomplishing engineering and organization mission by completing related results as needed
- Developing software solutions by studying information needs; conferring with users; studying systems flow, data usage, and work processes; investigating problem areas; following the software development lifecycle
Depending on the company, sample software engineer skills, requirements, and qualifications may include:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college in computer science
- Work experience as a software engineer or in a related field
- Ability to analyze existing tools and databases and provide software solution recommendations
- Ability to translate business requirements into non-technical, lay terms
- High-level written and verbal communication skills
- Analyzing information
- General programming skills
- Software design
- Software debugging
- Software documentation
- Software testing
- Software development fundamentals.
- Software development process
- Software requirements
In short, here is a list of the top 10 skills a software engineer may require in his or her job:
- Complex problem solving
- Critical thinking
- Coordinating with others
- Judgment and decision-making
- Cognitive flexibility
- Understanding objectives
- Good verbal communication skills
- Problem solving
- Be a good listener
- Excellent time management
If a software engineer becomes disabled and files a long-term disability claim, he or she will have a hard time getting approved. Why? Software engineers are well-compensated for the high level of skill it requires to do their job. Because the insurance company is looking at the case from a financial standpoint. The insurance company is looking at how much money it will cost the company to provide a software engineer with benefits throughout the illness or disability. The longer it could potentially take the software engineer to return to work, the more scrutiny the software engineer will face in the claims process.
Tips for a Successful Disability Claim
Tip #1. Gather Strong Medical Evidence
Obtaining comprehensive medical documentation is essential for a successful long-term disability claim. Collect all relevant medical evidence from your treating physicians, ensuring that they document your pain levels and cognitive difficulties in detail. While not always standard practice, detailed documentation will be crucial for supporting your claim. For instance, if you have a significant back injury like herniated discs, and your condition necessitates lying down for 50% of the day to alleviate pain, objective medical evidence such as MRIs or X-rays can reinforce your subjective complaints of pain.
Tip #2. Be Prepared for Surveillance
When making a substantial monetary claim, such as for a software engineer, it’s likely that surveillance may be conducted. Surveillance is legal, and private investigators may monitor your daily activities and gather information from neighbors. It’s important to refrain from engaging in strenuous activities or rushing back into exercise routines during the claim period, as any such activities could be used against you during the administrative decision or in court.
Tip #3. Avoid Social Media
During the claim period, it’s advisable to refrain from using social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. Social media accounts are often monitored by insurance investigators, and they may try to use your posts against you to deny your claim. Even if you have spare time at home, it’s best to stay off social media entirely to protect your claim.
Tip #4. Don’t Rush Back to Work
Recovering from a disability can be a challenging and unproductive experience, especially for someone in a demanding role like a software engineer. The transition from an active schedule to a period of rest can feel restrictive, but it’s crucial not to return to work prematurely. Going back to work before you are physically and mentally ready increases the risk of making mistakes that could cause further harm. Patience and allowing yourself adequate time for recovery are key.
Tip #5. Consider Cognitive Problems
Cognitive impairment refers to a reduction in a person’s ability to think and process information, which can be caused by various factors. Examples of cognitive impairment include memory loss (both short-term and long-term), difficulties with problem-solving and language, confusion, stress management issues, time management problems, and challenges in communication and coordination. Cognitive impairments can result from conditions like delirium, dementia, amnesia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or Huntington’s disease, as well as other medical problems and diagnoses. When a software engineer experiences cognitive impairment, it becomes evident that they would struggle to perform the material and substantial duties of their position.
However, insurance companies may not always acknowledge this obvious liability. They might assert that the insured has the functional capacity to return to work, even in the presence of cognitive impairments. In some cases, insurance companies may request an independent neuropsychological examination, but it’s important to remember that the examiner chosen by the insurance company may provide a biased report favoring the insurer’s interests. The Ortiz Law Firm has significant experience assisting claimants in similar situations and has a track record of successfully persuading insurance companies to reverse their denial decisions, even when based on unfavorable examination results.
Representation by an Experienced Long Term Disability Attorney
Software engineers will find it challenging to get a long-term disability claim approved. The insurance company will search for virtually any reason to deny the claim. By providing strong medical evidence, keeping a low profile, and not rushing back to work too soon, a software engineer can create a solid case for disability.
Using an experienced disability attorney will help you protect yourself against insurance investigators. The Ortiz Law Firm is based in Florida but represents claimants across the country. Receive a free consultation by calling (888) 321-8131 with no obligation. We can help you evaluate your claim to determine if you will be able to access long term disability benefits and how to move forward with the process.