Patients with vasculitis may be unable to work because of their disease and its related complications. Patients who find themselves unable to work because of their vasculitis 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 Vasculitis?
Vasculitis sends more than 100,000 people to the emergency room every year in the United States. When you have been diagnosed with vasculitis, you will have many decisions to make regarding your treatment and well-being. A diagnosis of systemic vasculitis can be even more devastating. The last thing you need to worry about is how to pay your bills while you are receiving treatment. Applying for long term disability benefits is a way to help you still receive partial income while you are recovering.
The inflammation of the blood vessels causes vasculitis. The inflammation can cause blood vessels that move blood from your heart to the rest of your body to swell, making it hard for the blood to produce and circulate oxygen. There are several types of vasculitis:
A disease of the blood vessels in the arms and legs. Swelling causes blockages that lead to blood clots. Eventually, the skin will become damaged and even die, leading to amputation. Doctors can diagnose you with Buerger’s disease by doing Allen’s test (which checks the blood flow levels) or an angiogram (dye is inserted into arteries to show doctors any damage). Working while suffering from Buerger’s disease can become troublesome since the first signs usually affect the fingertips. The amputation of the fingertips is common.
Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA)
An autoimmune form of vasculitis that affects the lungs, heart, kidneys, and nervous system. Inflammation of the blood vessels causes oxygen to be restricted to major organs causing the body to experience a range of systems that can be life-threatening without treatment. EGPA can be diagnosed through x-rays, tissue biopsies, and blood testing. Treatment is usually high doses of steroids that suppress your immune system. But prolonged periods of this drug can cause damage to other parts of your body.
It can be challenging to continue to work full or part-time with EGPA. With a weakened immune system, you will likely be sick often causing your employer frustration; you will also start to experience bone deterioration including in your mouth as a side effect of long term steroid use.
Applying for Long Term Disability with Systemic Vasculitis
Systemic vasculitis is a term used to describe advanced vasculitis diseases. Treatment options will vary widely depending on the type of systemic vasculitis you have. If you are suffering from a type of systemic vasculitis, you should apply for long term disability benefits. This will ensure that you will receive a portion of your salary while you are being treated.
Before you begin your long term disability claim, you should consult a long term disability lawyer that can help you gather the documents that are needed by the insurance company to process your claim. Documents like:
- Medical records;
- Blood and lab results;
- X-rays, MRI, and CT scan results; and
- Residual Functional Capacity assessments.
It is important to know the most common reasons LTD claims are denied:
Incomplete medical information. One of the most common reasons claims are denied is due to missing or incomplete medical information. Forgetting to list a doctor’s office address or listing an incorrect address means the insurance could not verify your medical information. Forgetting to list all of your doctors and medications can also cause a denial.
Missed appointments. When you are sick and not working, it can become difficult to make doctor’s appointments; especially if you are required to make a co-pay each visit. However, the insurance company will say that you do not need medical attention if you are missing appointments. It’s very important to make all doctor’s appointments as scheduled.
Inaccurate Doctor’s Notes. It is very common for doctors to only write down the clinical symptoms and not make notes regarding pain, depression, low energy level, etc. Be sure that your doctor writes these down in your file as proof that you are suffering from these symptoms as well.
Systemic vasculitis is a severe form of vasculitis. There are many types of systemic vasculitis with different treatment plans that can prevent you from working. Ask your doctor to assess your limitations and file a long term disability claim as soon as you discover your vasculitis is systemic.
Using an experienced disability attorney will help you protect yourself against insurance investigators. The Ortiz Law Firm is based in Florida but represents claimants across the country. Receive a free consultation by calling (888) 321-8131 with no obligation. We can help you evaluate your claim to determine if you will be able to access long term disability benefits and how to move forward with the process.