Disability insurance companies don’t always make it easy for policyholders who have lung cancer to get the disability benefits they deserve. There are more than 3 million cases of lung cancer in the United States every year.
There are three types of lung cancer. Regardless of which type the policyholder has, disability carriers are notorious for denying and terminating many claims.
How Do Disability Carriers View Lung Cancer Disability Claims?
Disability carriers often argue that coverage under the policy is excluded because of the pre-existing condition clause, or that benefits are limited under the subjective limitation clause. Bone pain, fatigue and side effects of treatment can be the most disabling symptoms, but they are subjective complaints. Carriers routinely dispute them.
It is not uncommon for policyholders to have lung cancer 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 lung cancer are denied. Carriers have other reasons to deny claims. They’ll say:
(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 lung cancer,
(3) There is no causal relationship between your lung cancer 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 lung cancer. She overcomes a claims denial by working closely with you and your physician. She has seen first-hand clients suffer the devastating effects of lung disease and 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 Are the Types of and Symptoms of Lung Cancer?
The three main types of lung cancer are:
Non-small cell lung cancer makes up 85% of all lung cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma are all types of non-small lung cancer.
Small lung cancer is an oat cell cancer that spreads quickly; 10% to 15% of cases are small lung cancer.
Lung carcinoid tumors spread slowly; they make up less than 5% of cases.
Symptoms can vary depending on the type of lung cancer, and many symptoms don’t occur until the cancer has spread. The most common symptoms are:
A cough that does not go away,
Chest pain that is worse with deep breathing,
Coughing up blood,
Shortness of breath,
Feeling tired or weak, and
As the disease spreads to other organs, the symptoms may include:
Numbness of the arms and legs,
Balance and coordination problems, and
Yellowing of the skin and eyes.
It is crucial that your medical records document not only your symptoms but how those symptoms impact your ability to function around your home and at work.
How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve?
Regardless of your diagnosis, lung cancer can interfere with your daily activities and with your ability to work. If you no longer can work or your doctor has told you to apply for disability benefits, you should take steps before you apply:
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 leukemia without objective findings to be a subjective condition; benefits are limited to just two years. You need to know about applicable policy limits before you apply for benefits.
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 for a claims denial is that there is “no objective evidence to support your subjective complaints of pain.’’ Carriers often make a leap of logic and say the policyholder either is exaggerating or faking their pain. Nancy Cavey knows what proof is necessary to meet the policy definition of disability.
Obtain a copy of your personnel file to see if your lung cancer has affected your work performance.
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.
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.
Prepare a pain diary that explains your pain and the side effects of medication, and gives examples of how your pain, fatigue and other symptoms interfere with your ability to do things on a daily basis. Your pain may even give you problems with concentration.
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.
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
Lung cancer 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.