Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy ("RSD") And Complex Regional Pain Syndrome ("CRPS")

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) - also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic, painful and progressive disorder that affects skin, muscles, joints, nerves and bones. It often begins in an injured limb, such as a broken arm or following surgery. However, many cases start with a very minor injury - even a mild sprain can set off RSD/CRPS, and many cases start with no apparent injury. Because the exact nature of RSD is not widely understood and there are no tests to measure it, disability insurance companies consider it a red flag when it appears on an insurance claim form.

If you are suffering from RSD/CRPS, it is strongly recommended that you work with an attorney or a consultant with experience before filing a claim for a disability insurance policy. It is likely that the claim will be heavily scrutinized and then delayed or denied from the start. If you have questions, call us at 1-877-LTD-CLAIM (1-877-583-2524) or click here to send an email.

RSD/CRPS patients need to work with their primary care physician to document all of the symptoms of the disease. While pain may be subjective, most of the other symptoms are extremely evident to the eye - swelling and color changes of the affected area, limited movement in the limb, irreversible skin damage, muscle atrophy - and can be clearly documented in a medical file.

It is also important that the treating physician note the limitations on activities created by RSD/CRPS. If you can no longer lift your right arm, you cannot possibly function as a dentist, an eye doctor, or in any profession that requires fine motor skills.

There are some diagnostic tests done to objectively determine whether RSD/CRPS is present. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) may show tissue changes, including skin thinning and muscle atrophy and Sympathetic nervous system tests may be used to compare one part of the body on one side to another. For instance, a test measuring blood flow or the amount of sweat on the right and left legs would demonstrate a healthy leg compared to a leg affected by RSD/CRPS.

If you are about to file for a disability insurance claim because of RSD/CRPS, or if you have filed and are experiencing problems with getting benefits paid, you should speak with an experienced long term disability insurance policy attorney who has successfully handled RSD/CRPS claims. If you have questions, call Jason Newfield or Justin Frankel at 1-877-LTD-CLAIM (1-877-583-2524) or click here to send an email.