With summer and the outdoor season upon us, there can be different causes of disability to deal with. One of the more common conditions we see during this time of year, especially in the Northeast, is Lyme disease. Although there is evidence that Lyme may be spread through multiple sources, the primary method of infection is a blacklegged or deer tick bite. Lyme is a complex multisystem inflammatory disease that can affect all of the major organ systems in your body and cause a wide range of symptoms including fever, headaches, rash, pain, vertigo, speech impairments, mood swings, depression, and hallucinations. In addition, these symptoms don’t always develop immediately. It can take days, weeks, or even years before the onset of symptoms due to Lyme disease, making it extremely difficult to pinpoint the causal event of the symptoms. Continue reading
Diabetes is a growing health problem in America with over 26 million people suffering from the condition and another 79 million individuals suffering from pre-diabetes such as insulin resistance and Metabolic Syndrome. Only approximately 5 percent of diabetics suffer from Type 1 diabetes with the overwhelming majority suffering from Type 2 diabetes. While many of these individuals are able to work long and fulfilling careers, there are increasing numbers of people whose disease prevents them from continuing in their jobs and are forced to file claims for disability insurance benefits.
Insurance companies will often dispute and deny a disability claim based solely on a diabetic condition even if it’s shown that the condition was the root cause of the inability to work. It’s important to understand that technically, they may be correct. It’s not usually the diabetes that disables someone but one or more of the many complications that are caused by this disease. If you’re receiving regular care and treatment and are following the plan of your treating physician, being diabetic in and of itself is generally not disabling. If you find you’re unable to work and are filing a disability claim, you’ll want to document the nature and extent of the complications and the severity of their impacts on your work abilities. Continue reading
What a difference a year makes! Where does the time go?
We’ve been writing articles for this blog for over a year, and we’ve learned as many things from our readers as we hope you’ve learned from us. As our topics have grown and more readers have found us, we wanted to make sure that some of our posts don’t get lost in the noise of the Internet and buried deep away where claimants would less likely be able to find help. In the spirit of the NCAA basketball tournament, we’re going to go through our most popular blog posts as well as highlight some posts that we think include topical, valuable information that may be helpful in your disability claim. Thanks again for reading our blog over the past year and making us one of the top-rated destinations for disability claim advice and help. While we hope you never have any problems with your conditions or your claim, we’ll continue to be here to read, just in case, for years to come!
One of the biggest issues our clients face when filing their disability claim is the lack of clear medical opinions explicitly linking their condition to their disabling restrictions and limitations. Physicians are skilled at diagnosing a disease or illness, but they may not be the best at explaining why the condition is disabling for the claimant. This can especially be problematic with mental illnesses or other types of invisible disabilities. Any ambiguities cause increased scrutiny and in-house referrals by claim examiners and are often used as a basis for a disability claim denial. Helping your doctor connect the dots between your condition and your inability to work smooths the disability claims process and fosters a quicker claim approval with fewer questions. We’d like to discuss two perspectives to this issue: the claimant’s and the physician’s. We’re going to discuss what each party can do to make the disability clearer and the claims process smoother. Continue reading
In addition to IME’s (Independent Medical Examinations) insurance companies are also known to use Functional Capacity Evaluations, known as FCE’s, to analyze a claimant’s disability. These evaluations assess the ability to perform a series of tasks which simulate customary job duties and determine the extent to which the claimant can complete these job duties on a regular basis. FCE’s can have different focuses and purposes and be referred to as Physical Capacity Evaluations, Work Capacity Evaluations, or Disability Assessments, but they all mean the same thing: the insurance company is attempting to use a biased and flawed evaluation system to challenge the statements of you and your doctor about your ability to return to work. Continue reading
When many people think of a claimant who is receiving disability benefits, they picture someone who is visibly and physically unable to work. Although many claimants suffer from conditions of this nature, some of the most painful and devastating conditions include categories often referred to as “invisible disabilities.” Invisible disabilities include such conditions as CFIDS, Fibromyalgia, chronic pain and mental illnesses, such as anxiety or depression. These conditions can be every bit as severe and debilitating as outwardly obvious conditions but are often met with skepticism and distrust by disability claim professionals. Many claimants who suffer from invisible diseases encounter seemingly unending questions and problems with their long term disability claims and the claims process. We have seen people make inadvertent errors in how they’re presented their disability claims and simply give up, surrendering their rights to the disability benefits they actually deserve. Here are the three common reasons that disability claims based on one of these invisible diseases are denied. Continue reading
Mental illness is on the forefront of much medical innovation and research today. As we continue to better understand and comprehend the human mind and its illnesses, we’re able to more accurately diagnose and treat many different psychiatric conditions that were either misdiagnosed or simply ignored in the past. Mental illnesses range greatly in length and severity of the conditions, but they can all be debilitating and render the patient unable to work in their or often, any chosen occupation. If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness and has disability insurance through their employer or individually, you should be able to obtain disability benefits through your policy. However for reasons I’ll discuss below, insurance companies unfortunately tend to make this difficult and will vigorously try to delay, reduce, and deny your disability claim due to mental or nervous conditions. Mental illness has a become a prime target for disability insurance companies, and those souls who are simply trying to collect their benefits have to be prepared for a fight. Continue reading
With last week’s Supreme Court ruling confirming the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), informally referred to as Obamacare, it’s now time to start looking forward to the parts of PPACA that have not yet taken effect and analyze the repercussions. While it may not directly affect the disability insurance market, the PPACA will affect every individual currently receiving benefits. Health insurance is an important part of physical and financial well-being, and the PPACA dramatically changes how we view health insurance in this country. In the opinion of our firm, the PPACA helps most individuals, especially those people who are experiencing substantial medical problems in their lives. Today I am going to break down the PPACA into its 10 Titles and touch on how each title may affect disabled individuals and specifically how they relate to disability insurance claims. Continue reading
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, often called CFS, is a debilitating condition that is still relatively ambiguous to the medical field. CFS is also referred to as Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). Led by persistent, unexplained, recurring feelings of exhaustion, CFS can have debilitating side effects, leaving the sufferer unable to perform most daily tasks or hold a steady job. Disability insurance companies label cases of CFS as self-diagnosed conditions, somewhat similar to Fibromyalgia, making CFS based disability claims much more difficult to get approved. Developing solid, concrete evidence is critical. Today I am going to describe the symptoms that are often present with CFS and how to present the information needed for a successful disability insurance claim. Continue reading