Any of us can find ourselves dealing with a medical condition that prevents us from working.

When this happens, it may be necessary to apply for disability benefits.

This can be a very difficult and stressful process, particularly for so-called "invisible diseases", such as as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, and mental health conditions, such as chronic depression and bi-polar disorder.

If you need to apply for disability insurance, it is important to remember that the insurer is not your friend and will likely deny your application for disability benefits if you give them any reason to do so.

The diagnosis for "invisible diseases" and mental health conditions largely be based on the symptoms the patient describes to their doctor(s), rather than being supported by evidence such as blood test results, x-rays or ultra sound tests. Because of this, insurers are wary of disability claims for these medical conditions because they see these as being ideal for those seeking to scam the system.

So the information provided in documentation that the insurer will require from you, your employer and your doctor(s) must be of a very detailed nature that fully meets, or exceeds, the insurer's requirements.

If your medical condition has forced you to leave your job, the determination of your eligibility to receive disability benefits from a private or public disability plan will be based on whether your condition prevents you from being able to perform the duties of your job.

For example, if your work duties require you to sit for extended periods of time and you are unable to do so due to your medical condition, you should be eligible to receive disability benefits because your condition prevents you from being able to do your job.

However, if the only problem caused by your medical condition is that you can not sit for an extended period of time and your work does not require you to do so, you may not qualify for disability benefits because your condition will not be seen by the insurer as preventing you from doing your job.

That being said, if you have to sit for an extended period of time to get to your workplace, e.g., drive or sit on a bus, you may qualify for disability benefits because you may not be able to get to work and as a result can not do your job.

The insurer, will require a detailed description outlining exactly how your medical condition prevents you from performing your work duties, so simply stating that you have a particular condition and expecting that they will understand why you can't work will likely see your disability benefit application denied.

The insurer will likely want more than one medical opinion and will put more weight on the opinion of a specialist , such as a rheumatologist, psychiatrist, etc, with expertise pertaining to your medical condition than that of your family doctor.

Even if you and your doctor(s) provide detailed information concerning your medical condition, you may still find your claim disputed by the insurer and may need to seek legal assistance, i.e., a lawyer, to deal with the insurer.

If this happens, you must find a lawyer that has extensive experience and expertise with disability insurance claims.