If the symptoms and impairments of your arteritis are severe enough to affect your ability to function or work, you may be eligible for long term disability insurance benefits.
What Is Arteritis?
Arteritis is a group of illnesses that refer to inflammation of the arteries, which causes restricted blood flow to your organs and causes damage to your blood vessel. There are several types of Arteritis.
Types of Arteritis
Takayasu’s Arteritis is nonspecific aortoarteritis, also known as an aortic arch syndrome. It mostly affects young women of Asian descent. It causes thickening of the aorta walls, which creates a progressive narrowing of the arteries. The decrease in oxygen levels of time can cause symptoms such as:
- Cardiac problems like heart disease and hypertension
- Loss of vision
- Joint pain
Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA)
Giant cell arteritis is an inflammation of the temporal arteries around your head, jaw, and eyes. This condition is usually seen in women over 50 years of age. Symptoms can start out like the flu causing:
- Aches and pains
- Loss of appetite
- Severe headache
As the blood vessels continue to become inflamed, you can experience more specific symptoms like jaw pain, loss of vision, and painful pressure around your scalp.
Kussmaul disease or Polyarteritis Nodosa (PN) is the inflammation of the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your other organs. This syndrome affects mostly men but can also be caused by a hepatitis B infection. PN affects many blood vessels throughout the body, so symptoms can vary but usually begin with:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Sores or bruising on the skin
- Numbness or tingling
Diagnosis of Arteritis Disorders
Diagnosing Arteritis disorders can be tricky since they usually begin with symptoms of the flu. Further testing will be needed to confirm your disorder. Three common tests are:
- Angiogram – uses dye throughout the blood vessels and veins to identify blockages or damages.
- C-reactive protein test – used to identify inflammation in the body.
- Electrocardiogram – this test measures the heart rate and rhythm to identify potential heart problems.
Treatments for Arteritis
The cause of Arteritis is unknown. It is thought to be an autoimmune disease. Therefore, treatment begins with autoimmune suppressant therapy. You will be treated with corticosteroids like prednisone. You may also need antibiotics if you are showing signs of infection. Surgery is the last resort, but it may be necessary to repair damaged blood vessels.
Treatment options for Arteritis are limited and have known side effects. For example, steroids like prednisone are usually prescribed as a short term treatment option because side effects like loss of bone density, muscle weakness, increased appetite causing high blood pressure and obesity, insomnia, and interferes with the effectiveness of medications like antidepressants and vaccinations.
Applying for Long Term Disability with Arteritis
When applying for long term disability for Arteritis, it’s important to keep good records. Your notes will be handy when questions come up from the insurance company.
Keep A Journal
Keeping a detailed record of your medical treatment and symptoms is the best way to build a strong disability claim. Use your journal to track your symptoms daily, write down your doctor’s visits (date and time) and what was discussed at your visits, dates that additional exams were ordered, results of your tests like angiogram results, ECG results, blood work results, medications you were prescribed and if they are causing you any side effects.
If your doctor’s office calls to reschedule an appointment, write that down and ask them for a reason. Also, write down who you speak with. Insurance companies will request your doctor’s appointment records to see if you have missed any appointments. They will try to use that against you, but if you have a note in your journal describing who called and why they needed to reschedule, then you have proof the rescheduled appointment wasn’t your fault.
Tracking medication side effects and discontinuances are just as important. If your doctor takes you off medications due to severe side effects, be sure to write down the date and reason in your journal. This will help prevent the insurance company from claiming that you stopped taking your medication as prescribed.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Policy
Be sure to request a copy of your disability policy from your employer as soon as you know you will be filing a claim. Take the time to read through your entire policy to be sure you understand what your insurance company qualifies as a disability and what they do not. Make notes in your journal of timelines. This is critical. If you missed a deadline, your claim would most likely be denied.
Consult An Attorney
Since you are so limited by the appeals process, consider consulting a disability attorney very early on. An experienced disability attorney can help you stay on top of your deadlines, help you gather your documents, assist you during field interviews, and give you guidance that will help you get your claim approved.
Mr. Ortiz is an experienced disability attorney at the Ortiz Law Firm and can help you through every step of the process, from the initial application to potential appeals. They only get paid if you win your case. You can seek help without worrying about upfront costs or unexpected bills. Our law experts will focus on your case so you can focus on your illness.
The Ortiz Law Firm offers a free consultation with no obligation to use our firm. During the call, you can ask any questions you have regarding your long term disability claim, and we will answer them. The Ortiz Law Firm has successfully represented people in disability cases across the United States. To see how we can help you win your long-term disability case, call us at (866) 853-7703.