Loeys-Dietz Syndrome and Your ERISA Short-Term or Long-Term Disability Insurance Claim
Loeys-Dietz syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue in your body that provide not only strength but flexibility to bones, ligaments, muscles, and blood vessels. It affects multiple body systems and can result in a disability insurance claim if you are no longer able to work.
Common problems include:
1. enlargement of the aorta, which can result in aneurysms or dissections of blood vessels,
2. skeletal problems that include a premature fusion of the skull, scoliosis of the spine, a sunken or protruding chest, and joint deformities,
3. spontaneous collapse of the lungs, and
The two most disabling problems are cardiac and skeletal in nature.
Cardiological Problems Loeys-Dietz Syndrome
One of the most common characteristics of Loeys-Dietz syndrome is an enlargement of the aorta. The aorta is the large blood vessel that distributes blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Loeys-Dietz syndrome can cause a weakening and stretching of the aorta that can cause an aneurysm, which is a bulge in the blood vessel wall. The stretching can also lead to a sudden tearing of the layers of the aorta wall which is known as an aortic dissection.
Unfortunately, those with Loeys-Dietz syndrome can also have aneurysms or dissections in arteries throughout the body.
Skeletal Problems Loeys-Dietz Syndrome
Another characteristic of Loeys-Dietz syndrome is scoliosis, which is an abnormal side to side curvature of the spine, joint deformities knows as contractures which restrict the movement of a joint, and joint inflammation of the spine, knees, hips, and joints of the hands and wrists.
Your Short or Long-Term Disability Claim for Loeys-Dietz Syndrome
Disability carriers or disability plans are not in the business of paying disability claims and just don’t understand the cardiological or skeletal symptoms of Loeys-Dietz syndrome.
You have the burden to prove the
1. objective basis of your diagnosis,
2. objective basis of the restrictions and limitations caused by your symptoms, and
3. the causal relationship between those disabling symptoms and your inability to perform your own or any other occupation.
In the case of cardiological symptoms, the risk of an aneurysm can limit how much you can lift and impacts your ability to undertake other physical requirements of your occupation or other occupations. Aneurysms can cause serious functional problems.
It is imperative that your physician identify, quantify, and explain your unique restrictions and limitations and how they impact your ability to do your own or any other occupation.
Let’s say you have skeletal issues that result in contracture of joints and inflammation of your hips, knees, and hands. Any one of these problems can result in limited mobility and stiffness that require you to get up and move to relieve the stiffness in your joints, or limit your ability to use your hands to do repetitive motions. Once again, since you have the burden of proof, it is incumbent upon your physician to identify, quantify and explain your restrictions and limitations and how they impact your ability to do your own or any other occupation.
The “You Have Had This For a Long Time and Worked and Nothing Has Changed” Game Played by Disability Carriers or Disability Plans
Disability carriers and plans have many claim denial tools in the toolbox. One of the common arguments they will make is that you have had Loeys-Dietz syndrome your entire life, you have worked with it for years, and nothing has changed. You will have the burden of proving why and how your symptoms have progressed and have gotten so severe that you can no longer work. Your medical records should document the progression of your symptoms, how those symptoms have changed in terms of duration, frequency, or location, how those symptoms have increasingly made it more difficult or impossible to work, why the treatment has been less effective, or how the side effects of treatment now impair your ability to perform the material and substantial duties of your own or any other occupation.
It takes teamwork with your physician and an experienced disability attorney to get the disability benefits your deserve.
Why Cavey Law?
At Cavey Law, we are with you every step of the way!
Call 727-894-3188 for a free consultation anywhere you may live in the U.S. Learn more about your rights to Short or Long-Term disability benefits so you get the benefits you deserve.