More than 15 years ago, my partner Justin Frankel and I wrote an article for the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Chronicle about what they could expect when filing a long-term disability insurance claim. Reading it on my return to the office from a refreshing holiday break, I was a little taken aback about how little has changed, in such a long time.
Long-term disability insurance companies continue to treat people with CFS and similar illnesses like Fibromyalgia as malingerers. They disregard medical records, even when those records come from medical experts in the field. The pain of the person is dismissed as a mental condition, and not a physical one.
Only a few things have changed, but largely not for the better for patients/claimants with Long-Term Disability insurance claims. Now the insurance companies and their hired doctors have the DMS-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) to offer the name Somatic Symptom Disorder, to either disregard or mischaracterize many of these patients and the severe impact upon their condition and functionality.
Another thing that has changed – and not for the better – is the intensive data-mining of social media and the lowered cost of conducting surveillance by remote cameras and drones. The insurance companies have continued to refine their methods and perform “better” at being worse.
Read more on my reflections on what has changed, and what has not, on this recent Linked In article.