The exciting news that scientists may have discovered a cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), an illness that devastates the lives of millions worldwide, has gotten a completely different slant from the risk management perspective.
“Chronic Fatigue Claims Could Rise” is the headline of an article from Treasury & Risk Magazine, written for the insurance business. In other words, long term disability insurance companies should prepare themselves for a rise in claims and “a wave of new chronic fatigue diagnoses, and for a big jump in disability costs.”
Our partner, Jason Newfield, is quoted in the article as noting that the establishment of the MLV retrovirus as a potential cause of chronic fatigue could make it easier for employees to win long-term disability claims against insurers.
This discovery is likely to generate more excitement and more efforts in a search for a cure for this debilitating illness. Surely that is more important than the number of claims or new cases.
We may be cynical, but we also know good news when we see it. Having served as a member of the federal Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee and represented scores of CFS patients, our firm knows all too well the devastation that this illness can create. The possibility that a cause may be found is something we are happy to read about. And if insurance companies are more readily compelled to recognize CFS as a disease, there’s one less battle that our clients have to fight to obtain the disability benefits they deserve.
However, we know all too well that the insurance companies will continue to battle and create additional hurdles before conceding liability of a CFS claim.