If you purchased disability policy through your employer or purchased an individual disability policy you may be entitled to long term disability benefits if you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that can grow and invade the surrounding or spread to other areas of the body.
The lymphatic system of the breast
One way that breast cancer can spread is through the lymph system.
Lymph nodes are small collections of cells that are important in fighting infections and are connected by lymphatic vessels. These vessels are like small veins except that they carry a fluid called lymph away from the breast. Lymph contains tissue fluid and waste products and breast cancer cells can enter the lymphatic cells and begin to grow in the lymph nodes. Lymph vessels in the breast connect to the lymph nodes under the arm and some connect inside the chest or collarbone.
If the cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes there is a higher chance that the cells have gotten into the bloodstream and spread to other sites of the body. The more lymph nodes with breast cancer cells, the more likely it is that the cancer can be found in other organs as well.
Long-term disability benefits and breast cancer
Unfortunately, many long term disability carriers simply don’t understand how treatment of breast cancer can result in side effects such as chemo fog, pain and even tingling and numbness in your upper and lower extremities. Worse yet, even if your breast cancer is in remission, many long term disability carriers will stop benefits on the basis that you’re “cured.” They often will fail to consider the fatigue, side effects of treatment, and even depression that can result from breast cancer.
How to get help
If your claim for long term disability benefits is a result of breast cancer and has been denied or terminated, contact breast cancer attorney, Nancy Cavey, today for a free no obligation consultation.
Unfortunately, many long term disability carriers will actually target breast cancer cases for termination by playing “hardball” on these claims.
Breast cancer long term disability insurance claims can be complicated and it’s crucial that you have an experienced attorney represent you so that you can get the benefits you deserve. Contact her today at 727-894-3188 for a free no obligation consultation.
Transferrable skills analysis and your claim for long term disability benefits
It’s not uncommon for long term disability carriers to have a vocational evaluator review a file and determine the policyholder has transferrable skills to other occupations. This allows the long term disability carrier to deny the claim for benefits.
What’s the purpose of a transferable skills analysis?
Long term disability carriers will use a transferable skills analysis to identify other occupations that you can do with little or no additional experience or training. Long term disability evaluators will use computerized programs to identify occupations based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). Unfortunately, the Dictionary of Occupation Titles is based, in part, on outdated information and it can spit out occupations that really don’t exist or aren’t performed in the way described in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.
What are transferable skills?
Skills are work proficiencies or knowledge that you obtain from your past occupation, education, training or other life experiences that have required more than 30 days to learn and apply. For example, if you are a certified nursing assistant, you will have learned how to communicate with the elderly, assist with activities of daily living, and perform medical assessments such as looking for vital signs. A vocational evaluator would determine that those skills would be transferable to a lighter job of companion.
Skills are transferable when they can be applied to more than one occupation that is consistent with your functional capabilities. The vocational evaluator will look at the restrictions and limitations assigned by your physician or by the insurance company’s attorney and determine whether you have the physical and mental capabilities to perform another occupation.
If the certified nursing assistant’s physician opined that she could lift 20 pounds without pain and needed to alternate sitting and standing, there is no doubt that she would be able to work as a CNA. However, because of her transferable skills, the vocational evaluator will determine that the CNA would be capable of working as a companion.
Mistakes made in the transferable skills analysis
Unfortunately, many transferable skills analysis are, as indicated, based on outdated DOT’s and the wrong residual functional capacities. Worse yet, the transferable skills analysis doesn’t take into account non-exertional impairments such as pain or side effects of medication.
What you should do if you claim has been denied as a result of transferable skills analysis
Look closely at the denial letter. If you see those magic words “transferable skills analysis” which form the basis of your denial, you can be assured that there’s been a mistake made in the transferable skills analysis and that the long-term disability carrier’s decision to terminate your benefits is wrong!
Long term disability insurance claims are complicated and many times long term disability carriers have made more than one mistake in denying a claim. A faulty transferrable skills analysis is just one of those mistakes. Other mistakes can include claims insufficient medical proof, peer reviews by physicians who have never seen you, and even medical reviews by nurses.
Long term disability insurance claims are complicated and they involve short deadlines that are generally governed by the ERISA law. Nancy Cavey can help you with your long term disability application claim or even a lawsuit whether you long term disability policy is a part of a group long-term disability plan or an individual disability income policy.
Remember, you’ve got 180 days in which to take an appeal. Don’t delay! Contact her today at 727-894-3188 for a free no obligation consultation.