Lupus, or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), is an autoimmune disease that affects the body’s internal organs, joints and skin. It is challenging to diagnose and difficult to live with. Lupus presents with a wide range of symptoms, can be dormant for many years and then strike without warning, and has no known cause or known cure. Many people with lupus find it hard to continue working and may need to consider filing a disability insurance claim due to lupus.
For the disability claimant, a diagnosis of lupus is at once a relief, as a name can finally be put to all of the different symptoms the person has been suffering from. It is also a frightening piece of news, as lupus is a disease that will be with you for the rest of your life, and it can be fatal. Lupus can attack the kidneys, cause blood clots or create inflammation of the heart or lungs. It causes extreme fatigue, lowers red and white blood cell counts and platelet counts. It often leads to painful and stiff joints and muscles.
Lupus is difficult to diagnose because symptoms can appear and disappear, with different people suffering from completely different symptoms, which can often mimic other diseases. Unless your doctor is a specialist or has treated many people with lupus, she or he may not know right away if what you have is lupus. It can take several months and many lab tests before a final diagnosis of lupus can be made. For these reasons, it’s important to work with an experienced disability insurance lawyer if you decide to file a lupus disability claim.
You may have been trying your best to work around the pain and discomfort of lupus and your now steady schedule of doctor appointments. You may be fine one day, then wake up with a high fever with no known infection, fatigue, swelling in the legs, confusion, depression or bad rashes the next day.
Lupus has many symptoms, including the following:
The same reason that lupus is difficult to diagnose makes it challenging for disability claims. Medical documentation must show that the person’s ability to perform the material and substantial duties of their occupation has been compromised by the impact of lupus to a specific organ or a body system. The medical record must clearly demonstrate documented symptoms, repeated and severe manifestation of lupus and limitations in your ability to perform at work, in the ADL (activities of daily living), and inability to perform tasks because of problems with concentration, speed or persistence.
A person with lupus may have symptoms like fatigue, chest pain, joint pain, shortness of breath, or abnormal heart rhythms, among many others. Lupus patients often experience mental limitations, cognitive deficits, personality changes, and difficulty following directions. Some people experience increased anxiety and depression. Mental disabilities may result from lupus, and the long-term disability insurance company may attempt to move the claim into a mental/nervous condition, which will result in restrictions on the number of years a person can receive disability benefits.
At Frankel & Newfield, we know that people with lupus often face an uphill battle when it comes to obtaining their long-term disability insurance benefits. We aggressively represent our clients from the start, when they are considering filing a lupus disability claim, helping them prepare their application and ensuring that their medical records are aligned with their claim. We also work with lupus patients who have been denied disability benefits even though they are unable to work at their previous occupation. If you are considering filing a claim, have had your claim denied, or are at any stage of a disability claim for lupus, please call our office to learn how we can help you in a completely free consultation at 877-583-2524 or fill out the contact form on our website.
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