Does Dementia Qualify as a Disability?
Those affected by dementia, dementia disability, or dementia-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease devastate not only the person afflicted with the illness but also their families. When a long-term disability Alzheimer’s or dementia disability claim is denied, a family may also be destroyed financially. If you are in this situation, don’t wait, contact us today. We take on insurance companies and fight for the benefits that you need and deserve.
Dementia, no matter the form, impairs a person’s ability to function, work, or even provide for their basic hygiene. People with dementia suffer a long slow decline into complete cognitive impairment. They are robbed of their ability to remember their families, to take their medications, where the restroom is, how to open a can of soup, how to safely cook, etc. All forms of dementia are recognized as a disability. Many long-term disability insurance policies cover dementia; however, not all long-term disability insurance companies willingly pay benefits disability sufferers are entitled to.
What Causes Dementia?
Dementia is not a single disease but rather a class of disease or disorders grouped together based on how symptoms present themselves. Dementia-related diseases all come with changes in the brain that result in severe cognitive impairment. All dementia related diseases are progressive, starting out fairly mild and ultimately resulting in death. Some forms of dementia may stem from strokes, head injuries, or accumulation of a certain type of plaque in the brain. It is also thought that dementia may come as a result of infections of the brain, brain tumors, heart or lung infections or nutritional deficits.
Dementia and Long-Term Disability
The onset of dementia often goes unnoticed and is usually written off as just getting old. Things like short-term memory loss, losing your checkbook, forgetting things on the stove, or having a hard time driving, may be indicators of the onset of dementia, but they may also be signs of aging or even stress. Most doctors who treat dementia will tell you that if you are concerned about having dementia, you probably do not have it. This does not mean that it won’t develop at some point, but if you have the wherewithal to know that you are forgetting things, you probably do not have a treatable form of dementia. The diagnosis of dementia will usually come at the behest of family members who see you exercising poor judgment or having unusual difficulties remembering things, people, places, or forgetting to do things like bathe.
As dementia or a dementia-related disease progresses the symptoms will become worse until the person is simply unable to carry out most daily activities. Eventually, everyone with dementia will become wholly dependent on others to take care of them. This can be extremely difficult for the caregiver of a person with dementia because of the severe personality and behavioral changes often exhibited by that person.
Mental or nervous disorders as people age our common and long-term disability insurance providers often limit the benefits and coverage of people with dementia or dementia related conditions. Long-term disability insurance policies often provide less than two years of coverage for dementia care. In some cases, coverage may be extended if there are physical impairments along with the diagnosis of dementia.
Vocational Evaluation of Persons with Dementia
In an effort to deny or reduce dementia disability claims, long-term disability insurance companies may require people with dementia to undergo a vocational evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to support the insurance company’s denial of your claim based on what they say is the dementia sufferer’s physical and mental ability. Insurance companies often rely on in-house experts or paid medical consultants who will evaluate the medical records of the person with dementia. These consultants will never actually speak to the demented person, their family, or their physician. They review the records based on the insurance company’s standards and look for ways to deny or delay dementia and dementia related long-term disability insurance claims. The game of the insurance company is to “deny until you die.”
This is why it’s so important that you contact one of our long-term disability insurance claim attorneys today. Do not wait. The insurance company will do everything it can to deny your claim, but we take on insurance companies and fight to get you paid. For example, a common practice is to rely instead on paid medical consultants who may never talk with the patient or examine the claimant in person.
Please call our attorneys at Mehr, Fairbanks & Peterson Toll-Free at 800-249-3731, and ask a lawyer a question about your dementia disability claim now.