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Assembly Line Workers & Disability Denials


Assembly line workers have physically demanding jobs. Most assembly line workers perform repetitive movements, frequently lift heavy objects, stand for long periods, bend/twist/kneel/stoop often throughout the day, and function under demanding time constraints. According to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Assembly Line Workers perform repetitive tasks on an assembly line to mass produce various products. Assembling components, using tools, and performing a combination of tasks on a repetitive basis are possible duties on a production line.

In our experience, common medical conditions typically suffered by assembly line workers include, but are not limited to:

  • Lumbar spine/back conditions
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Bulging discs
  • Radiculopathy
  • Pulled muscles
  • Torn rotator cuffs
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

It is important to know that ERISA disability policies often have a two-part definition for “disability.” Typically, an insurance company initially investigates to see if you can perform your regular or own occupation. However, after receiving disability benefits for a period of time (usually 24 months), the definition of disability may change. If that happens, the insurance company is no longer determining whether you can perform your own occupation. Instead, the insurance company investigates to see if you can perform any occupation. During this process, the insurance company often finds a less demanding job that it believes you can perform.

Usually, the insurance company uses a medical consultant to review your file and answer questions about your conditions and restrictions. You may not ever meet with or speak to this medical consultant. Your medical condition(s), restriction(s), and background are then usually sent to the insurance company’s internal vocational department to determine if you have “transferable skills” that can be applied to other jobs. Importantly, these “other jobs” do not have to be with your same employer (or any specific employer) and are often not the same occupation you performed before becoming disabled.

Every case is different and depends on the medical condition(s) involved and the terms of the disability insurance policy that applies to each claim of disability. Not every policy is the same.

If you are an assembly line worker and your long-term disability or ERISA disability claim has been wrongfully denied or you are in the process of filing a long term disability claim, contact Mehr Fairbanks Trial Lawyers at 800-249-3731 to secure a free consultation about your rights and benefits.

This information should not be construed as legal advice or a guideline to your specific claim for benefits.

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