Cancer & Long Term Disability Insurance Claims

Cancer, also called malignancy, is an abnormal growth of cells. There are more than 100 types of cancer, including breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma. Symptoms vary depending on the type. Cancer treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.

Many people who suffer from cancer need to take long periods of time off work. Those with private disability insurance will seek to file a claim with their insurers. The process is not always straightforward, but our disability lawyers are highly experienced in pursuing long term disability claims for individuals with cancer.

Does it matter what type of cancer I have for a disability claim?

The words "You have cancer" are terrifying to hear. While there are many different types of cancers, and there are many new treatments for cancer, many patients cannot work during treatment. Some cancer patients can work part time while undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, while many are simply not able to work and count on their disability insurance benefits to cover the costs of running their households.

As with any other illness or condition, it is not the diagnosis of cancer that qualifies you for short-term disability insurance or long-term disability insurance. What matters is your inability to perform the material and substantial duties of your own or any occupation.

This does not seem fair, as a diagnosis of cancer is so frightening to most people that many find themselves unable to concentrate at work, feeling anxious, sad, angry and many intense emotions as well as the symptoms of their illness.

What can I expect from my disability insurance company when I make a disability claim for cancer?

Cancer patients filing a claim for long-term disability insurance often find themselves fighting to beat their illness and fighting with the long-term disability insurance company to obtain their long-term disability benefits. At our disability law firm, we can help you fight the disability insurance company so that you can direct your energies towards recovering from cancer.

Long-term disability insurance companies treat cancer claims in the same manner as other claims. If medical records show a condition that has resulted from the cancer or the treatment for the cancer, the insurance company may try to use as the diagnosis.

The side effects of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, radiation implants, surgery, etc., vary widely depending on the treatment and the claimant’s response. The treatments and their side effects are considered temporary, even if their impact can be long-term. Radiation used to treat breast cancer, for instance, often impairs the heart and/or the lungs, with varying degrees of intensity from patient to patient. Chemo brain is a common term used by cancer survivors to describe thinking and memory problems that can occur after cancer treatment. Chemo brain can also be called chemo fog, chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment or cognitive dysfunction. It's clear that the memory problems commonly called chemo brain can be a frustrating and debilitating side effect of cancer and its treatment. These symptoms may be temporary, or permanent, and medical records need to be aligned to work to support the claim.

Depression and anxiety are also common to cancer patients. A claims adjuster will review claim documents and determine that the disability claim has changed from cancer to a mental/nervous condition, or a chronic fatigue condition, which have more restrictive benefit limits.

Depression and anxiety are also common to cancer patients. A claims adjuster will review claim documents and determine that the disability claim has changed from cancer to a mental/nervous condition, or a chronic fatigue condition, which have more restrictive benefit limits.

This is just one example of the tactics used by disability insurance companies and their claims adjusters to delay and deny cancer patients their disability insurance benefits.

Do insurance companies understand the difference between cancers and their progression?

It’s very important that your medical records are as specific as possible. We work with oncologists to ensure that medical records include this information:

  • Correct medical name for the type of cancer
  • Size and location of tumor(s)
  • Stage of the cancer
  • Biopsy results
  • If the cancer considered operable, inoperable, or unresectable (not entirely removable)
  • Radiological Tests, including CT-scans, PET-scans, x-rays, MRIs, mammograms
  • Bloodwork details

Our work with oncologists also includes ensuring that the medical records correctly reflect the claimant’s inability to perform the tasks of their occupation.

How Our Disability Lawyers Help with Your Cancer Disability Claim

The last thing a cancer patient should have to think about is whether or not their disability insurance company is going to delay or deny disability benefits, but unfortunately, this does happen. The national disability law firm of Frankel & Newfield has successfully represented many cancer patients, and we understand how difficult this particular battle is.

Jason Newfield and Justin Frankel have represented many cancer patients and understand how difficult it can be to battle a large insurance company while trying to overcome such a serious illness.

If you are about to file for a disability claim for cancer or have filed a claim and have been asked to provide additional information or are experiencing any delay in payment of benefits, call our offices today at 1-877-LTD-CLAIM (1-877-583-2524).

Justin C Frankel

Written By:

Justin C. Frankel

Disability Insurance Attorney