Hi, I’m Nick Ortiz. I’m a board certified disability insurance attorney.
Today I’m here to talk to you about neurological impairment and long term disability claims.
Neurological impairments account for approximately 11% of the disabilities that Americans have today. What are neurological impairments? These may include migraine headaches, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other nervous system disorders. Doctors typically use diagnostic tests to confirm the existence of a neurological impairment. One thing that I’d like to go over with you are the types of screening tests that might be used by doctors, because this is the type of evidence that an insurance company’s looking for to support a neurological condition claim.
Some common screening tests include laboratory screening tests of blood, urine, or other substances, genetic testing, a neurological examination, which assesses motor and sensory skills, x-rays, and fluoroscopy. After the initial screening, the next question is what are some of the diagnostic tools that are used by doctors to diagnose neurological impairments? Some diagnostic tests may include and angiography, a biopsy, brain scans, a spinal tap, a CT scan, a discography, an EEG, an EMG, a MRI, a PET scan, a polysomnogram, and ultrasound imaging. These are a good object of tests that go to show the existence of a neurological condition, because that’s the key thing that the insurance company wants to see is findings to support that the condition actually does exist.
Then, they want to go one step further and try to identify what your functional impairment is as a result of those conditions. It’s not enough just to be diagnosed with a condition like, let’s say, multiple sclerosis. What the insurance company’s really looking for is how does that condition impact and impair your daily activities and/or how would that impact and impair your ability to do work activities. We have seen numerous cases where someone has epilepsy or MS and their claim has been denied because there were insufficient findings to show that those conditions would limit their ability to do their work. The more test results you have that show the existence of these conditions, and more importantly, if you can get your doctor to give opinions as to how those conditions would limit your daily life, that is the type of evidence that insurance company’s looking for.
If you’ve been denied benefits with a neurological condition, it may be because they feel like there’s been insufficient evidence to show the extent and severity of your condition. One of the key pieces of evidence that you can provide to the insurance company would be a form from your doctor or a narrative statement about how the condition effects your ability to do things like stand, walk, bend, stoop, crouch, crawl, lift and carry weight. What they’re looking for is how does the condition impact your ability to do activities that allow you to do work activity.
If you would like assistance in putting together this type of evidence for the insurance company and your claim has been denied, then I encourage you to give us a call at 850-898-9904 as our firm has experience in handling neurological impacts in longterm disability claims. I’m also making available a book that I wrote called, The Top 10 Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Longterm Disability Claim. You can download a free copy of this book at www.freeLTDbook.com. Thanks for listening. I look forward to hearing from you.