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Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Kidney 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 Kidney Disease?

The kidneys cleanse your blood by removing waste and excess fluid, they maintain the balance of salt and minerals in your blood, and they regulate your blood pressure.

Kidney damage and disease can result in swelling in your ankles, vomiting, weakness and shortness of breath. As the disease progresses there is damage to your central nervous and immune system that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to work.

More than 13% of Americans have kidney disease. But disability insurance companies don’t always make it easy for policyholders who have kidney disease to get the disability benefits they deserve.

The Most Common Reasons Kidney Disease Disability Claims Are Denied

A common argument disability carriers make is that coverage under the policy is excluded because of the pre-existing condition clause, or that benefits are limited under the subjective limitation clause. Nausea, muscle cramping, and fatigue are the most disabling symptoms, but they are subjective complaints. Carriers routinely dispute them.

It is not uncommon for policyholders to have had kidney damage and disease for years and not been disabled.  You will have to overcome the carrier’s argument that you have been working with these problems for years and nothing has changed.  It is crucial that your medical records develop the progression of your symptoms.

Carriers also may argue that treatment will allow you to continue to work so you couldn’t possibly be disabled.

As a result, many disability claims for kidney damage and disease are denied. And carriers have still other reasons to deny claims. The disability insurance company will say:

(1) There is no objective basis of the kidney damage and disease diagnosis,

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

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

It takes detailed planning and preparation to be successful in a kidney damage and disease claim.

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

She often employs a vocational expert to address the disability carrier’s argument that you have been able to work for years, or that there is no vocational reason you can’t work in your own or any occupation, despite your inability to come to work each day.

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

Chronic Kidney Disease and Disability

Kidney damage and decreased kidney function is called chronic kidney disease or CKD. Unfortunately, many with the disease don’t have symptoms until long after the damage has been done. The most common causes of CKD include:

  1. Diabetes,
  2. High blood pressure,
  3. Immune system disorders, such as lupus, and chronic viral illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis,
  4. Urinary tract infections,
  5. Enlarged prostate,
  6. Kidney stones,
  7. Polycystic kidney disease,
  8. Kidney cancer,
  9. Bladder cancer, and
  10. Drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

What Are The Disabling Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease?

The disabling symptoms of CKD can include:

  1. The frequent need to urinate,
  2. Swelling of the legs,
  3. Fatigue and weakness,
  4. Itching and bruising,
  5. Shortness of breath from fluid accumulation in your lungs,
  6. Chest pain,
  7. Numbness in the feet and hands,
  8. Headaches, and
  9. Difficulty sleeping.

The progression of the kidney disease and these symptoms must be fully developed in your medical records. You should provide your physician with a history of how your symptoms have changed, and how those symptoms have interfered with your ability to do the material and substantial duties of your own occupation or any occupation. Don’t forget to tell your physician about all the side effects of medication you have, and how it makes it difficult for you to work.

How To Win Your Kidney Disease Claim

The development and progression of your kidney disease must be documented in your medical records, together with information about how your symptoms impact your ability to function at home and at work. You can’t just stop working and claim disability if your medical records don’t document how your symptoms have become disabling.

You must get treatment from a specialist, because carriers also will argue that your physician isn’t qualified to render opinions in your claim or that you aren’t getting the right type of treatment.

If your physician doesn’t support your claim, it is time to change physicians.

How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve?

Kidney disease can interfere with your daily activities and with your ability to work. If you no longer can work because of kidney disease or your doctor has told you to apply for disability benefits, you should take steps before you apply:

  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.
  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.
  3. Obtain a copy of your personnel file to see if your kidney disease 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.
  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 kidney disease diary that explains and gives examples of how your symptoms interfere with your ability to do things on a daily basis and the side effects of your medication..
  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. 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

Kidney disease 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.