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 Due to Arteritis
When seeking long-term disability for arteritis, maintaining thorough records is crucial. These records can be invaluable when the insurance carrier has questions about your situation.
Start a Medical Diary
You should maintain an exhaustive diary detailing your medical journey. This should include:
- Daily symptom tracking.
- Documentation of doctor’s appointments with date, time, and discussion points.
- Dates of additional medical tests and their results, such as angiograms, ECGs, and blood tests.
- List of prescribed medications, their side effects, and any changes made to them.
If your doctor’s office contacts you to reschedule, note the date, the reason given, and the person you spoke to. Insurance companies might inspect your appointment history for missed visits and could hold this against you. With your diary as evidence, you can show that any rescheduling wasn’t due to your negligence.
Also, monitor medication side effects and reasons for discontinuation. If your doctor discontinues a medication because of severe side effects, document the date and rationale. This can counter any claims by the insurance company suggesting non-compliance with prescribed medications.
Understand Your Policy
Once you decide to file a claim, request your disability policy from your employer promptly. Dedicate time to read and comprehend the entire policy, noting what qualifies as a disability and what doesn’t. Make notes in your journal about any deadlines, as overlooking a deadline can result in claim denial.
Engage a Disability Attorney
Given the constraints of the appeals process, it’s wise to consult a disability attorney early. Such professionals can:
- Help meet all deadlines.
- Assist in compiling necessary documentation.
- Support during field interviews.
- Offer advice to enhance the chances of claim approval.
Ortiz Law Firm represents long term disability claimants nationwide and offers a free case evaluation if your claim has been wrongfully denied or terminated. If you would like to discuss your claim, call us at (888) 321-8131.