Finding Insurance Company Errors
In order to detect errors made by your insurer, we make sure to gather any and all documents pertaining to your LTD claim. These documents include: your denial letter, your policy documents, the insurance companys claim file, and any other plan-governing documents. We will put our vast knowledge of ERISA law, the U.S. Department of Labor, and insurance policies to work for you in order to identify any errors the insurance company may have made.
Lyme Disease As Mental Illness
Your blood work can easily show that you have a bacterial infection associated with Lyme disease, but when the infection is cured, how do you prove youre still suffering from disabling symptoms? Its hard to medically prove your level of pain, stiffness, and the severity of migraines. Further, Lyme disease lab work is plagued by false positives.
For this reason, individual and group long-term disability insurance companies may label Lyme disease as a type of somatic symptom disorder, which is classified as a mental illness. Somatic symptom disorders are defined as when your focus on extreme pain or fatigue causes major emotional distress. Because the symptoms of Lyme disease persist after the initial infection is arguably cured, chronic Lyme disease may also wrongfully get grouped into this mental health category, subject to 24 months of benefits.
Similar to fibromyalgia, the extreme joint pain and fatigue associated with chronic Lyme disease symptoms are unfortunately subject to self-report. While your treating doctor can help confirm your symptoms, youre essentially asking your disability insurer to trust that you cant perform the important duties of your occupation.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
Lyme Disease is treated with antibiotics. Often, antibiotic treatment results in a fairly rapid and complete recovery. The most common drugs used to treat Lyme Disease are:
- Cefuroxime axetil
There are options for those intolerant to the antibiotics listed above, such as: azithromycin, clarithromycin, or erythromycin. These treatments usually have lower efficacy, and the patient should be monitored closely to ensure symptoms are improving.
Patients with early-stage localized symptoms, such as an EM rash, are usually treated with a 10-day antibiotic regimen. Patients with mid-stage Lyme disease are usually treated with a 14-day dose of antibiotics. The duration of treatment for severely immunocompromised patients is much longer, usually totaling 6 weeks or more.
You May Like: Can You Live With Lyme Disease
Determining Ability To Work
If you do not meet any of the above listings, there are other limitations caused by Lyme disease that make it impossible to work. The SSA will use a Residual Functional Capacity form to assess whether your impairments are severe enough to prevent you from carrying out the daily work activities.
For instance, they will review your ability to sit or stand for an extended period of time, kneel or walk, and lift, pull or grasp items. Depending on the activities you can and cannot do because of your Lyme disease, you may be deemed capable of performing sedentary, light, medium or heavy work.
This assessment, along with your medical records, could help show that you qualify for disability benefits.
What Would You Like To Do
- Sore throat
If left untreated, Lyme disease can intensify and cause more serious complications: arthritis, facial paralysis, nerve pain, hepatitis and cognitive impairments, to name a few.
But even when treated, the effects of Lyme disease can keep you from being your normal hardworking self. When that happens, its time to explore disability for Lyme disease.
A lot of other people might not understand your health problems, but at Levine Benjamin we take time to listen and focus on your needs. Well evaluate your claim FOR FREE.
Read Also: Lyme Disease Specialist Raleigh Nc
What If My Disability Claim Is Denied
You have a right to appeal the decision. An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer in Phoenix is ready to strengthen your claim during the appeals process. A lawyer can help you gather and put together detailed medical evidence which includes your diagnosis, treatment plan and doctors notes about your condition.
Our lawyers often consult occupational and vocational experts who can objectively establish the functional limitations caused by a claimants condition .
If your Lyme disease includes cognitive problems, your lawyer may recommend undergoing a neuropsychological assessment. This could help establish how your condition has affected cognitive functioning to the point that you can no longer perform the essential duties of your job.
Getting Help From An Attorney
Anyone who is facing the SSDI benefits application process should consult with an attorney before beginning. Many applications are denied after they are first submitted, and confusion about the application process is often to blame. An SSDI attorney is able to guide clients through this process to remove the frustration of being denied when a valid disability is present. When SSDI benefits are needed to pay for basic necessities, applicants need the help of a legal professional.
Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.
Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease Diagnosis And Treatment
Medical Conditions That Qualify For Disability Benefits
You may be wondering what are the medical conditions that qualify for disability? And is my diagnosis on that list? We give a list of medical conditions below, but as you will learn, any medical condition can potentially qualify for disability benefits. The focus is always on the extent of the disability caused by your medical condition. And whether the extent of your disability meets the requirements for various disability benefits plans and programs. This article lists common disabling conditions. I then review the eligibility criteria for the most common disability benefits. So, you can know if your medical condition can qualify for benefits.
Get Help Receiving Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits
If you are unsure whether you qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits, do not hesitate to reach out to our lawyers at Dayes Law Firm. We are ready to guide you through the claims process and protect your interests. Should your disability claim be denied, we are here to also help handle your appeal.
The initial consultations we offer are free of charge without any risk or obligation involved. We also charge no upfront fees and only get paid for our services if we help you obtain disability benefits.
Call to get started today.
You May Like: Best Pemf Device For Lyme Disease
Interference With Ability To Work
The multiple limitations caused by Lymedisease may make it impossible for you to return to work even if you don’t meet a listing. SocialSecurity will evaluate your abilities and impairments using the ResidualFunctional Capacity to determine if all of your impairmentsconsidered together prevent you from being able to work.
For those with Lyme disease, pain in themuscles, joints, tendons, and back, numbness and tingling in the handsand feet, arthritis pain and swelling in the knees or other joints, andweakness in the legs can make physical activities such as walking,standing, and lifting difficult, depending on the severity of theirsymptoms. Additionally, problems with sleep, heart problems, andsignificant fatigue may make it hard to do any type of physical work.
Social Security will also evaluate yourability to do less strenuous, sedentary work. For those with Lymedisease, numbness in the limbs, arthritis, and balance issues mayprevent certain physical movements and fine motor skills, if yourfingers or hands are affected. In addition, facial weakness can affecteye sight.
Touched By Lyme: Can You Get Disability Benefits For Lyme Disease
Guest blogger Peter Burke, an attorney who focuses on disability law, summarizes some of the challenges faced by Lyme patients.
Lyme Disease and Disability Benefits: The Challenges
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by a tick bite. Its symptoms are diverse and can cause physical disabilities, including heart disease, joint swelling, fatigue, and extreme pain, along with a variety of mental symptoms, including memory loss, attention and executive function deficits, anxiety, panic attacks, and delusions. Victims often consult with as many as 20 or 30 doctors before getting an accurate diagnosis. To complicate the problem, symptoms mimic a range of other mental and physical conditions and are often inconsistent, with exacerbations and remissions.
Qualifying for Government Disability Programs
Because of the great variety in symptoms and the difficulty obtaining a diagnosis, many people suffering from this debilitating disease are unable to work. However, for those same reasons, they face challenges when applying for disability benefits, whether SSI or SSDI, far beyond those faced by people with other more common disabilities.
Many people suffer from multiple symptoms that make it impossible to resume working, even if there is not a specific match to a blue book listing. In this situation, Social Security uses the Residual Functional Capacity to determine the combination of impairments is sufficiently disabling to keep you from returning to work.
Don’t Miss: Property For Sale Old Lyme Ct
Bryant Legal Group: Illinois Trusted Disability Insurance Law Firm
At Bryant Legal Group, we guide disabled individuals through their complex short-term and long-term disability claims. If you or someone you love is living with Lyme disease or another tickborne illness, contact us today. We can help you understand your legal rights and suggest ways to strengthen your disability insurance claim.
To schedule your free initial consultation and get personalized advice from an experienced attorney, call us at or complete our online contact form.
Social Security Disability For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection resulting from the bite of a deer tick. You can suffer severe, debilitating symptoms from Lyme disease that render you unable to perform regular daily activities or continue with your regular work duties. While it may be a challenging case, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits if you are experiencing severe symptoms.
You may find Lyme disease is a long, difficult battle. With remissions and exacerbations, it can be difficult to get a claim for Social Security disability approved without a lengthy fight and determination. The Social Security Administration has the Social Security Disability Insurance program which provides monthly benefits to those who are disabled who have earned a sufficient number of credits and have paid in adequate taxes to the SSA.
Lyme disease can impact people in different ways, but there are usually three different stages. Within a few days to a few weeks of being bitten by a deer tick, stage one of the infection will begin. It usually shows flu-like symptoms that include headaches, body aches, and an overall feeling of being unwell. Some people experience a rash that makes the area around the bite look like a bulls eye.
The symptoms vary from individual to individual and are dependent upon the persons initial health and how advanced the disease is before it is discovered. There are numerous symptoms that you may experience from Lyme disease.
You May Like: How To Treat Dogs For Lyme Disease
What Can I Do If My Disability Claim Is Denied
If your claim has been denied, you can fight the insurance company’s decision to deny your claim. Your insurer will provide you with the option of appealing your claim through their internal appeal process, which can take several months and there is no guarantee their decision will be overturned. Generally you can appeal the decision three times, by providing new information and new medical evidence that supports your inability to work.
You also have the option of consulting an experienced disability lawyer to find out your rights and decide to start a court action against your insurance company.
Our lawyers have successfully represented clients with Lyme disease whose disability claims have been denied. We offer a free initial consultation that can be arranged at a date and time that works for you.
Determining Your Ability To Work
Suppose youre unable to meet any of the listings we just reviewed. You might be wondering, Can I get disability for Lyme disease or SSI even though I dont meet any of these listings? The fact is that you may.
In the case where there are limitations outside of these that youre experiencing as a result of Lyme disease that makes it impossible for you to work, you might be able to get these benefits.
Using an RFC, or Residual Capacity Form, the SSA tries to determine whether your impairments are severe enough to prevent you from carrying out your daily work activities.
For instance, they might review your ability to grasp, pull or lift items, walk, kneel, or stand or sit for an extended period.
Depending on which activities you can or cant do because of Lyme disease, the SSA might deem you capable of doing heavy, medium, light, or sedentary work.
This assessment, combined with your medical records, could demonstrate that youll qualify for disability benefits.
Also Check: What Happens When You Get Lyme Disease
What People With Lyme Can Learn From The Disability Community
Working at a job while you have a chronic illness, such as Lyme disease, can be challenging. One way to approach these challenges is to think about Lyme disease from a disability perspective.
People with disabilities are a unique minority, a group that any of us can join at any time.
Unlike other minority communities, however, most of us are not raised with an understanding of what it means to be disabled, how to negotiate the societal implications of disability, or how to deal with prejudice when it occurs.
At the same time, the disability community is a vibrant, active group that has achieved major civil rights victories such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and related legislation.
It has also developed a nuanced and thoughtful set of articles and books that reflect on and interpret the experience of disability. For example, disabled anthropologist Gerry Gold has written about the social context of long term disability, including his decisions about going on LT disability insurance, a choice many of us may face.
I first identified with the group as a graduate student in the 90s when my hands were so non-functional that I had trouble doing many basic things, and no one could tell me if/when I would improve. I soon learned, for example, to press the automated door-opening button at the front of my university building.
Get Help Winning Disability For Lyme Disease
Social Security requires objective medical evidence to determine whether your symptoms of Lyme disease qualify you to receive disability benefits.
Your disability claim hinges on you providing records of medical evaluations, diagnoses and treatments youve received. Youll also need to share details of your work history, so you can highlight how your condition prevents you from working as youve always done.
It often feels like the Social Security system works against you rather than for you. Most people who apply get denied.
To improve your chances, work with an experienced disability attorney. If you need to take your case to a Social Security administrative law judge, one government study found that your chances of being awarded benefits are almost three times higher when you bring a representative.
At Levine Benjamin, weve helped more than 50,000 people win benefits. Our team understands what youre going through as you navigate the disability system with Lyme disease.
This financial support could help you maintain the life you worked so hard to build. All it takes is a small first step to get started. Tell us about your case.
From applying to appealing, we help you every step of the way.
Also Check: How Does Lyme Disease Spread
Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Lyme Disease
Disability insurance companies dont always make it easy for policyholders who have Lyme disease to get the disability benefits they deserve.
Lyme disease is a complex, multi-system inflammatory disease that affects major organs in your body. The diagnosis is complex and, unfortunately, many patients are misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or theyre told it is all in their heads.
Because of the wide variety of symptoms and the long period of incubation, it can be challenging to get a correct diagnosis. That is one of the reasons disability carriers are notorious for denying and terminating many Lyme disease claims.
Common Reasons Lyme Disability Claims Are Denied
Disability carriers often argue that coverage under the policy is excluded because of the pre-existing condition clause, or that benefits are limited under the subjective limitation clause. Headaches, pain, fatigue and side effects of treatment can be the most disabling symptoms, but they are subjective complaints. Carriers routinely dispute them.
It is not uncommon for policyholders to have had Lyme disease for years and not been disabled. You will have to overcome the carriers argument that you have been working with these problems for years and nothing has changed. It is crucial that your medical records develop the progression of your symptoms.
Consult With Experienced Lyme Disease Lawyers
If you suffer from Lyme disease and it has made you unable to perform your work duties, contact Andalman & Flynn. Our disability benefits attorneys are experienced in representing individuals throughout the country who are struggling with this difficult condition. We offer initial consultations free of charge to our disability clients. If you are interested in setting up a meeting with our one of our experienced Lyme disease lawyers, either in person or by phone, please fill out an online contact form or call us at 301-563-6685.
Also Check: Lyme Disease And Hip Pain
Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits
You can apply for disability benefits online, but if you are going to ask for a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation you might want to apply in person and get help with the application from a staff member to make sure your request is processed properly. Find your local SSA office and make an appointment to file a claim. Do not forget to bring copies of all of your medical, mental health and adjunct treatment documents with you. The process can be time consuming and quite detailed, but the end resutlts can be most advantageous.