Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative disease caused by genetic abnormalities. This affects the muscle system causing loss of control over muscle groups. Although born with the disease, it could take years, even decades, to develop symptoms because muscular dystrophy has many types.
The ones that most commonly affect working adults are:
- Becker Muscular Dystrophy – a slow progression of muscular dystrophy that happens in your 20s or later;
- Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy – a type of muscular dystrophy that makes it hard to relax the muscles once they are engaged. Usually shows signs in adulthood; and
- Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy – this type affects the shoulders and face. It can start showing symptoms in the teenage years through adulthood.
Since all of these types of muscular dystrophy develop later in life, symptoms are usually slow and progressive. They include:
- Muscle weakness;
- Lack of coordination;
- Poor balance;
- Difficulty walking; and
- Frequent falls.
There is no cure for muscular dystrophy, but there are many therapy options.
- Physical Therapy – Regular exercise can keep your muscles flexible and strong;
- Speech Therapy – Helps you learn to keep your speech skills when your facial muscles are affected by muscle degeneration; and
- Respiratory Therapy – Muscular dystrophy patients may notice that they are having trouble breathing when they start coughing, which can lead to infections. Keeping your respiratory system strong is another therapy recommended for advanced patients.
Applying for Long Term Disability Due to Muscular Dystrophy
Since various types of muscular dystrophy will only show symptoms later in life, you may be able to work for a while. As your symptoms progress, you need to think about long term care for yourself and applying for long term disability when you aren’t able to work any longer.
Ways to Build a Strong Claim
Even though a degenerative disability like muscular dystrophy should be approved without hesitation, the long term disability companies are always trying to make it more difficult for the claimants to be approved. Dealing with doctors, lawyers, and insurance representatives can be wearisome for claimants dealing with the complications of muscular dystrophy. You need to stack the record with evidence that supports your claim to build a strong claim for benefits.
Keep a Record of Everything
Keep a detailed journal concerning everything associated with your disability, including your doctor visits, your symptoms, a record of the evidence you have submitted in support of your claim. If a disability claims adjuster ever interrogates you, you’ll be prepared to answer their questions.
A Doctor’s Note is Insufficient
Qualifying for long-term disability benefits requires more than just a note from your doctor. You must furnish exhaustive medical documentation, including your condition, expected prognosis, and specific functional limitations. A doctor’s note falls short of these requirements.
Understand Your Disability Policy
It is essential to promptly obtain a copy of your disability policy from your employer or your insurance carrier. Take the time to thoroughly review the entire document, ensuring you fully grasp what your insurance company considers to be a disability, as well as what they don’t. Be sure to write down any important deadlines, as missing a deadline may lead to the denial of your claim.
Find a Disability Insurance Attorney
Filing a claim for muscular dystrophy, or any other disability, can be complex. The process of navigating through the appeals process requires expertise. Collaborating with an experienced disability attorney can significantly increase your chances of securing the benefits you’re entitled to. Many individuals will receive a denial letter on their first attempt, but remember, you have the legal right to appeal and access further information that could support your case.
Though the process may seem overwhelming, a skilled disability attorney can provide essential guidance through the appeal stage. Their expert assistance can make the difference between approval and denial of benefits. Experienced long-term disability attorneys can help you manage deadlines, compile medical evidence, and offer valuable advice to ensure the success of your claim. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t have to worry about upfront costs or unexpected bills, as they are only paid if you win your case.
Specializing in disability cases across the United States, the Ortiz Law Firm has a track record of success. If you have muscular dystrophy and it effects your ability to work, the Ortiz Law Firm provides a free, no-obligation case evaluation with skilled disability lawyer. During this conversation, feel free to ask any questions related to your claim, and expect insightful answers. To learn more about how the Ortiz Law Firm can help you succeed in your long-term disability case, please contact us at (888) 321- 8131.