Patients with peripheral arterial disease may be unable to work because of their disease and its related complications. Patients who find themselves unable to work because of their peripheral arterial disease may qualify for long term disability (LTD) benefits. The insurance company will review their claim to see if they qualify under the conditions of that plan.
What is Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.)?
Peripheral artery disease is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries. Plaque consists of cholesterol, fat, calcium deposits, and other substances in the blood. Over a period of time plaque will start to build up and harden. This causes blood flow to become restricted to your head, limbs, and major organs causing a reduction in oxygen.
Symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease
Peripheral arterial disease usually affects the legs first. It can cause weakness or numbness in the legs and sores that will not heal making it hard to continue to work. Pain can increase during periods of stress on the muscles because of the restriction of blood flow.
Symptoms can include but are not limited to:
- Painful cramping in one or both of your hips, thighs, legs, or calf muscles after certain activities;
- Leg numbness or weakness;
- Sores that will not heal properly;
- A change in color due to loss of blood flow; and
- Weak pulse in legs or feet.
Pain from the peripheral arterial disease can range from mild to excruciating. Rest and elevation of the legs can help alleviate pain.
Treatment plans for peripheral arterial disease can range from changes in lifestyle choices to major surgery. Treatment can be slow but can help the progression of the disease. If left untreated, you drastically increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and amputation.
P.A.D and Long Term Disability
Peripheral arterial disease is considered a major and debilitating disease. Amputation, heart attack, or a stroke are major risk factors with this disease. It may become difficult to continue to work if you are experiencing these symptoms.
The insurance company will base its decision on the information provided by your medical provider. A positive diagnosis and records that document immobility will need to be provided by your doctor. Your doctor will also need to provide a treatment plan for you. The LTD adjuster will take into account how peripheral arterial disease affects your everyday life. You will still need to show how peripheral arterial disease affects your ability to work. Your doctor will need to provide a list of restrictions that cause you not to be able to perform your duties at work.
Some examples of these are: Needing to stand and move about often to prevent blood clots in your legs and frequent leg elevation caused by chronic pain that causes an interruption in your work duties and responsibilities.
If your doctor has removed you from the workplace until you finish your treatment plan, you may qualify to apply for long term disability benefits. The insurance company will review your records and decide if you qualify for long term disability benefits based on their selection criteria.
The following information can help you prepare for your claim:
Definition of Disability
Under most LTD policies, an individual is considered disabled if he or she is: (a) unable to perform the material duties of his or her own occupation for the first two years of the policy; and (b) unable to perform the duties of just about any occupation after the first two years of the policy. The definition of disability is specific to each individual policy, so you must review your own LTD policy to determine how the term “disability” or “totally disabled” is defined for you.
Proof of Peripheral Arterial Disease
Evidence of symptoms alone will not be sufficient for a successful long term disability claim. You will need to provide medical documentation to support your claims. This will include medical reports from your doctors, hospitals, and laboratories that have treated you for peripheral arterial disease. If you provide the insurance company with a list of all the locations that treated you for peripheral arterial disease, they should be able to obtain your records directly. In the event that they cannot, it will be up to you to obtain them.
It is important to remember to get any mental health records you may have regarding treatment for peripheral arterial disease. This serious and chronic disease can cause you to need to seek counseling for depression and anxiety about living with peripheral arterial disease. Provide the insurance company with your therapy notes.
If the insurance company decides that there is not enough evidence to process your claim, they may ask you to be evaluated by a doctor that works for them to ensure they have all the documentation they need to reach a decision.
Work with a Florida Long Term Disability Insurance Attorney to Ensure You Get the Benefits You Deserve
Working with an experienced disability attorney will give you the best chance of getting the benefits you deserve for your peripheral arterial disease. Even if you have been denied benefits, that does not mean your fight is over. Many people are denied benefits the first time they apply. You have the right to file an appeal and try to get more information that may help your case. Getting expert help is often the difference between being denied and being approved for benefits.
While the process can be daunting, your experienced disability attorney will be able to guide you through the process. They do not get paid until you win your case. You can seek help without worrying about upfront costs or unexpected bills.
The Ortiz Law Firm has successfully represented people in disability cases across the United States. If you would like to talk to an experienced disability lawyer about your peripheral arterial disease and its impact on your ability to work, call us at (888) 321-8131. We would be happy to evaluate your case and to discuss how to help you through the appeal process.