Fibro Fog – Implications for Long Term Disability Insurance Claims
Wednesday, October 21st, 2015
If you suffer from Fibromyalgia, then you know what Fibro Fog means, and how debilitating it is. Fibro Fog is a casual sounding phrase, but there is nothing casual about what it does. The smartest people, those with challenging jobs and exciting lifestyles, are decimated by the impact of the pain and discomfort of fibromyalgia, but Fibro Fog packs a double whammy. It not only impairs cognitive abilities but the experience is so demoralizing that sufferers who are used to being in control and high functioning are devastated by its impact. It causes significant functional impairment.
Fibromyalgia is a disease whose primary symptoms are musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, concentration deficits and memory loss. There are many different schools of thought regarding the sources of fibromyalgia, and research has come a long way in recent years, but its origins are still unclear. First onset often occurs after an illness, physical trauma, including surgery, or major stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, in some instances, symptoms accumulate over time with no single event triggering the disease.
There are two key battles. One is the recognition that fibromyalgia is a disease. For years insurance companies treated it as a constellation of symptoms, refusing to consider it as anything warranting disability insurance benefits. The suspicion, which continues to this day, is that fibromyalgia is a malingering individual who simply does not wish to work.
Based on our own experiences with so many fibromyalgia claimants, we know that nothing could be further from the truth. Our clients would trade almost anything to have their lives return to normal and to have their health back.
The second battle is the how disability insurance companies treat long term disability claims for fibromyalgia. The condition is flagged as one that calls for intense scrutiny. Claims are challenged on a routine basis. It is difficult to succeed without professional assistance when the claimants’ condition includes fibromyalgia.
Frankel & Newfield has many years of experience helping claimants with fibromyalgia claims. Jason Newfield was a member of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee, a federal committee that advises the US Department of Health and Human Services on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, an illness that is equally challenged and red flagged by disability insurance companies.
If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome and are considering filing a disability claim, it is recommended that you contact an experienced disability insurance attorney to help guide you through what will most likely be a challenging process.