Answer: Each long-term disability policy may be different, but in order to qualify for benefits, a person must meet the definition of totally disabled.
You should review the definitions section of your policy to find out what the policy wording entails.
A total disability means you are reasonably unable to carry out the normal functions of your usual job. It does not mean that you have to be completely physically unable to do any part of your job, but that your injury or illness is such that common sense requires you to stop working so you can focus on getting better. As a result of your injuries or illness, you are unable to perform the essential duties of your own occupation.
This is the definition your insurer will go by during the “own occupation” period of your disability. When the own occupation is over, you are considered totally disabled if you are unable to perform any occupation for which you are reasonably suited for or could become suited for.