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Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

CaveyLaw.com > Practice Areas  > Long Term Disability & ERISA Lawyer  > Long Term Disability Disabling Conditions > Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

Disability insurance companies don’t always make it easy for policyholders who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to get the disability benefits they deserve.

COPD is a progressive lung disease that robs you of the ability to breathe. It’s the third leading cause of death in the United States.

More than 7 million women have COPD, and the number of deaths among women has more than quadrupled since 1980.  The rise of COPD in women is closely tied to the tobacco industry’s success in target-marketing women.

The Common Reasons Disability Carriers Deny COPD Disability Claims

Many claims are denied because the disability insurance company says:

(1) There is no objective basis of the COPD,

(2) There is no objective basis for the restrictions and limitations assigned by your physician, or

(3) There is no causal relationship between your COPD diagnosis and/or your restrictions and limitations, and your inability to do your own or any occupation.

(4) There is no reason you can’t work in a sedentary capacity.

Nancy Cavey, who has 35 years experience handling disability cases, has successfully represented many policyholders with COPD. She overcomes a claims denial by working closely with you and your physician.

If you are ready to file a disability application and want to improve your chances of getting disability benefits, or if your claim for COPD disability benefits has been denied, it is time to call Nancy Cavey.

She offers a free initial consultation and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your disability claim.

What Is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

COPD is a group of lung diseases that block your airflow. The leading causes of COPD include:

  1. Exposure to cigarette smoking,
  2. Exposure to wood, grain or coal dust or chemicals,
  3. Acid reflux like gastroesophageal reflux disease.

What Are The Symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

The symptoms can include:

  1. Chronic cough,
  2. Frequent respiratory infections,
  3. Shortness of breath while doing everyday things,
  4. Blueness of your lips or fingernails,
  5. Mucus, and
  6. Fatigue.

Your symptoms should be confirmed by spirometry, arterial blood gas testing and chest x-rays. A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) also can provide objective evidence of how COPD affects your ability to perform physical tasks.

How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve?

COPD can make it difficult, if not impossible, to do things around your home and 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 to get your benefits because of COPD.

Your policy can include a self-reported limitation. It limits how long you can get benefits that result from self-reported symptoms, including problems with shortness of breath or fatigue. You’ll want to know what’s in your policy before you apply for benefits.

  1. 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. It is crucial that you have neuropsychological testing to document the reason for your symptoms and the severity of your symptoms.
  2. Obtain a copy of your personnel file to see whether your COPD has affected your work performance.
  3. Obtain a copy of your job description. Create your own description of your physical and cognitive duties with an explanation of how your symptoms impact your ability to do your occupation.
  4. 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.
  5. Prepare a diary that explains your symptoms and the side effects of medication you are taking. Be sure to give examples of how your symptoms interfere with your ability to do things on a daily basis.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 COPD. 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

COPD 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.