For people suffering from sickle cell disease, disabilities materialize in various ways including periods of pain that affect their bones, muscles, organs or the nervous system. This renders many sickle cell victims unable to work and live a normal, functioning life.
Sickle cell disability creates financial hardships when people afflicted with the disease are forced to give up their jobs. Financial distress may be relieved by filing claims with the Social Security Disability program, and in some cases through an employer’s group insurance plan or a private disability insurance policy.
If you have filed a disability claim to any of these programs or to your disability insurance company and your claim was wrongly denied, we can help. Our firm has represented thousands of disabled individuals from coast to coast, and we know what it takes to get a favorable outcome.
About Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disease in which the red blood cells are defective. Specifically, the hemoglobin in the cells is abnormal. Hemoglobin helps red blood cells deliver oxygen from the lungs to organs and tissue throughout the body.
Sickle cell disease essentially deprives the red blood cells of oxygen. This causes the cells take on a rigid sickle, or crescent, shape. As a result, the cells cannot pass through blood vessels and organs. Blockage occurs, causing severe pain episodes known as sickle-cell crisis.
What is Sickle Cell Disease?
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. If you have SCD, there is a problem with your hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. With SCD, the hemoglobin forms into stiff rods within the red blood cells. This changes the shape of the red blood cells. The cells are supposed to be disc-shaped, but this changes them into a crescent, or sickle, shape.
The sickle-shaped cells are not flexible and cannot change shape easily. Many of them burst apart as they move through your blood vessels. The sickle cells usually only last 10 to 20 days, instead of the normal 90 to 120 days. Your body may have trouble making enough new cells to replace the ones that you lost. Because of this, you may not have enough red blood cells. This is a condition called anemia, and it can make you feel tired.
The sickle-shaped cells can also stick to vessel walls, causing a blockage that slows or stops the flow of blood. When this happens, oxygen can’t reach nearby tissues. The lack of oxygen can cause attacks of sudden, severe pain, called pain crises. These attacks can occur without warning. If you get one, you might need to go to the hospital for treatment.
What Causes Sickle Cell Disease?
The cause of SCD is a defective gene, called a sickle cell gene. People with the disease are born with two sickle cell genes, one from each parent.
If you are born with one sickle cell gene, it’s called sickle cell trait. People with sickle cell trait are generally healthy, but they can pass the defective gene on to their children.
The Effects of Sickle Cell Disease Disability
Sickle cell causes the body to suffer organ damage due to lack of oxygen. Many complications of sickle cell disease result from organ damage, including pain crisis, anemia, severe bacterial infections, high blood pressure, jaundice, gallstones, lung tissue damage, and stroke.
Sickle-cell anemia can affect anyone, however it generally affects people of African descent, as well as Hispanics, Asians, and individuals of Native American, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern descent. About fifty percent of people with sickle cell anemia live past age 50.
At the present time, there is no cure for sickle cell disease with the rare exception of bone marrow transplantation. Treatment options typically include pain management, medications, and blood transfusions.
Claiming LTD Insurance for Sickle Cell Disability
When an insurer wrongfully denies benefits for disabilities caused by sickle cell disease, we can step in and help you fight back.
In contrast to claiming federal disability benefits, long-term disability (LTD) benefits are obtained from a privately purchased insurance plan or an employer’s group disability plan. The overall aspects of filing an LTD claim are different because you are dealing with an insurance company that is a for-profit business. The decision maker deciding whether your sickle cell disables you from working, or not, is the insurance company.
Some disability insurance companies handle their claims fairly and reliably. However, there are a number of companies that do not. Insurers take advantage of the inexperience of claimants in order to deny or delay a claim.
If your insurance company uses tactics that seem unfair or unusual, we strongly encourage you to seek the advice of a qualified disability attorney. An administrative appeal may be available to you, which can result in having the claim approved.
Contact Us Today
If your claim for long term disability insurance benefits for sickle cell disability was denied, you need an experienced attorney to get you the benefits you deserve. Call Mehr, Fairbanks & Peterson without delay, for a free evaluation of your claim: 800-249-3731.
We represent disability insurance claimants all over the United States and deal routinely with the “big deniers” of group and individual LTD insurance.