In order to fly an aircraft, a pilot must showcase incredible skill and robust health to obtain and keep certification. However, with a long term disability, such as back pain or some form of cognitive impairment, being able to meet those high-bar prerequisites can be impossible. For this reason, there are nearly 1,000 career pilots in America who can no longer get into the cockpit and who now feel stuck on long term disability that barely supports them financially and emotionally.
A collection of American Airline pilots on long term disability have recently formed a meeting group to come together regularly and share their stories. The group first began on a private Facebook page and other message boards. As the years went on and more American Airline pilots on disability started to notice their long term disability benefits did not compare well to that of other major airline companies, the need to meet in person also increased. The meeting group has even caught the attention of Allied Pilots Association, an organization that advocates for pilot rights and benefits across the nation.
American Airlines has acknowledged the growing concerns of their employees on long term disability. It has noted January 2019 is the next time employee benefits will be up for review. A total overhaul of the company’s offered long term disability benefits could be made then, but smaller changes might be negotiated in union meetings beforehand. The company also pointed towards Delta Airlines’ and United Airlines’ long term disability benefit plans, which pay a smaller percentage of a disabled pilot’s usual salary but have the same cap. On the other hand, Southwest Airlines has a much stronger long term disability benefits package, including more of a pilot’s regular salary and a much higher pay cap.
High Medical Standards Make Pilots Prone to Disability
The good health requirements of a pilot are much higher than others in nearly every other type of occupation. As such, they are much more likely to be placed on long term disability for health conditions that otherwise would be addressed by medication. With this in mind, the likelihood of the number of pilots on long term disability, whether employed by American Airlines or not, stands to keep increasing as the years go on. It is crucial to figure out adequate benefits sooner than later.
(For more information about this ongoing story of American Airlines pilots fighting for better long term disability benefits, you can click here to read a full article from Dallas News.)
Dabdoub Law Firm is the leading name in nationwide long term disability attorneys. Our law firm proudly represents clients from coast-to-coast and who are employed in any occupation, from airline pilots to registered nurses and more. You can lean on us when you need to manage a disability claim, appeal a denial, take the matter to litigation, or negotiate a fair settlement out of court. Best of all, you can feel confident in choosing us as your disability lawyers because we have gone toe-to-toe with every major insurance company in the country with success.
Discuss your options as a pilot seeking fair long term disability benefits by contacting our firm and getting a free disability case evaluation.