Disability insurance companies don’t always make it easy for policyholders who have arachnoiditis to get the disability benefits they deserve. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for filing a disability claim, and carriers are notorious for denying and terminating low back claims.
The Common Reasons Disability Carriers Deny Arachnoiditis Disability Claims
Many claims are denied because the disability insurance company says:
(1) There is no objective basis of the diagnosis,
(2) There is no objective basis for the restrictions and limitations assigned by your physician because of your low back problems,
(3) There is no causal relationship between your arachnoiditis and/or restrictions and limitations, and your inability to do your own or any occupation.
Nancy Cavey, who has 35 years experience handling disability cases, has successfully represented many policyholders with arachnoiditis. Ms. Cavey overcomes a claims denial by working closely with you and your physician. She had low back surgery herself, so she understands what you are going through!
Nancy Cavey offers a free initial consultation and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your disability claim.
What Is Arachnoiditis?
Your spine is a beautiful piece of architecture. The principal building blocks are bones and nerves.
Arachnoiditis is a pain disorder caused by the inflammation of the arachnoid, one of the membranes that surrounds and protects the nerves of the spinal cord. It is characterized by severe stinging, burning pain, and neurological problems.
Inflammation of the arachnoid can lead to the formation of scar tissue and can cause the spinal nerves to stick together like wet spaghetti, which causes painful, debilitating symptoms.
The common causes of arachnoiditis include:
Infections like osteomyelitis that caused an infection of the spinal cord lining;
Spinal surgery or injections into the spinal column that cause irritation or infection;
Diagnostic tests, such as a myelogram, that use dye; and
Scar tissue from spinal surgeries.
What Are the Symptoms?
Common symptoms include chronic pain, neuralgia, numbness and tingling of the extremities. Arachnoiditis frequently affects bowel and bladder function and the nerves that supply the legs and lower back. As a result, it can be difficult to sit, stand and walk.
How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve If I Suffer From Arachnoiditis?
Regardless of your diagnosis, back pain, neuralgia, numbness and tingling can interfere with your daily activities and your ability to work. If you no longer can work or your doctor has told you to apply for disability before you apply for benefits, you should:
1 – Obtain a copy of your disability policy. See how it defines “disability,” “occupation” and “self-reported conditions.” You’ll need to understand what you have to prove and if there are limitations in your coverage. Some policies consider back pain without objective findings to be a subjective condition and limit benefits to two years. You’ll want to know about any applicable policy limits before you apply for benefits.
2 – Obtain a copy of your medical records. Review them to see if there is an objective basis for your diagnosis, what your records say about your report of symptoms and your restrictions and limitations. One of the most common reasons given for a claims denial is that there is “no objective evidence to support your subjective complaints of pain.’’
Often objective findings to explain someone’s pain do not show up on x-rays, CT scans or MRIs. The disability carrier often makes a leap of logic and concludes that the policyholder either is exaggerating or faking their pain. Nancy Cavey, who has had spine surgery herself, knows what proof is necessary to meet the disability policy definition of disability.
3 – Obtain a copy of your personnel file to see whether your back pain has affected your work performance.
4 – Obtain a copy of your job description. Create your own description of your physical duties with an explanation of how your symptoms impact your ability to do your occupation. Don’t forget to explain what activities increase your pain.
5 – Provide your doctor with the occupational description. Ask your doctor to prepare a report that explains the objective basis for your diagnosis, the objective basis of your restrictions and limitations, and the objective reasons you can’t perform some or all of the material and substantial duties of your occupation.
6 – Prepare a pain diary that explains your pain and the side effects of medication you are taking. Be sure to give examples of how your low back pain and symptoms interfere with your ability to do things on a daily basis. Because of your pain, you may also have problems concentrating.
7 – Hire Nancy Cavey to help you file your initial application. The application process is confusing and designed so you and your physician make mistakes that can result in a delay or even a denial of your benefits. Ms. Cavey knows how to prepare and file a winning shock and awe disability application that leaves the carrier little reason to question your claim.
8 – Hire Nancy Cavey to help you appeal a wrongful denial or termination of your disability benefits. Disability carriers are in the business of collecting premiums and not paying disability benefits for arachnoiditis. They’ll use any reason to deny your claim. The odds of getting your benefits on appeal are greater when you are represented by an experienced ERISA/private ID policy disability attorney.
Contact Disability Attorney Nancy L. Cavey, Who Can Help You Regardless of Where You Live
Arachnoiditis can make it difficult, if not impossible, to work. You owe it to yourself and your family to get help today! Nancy Cavey can review your policy and your medical records, and explain to you what your policy says and how to get your disability benefits. Call today for a free consultation at 727-894-3188.