Disability insurance companies don’t always make it easy for policyholders who have Parkinson’s disease to get the disability benefits they deserve, particularly in the early stages of the disease.
Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects your movement. It develops gradually. In the early stages it may start with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand, little or no facial expression, or your arms may not swing when you walk. It can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages, which works to the advantage of disability carriers who are always looking for a reason to deny benefits.
As your condition progresses the Parkinson’s disease symptoms will worsen. The symptoms and progression vary from person to person, and disability carriers often fail to take that into consideration.
The Common Reasons Disability Carriers Deny Parkinson’s Disease Disability Claims
Regardless of the stage or progression of the Parkinson’s, disability carriers are notorious for denying and terminating many claims.
A common argument disability carriers make is that:
As a result, many disability claims for Parkinson’s are denied. Carriers have other reasons to deny claims. They’ll say:
(1) There is no objective basis of the diagnosis, particularly in the early stages,
(2) There is no objective basis for the restrictions and limitations assigned by your physician because of your Parkinson’s,
(3) There is no causal relationship between your Parkinson’s and/or your restrictions and limitations, and your inability to perform your own or any occupation.
Nancy Cavey, who has 35 years experience handling disability cases, understands the objections and works to overcome a claims denial by working closely with you and your physician.
She will arrange for neurocognitive testing, a Functional Capacity Evaluation and a vocational evaluation. She has seen first-hand the devastating effects of Parkinson’s on her clients; she knows what it takes to get you the benefits you deserve!
Nancy Cavey offers a free initial consultation and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your disability claim.
What Are the Disabling Symptoms of Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s symptoms can vary depending on the progression of the disease. The most common disabling symptoms are:
It is important that your medical records document your symptoms and how those symptoms impact your ability to function.
This is particularly true because you probably have been working with difficulty but now find it hard to continue. The disability carrier will want to know what has changed and what caused you to file for disability.
Your symptoms may progress slowly, but it is important to chart that progression and how your symptoms impact your ability to function. The progression must be documented in your medical records.
Keep a Parkinson’s diary that notes how you feel, the nature of your symptoms and how the symptoms impacted your ability to function. Make sure that your entries are consistent with the policy definition of disability and occupation.
Your policy may define your occupation as how that occupation is performed in the national economy, and not how you perform you occupation for your employer. Regardless of how your occupation is defined, make sure your entries give concrete examples of how your symptoms impact your ability to do the material and substantial duties of your occupation.
Make sure your physician also has an accurate description of the physical and cognitive requirements of your occupation so the physician can comment accurately on your ability to perform those duties.
Be sure to give your physician a copy of the diary with the entries between each visit. This diary can show the progression and impact of your symptoms.
How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve?
Parkinson’s 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:
Some policies consider Parkinson’s without objective findings to be a subjective condition; benefits are limited to just two years. You need to know applicable policy limits before you apply for benefits.
One of the most common reasons given for a claims denial is that there is “no objective evidence to support your subjective complaints.’’
Your physician might have noted that you were feeling better, had fewer tremors or cognitive problems or that you had more energy. These entries must be addressed before your application is filed, or during the appeal process if your claim has been denied.
Carriers often make a leap of logic and say the policyholder either is exaggerating or faking their fatigue or cognitive problems. Nancy Cavey knows what proof is necessary to meet the policy definition of disability.
She works closely with your neurologist to make sure your records reflect the progression of the Parkinson’s and your symptoms. She also makes sure your physician correctly completes all Attending Physician Statement forms.
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.
Contact Disability Attorney Nancy L. Cavey, Who Can Help You Regardless of Where You Live
Parkinson’s 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.