2 – Degenerative scoliosis, which occurs as a result of weakening of the bones of the spine because of degenerative changes like osteoporosis, osteoarthritis or osteomyelitis, and
3 – Neuromuscular scoliosis, which results from spine trauma, muscular dystrophy or spinal tumors.
The severity of the scoliosis is based on the degree to which the spine bends to the left or right side of your body. A curvature greater than 20 degrees requires bracing, and a curvature greater than 50 degrees requires surgery to relieve strain on the heart and lungs.
Scoliosis alone is rarely disabling unless it is severe. If you develop another spinal condition or injury, scoliosis can complicate treatment. Generally, a combination of spinal conditions will help qualify you for disability benefits.
How Disability Carriers View Scoliosis Claims
Many scoliosis claims are denied or terminated because the disability insurance company says:
(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 low back problems,
(3) There is no causal relationship between your scoliosis and/or restrictions and limitations, and your inability to do your own or any occupation.
(4) Ergonomic changes in your workplace will allow you to work.
Nancy Cavey, who has 35 years experience handling disability cases, has successfully represented many policyholders with scoliosis. She overcomes a claims denial by working closely with you and your physician. She has had low back surgery herself, so she 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.
How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve?
Regardless of your diagnosis, scoliosis can interfere with your daily activities and 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 back conditions without objective findings consistent with the level of dysfunction to be a subjective condition; they limit benefits to just two years. Before you apply for benefits, discover your policy’s applicable limits.
- 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 given for a claims denial is that there is “no objective evidence to support your subjective complaints of pain.’’ The carrier often makes a leap of logic and says the policyholder either is exaggerating or faking their pain. Nancy Cavey, who has had spine surgery herself, knows what proof is necessary to meet the policy definition of disability.
- Obtain a copy of your personnel file to see if your scoliosis 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. Don’t forget to explain what activities increase your pain.
- 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 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.
- 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 scoliosis 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
Scoliosis and its complications 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.