We represent a number of clients who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. This often misunderstood and “invisible” disease causes extreme pain for its sufferers. On top of the pain, many also deal with the disbelief of friends, family and employers as to the disabling nature of their illness.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (“RA”) is a chronic disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks joint tissue and causes inflammation that can spread throughout the body. It can also cause excruciating pain. Because there are very few visible symptoms during most stages of this disease, its sufferers appear to be fine when in reality, they are in extreme pain.
Another difficult aspect of RA, from a disability standpoint, is that there is no single test for diagnosing the condition. Rather, it is diagnosed by clinical evaluation, lab tests and imaging. This makes meeting your long term disability plan’s definition of disabled more difficult as insurers are often looking for “objective evidence” of disability.
Moreover, studies have shown that RA can result in depression and anxiety for those diagnosed with this disease. This can further complicate a long term disability claim under a policy that limits benefits for disabilities caused or contributed to by a mental or nervous disorder.
It is critical to provide sufficient medical evidence of your diagnosis and treatment efforts. You must also make your insurance company aware of the medications you are taking AND their disabling side effects.
If you have been diagnosed with RA, and the symptoms (and side effects of your medications) become disabling, please do not hesitate to contact Kantor & Kantor for a no-cost consultation at (800) 446-7529.
We understand, and we can help.