Even if your doctors have diagnosed you as having Parkinson’s disease, you still may be challenged by the insurance company. Insurers may send you endless notices that they need more time, or continually request more information, hoping you will give up. They may deny your long-term disability insurance benefits altogether.
Most insurance companies hire their own doctors to review patients’ claims without ever meeting the claimant or performing an examination. Any small piece of evidence that supports denying the claim, such as the opinion of an in-house doctor, becomes ammunition for open-ended clauses in the policy that would support a denial of the claim.
Insurance companies may also charge that there is not enough evidence to support a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease disability and deny the claim on the basis that you are able to return to work.
If you have been wrongly denied benefits for Parkinson’s disease under a disability plan through your job, as ERISA claim attorneys we can help you take legal action. Our firm focuses in this area of the law; we know what is required to prove a claim.
If your private insurance company denies your claim, we can help you fight back. A thorough knowledge of long-term disability law is necessary to prevail in these types of claims.
About Parkinson’s Disease Disability
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that interferes with the ability to walk, talk or engage in even simple activities. In severe cases, Parkinson’s causes the complete loss of effective movement of the limbs.
Parkinson’s symptoms include:
- Uncontrollable tremors or trembling in the hands, arms, head, face and legs
- Stiffness of the arms, legs and upper body
- Changes in speech
- Impaired balance
- Coordination problems
Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, meaning these symptoms will worsen over time. In many cases, Parkinson’s symptoms become so severe that the patient can no longer go about his or her everyday activities. Further effects of Parkinson’s disease include:
- Urinary incontinence or inability to urinate
- Loss of ability to chew and swallow
Medications used to help those living with Parkinson’s disease cause an additional set of complications for the patient, with severely disruptive side effects.
The cause remains largely unknown. Although there is no cure, treatment options vary and include medications and surgery. While Parkinson’s itself is not fatal, disease complications can be serious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rated complications from PD as the 14th cause of death in the United States.
Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms can be different for everyone. Early signs may be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.
Parkinson’s signs and symptoms may include:
- Tremor. A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may a rub your thumb and forefinger back-and-forth, known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremor when it’s at rest.
- Slowed movement (bradykinesia). Over time, Parkinson’s disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
- Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.
- Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
- Loss of automatic movements. You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
- Speech changes. You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than with the usual inflections.
- Writing changes. It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.
Contact Us Today
Proper presentation of your claim, consultation with treating physicians, medical records and other relevant information is essential. We are prepared to fight for your right to the long term disability insurance benefits you deserve. Call Mehr, Fairbanks & Peterson without delay, for a free evaluation of your claim: 800-249-3731.