Getting Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits for Hypertension
Applying for long-term disability (LTD) benefits for hypertension can be a long, stressful, and tedious process that unfortunately does not always end in a positive outcome for the claimant. Insurance companies are powerful entities that are often motivated by their own financial interests, making wrongful denials all too common. This is especially true with conditions in which it is not the disease, but rather complications of the disease that cause the disability. An example of this type of condition is hypertension.
At Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD, our team of attorneys and professionals can help clients access their long-term disability benefits, even in cases that are not black and white. We use our knowledge of ERISA, the U.S. Department of Labor regulations, and common insurance company tactics to fight for our clients and get them the benefits to which they are rightfully entitled.
We can take the burden of dealing with the insurance company off of your shoulders, allowing you more time to focus on your health and managing your condition. Contact us now at 401-331-6300 for a FREE consultation to see if we can fight for you.
Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the force of your blood against your artery walls is too high. Hypertension is very common; however, it can often lead to other health conditions such as heart disease. Uncontrolled hypertension increases your risk of serious health complications and can often lead to heart attack, heart failure, or stroke.
Most people that are diagnosed with hypertension do not experience any signs or symptoms of the condition. In some cases, people may report headaches, shortness of breath, or frequent nosebleeds, however, these usually do not occur until the blood pressure has reached a severe and life-threatening level. Although hypertension often exists without any symptoms, it is easily detected and can usually be controlled with medication, a better diet, and routine exercise.
There are many risk factors for developing hypertension including, but not limited to, age, family history, being overweight or obese, not being physically active, and stress. Pregnancy can also contribute to the development of hypertension. While these are risk factors for hypertension, there is often no identifiable cause for most adults who are diagnosed with this condition. However, some individuals have secondary hypertension, which is when high blood pressure is caused by another underlying condition such as sleep apnea, kidney problems, thyroid problems, birth defects, or certain medications.
Making a Long-Term Disability Claim for Hypertension
While a diagnosis of hypertension may be disheartening and stressful, the condition usually does not cause significant limitations that could prevent someone from working. However, you may have an underlying condition, like the ones listed above, that contribute to your disability claim. Additionally, you may have suffered from one of the complications of hypertension, such as heart attack, heart failure, or stroke, which now prevents you from working. For example, stroke victims usually have weakness and numbness in certain areas of their body, depending upon what section of the brain was affected.
If someone experiences numbness and weakness in their arms and hands, it can impact their ability to perform fine manipulation at work. This will likely limit the length of time they can type or write, which are essential duties in most sedentary jobs. Additionally, if someone experiences numbness and weakness in their legs and feet, they may have difficulty walking and perhaps suffer frequent falls as a result. This would not only interfere with their ability to get to work reliably and consistently, but it can also present a dangerous situation if the employee were to fall at work.
Further, people who have suffered a heart attack or have heart failure may lack endurance, energy, and stamina and be unable to work a full-time job. They may require additional breaks which would interfere with their productivity. Additionally, if they are easily fatigued, they may require afternoon naps to avoid having cognitive problems like loss of focus or memory issues.
Another potential complication of prolonged hypertension is thickened, narrowed, or torn blood vessels. If this occurs in the eyes, it can result in vision loss which would prevent someone from reading, writing, and performing other necessary duties of their job efficiently. This can also occur in the kidneys, which could prevent your organs from functioning properly and could lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications.
Someone with prolonged hypertension may also develop narrowed or blocked arteries to the brain. This can affect your ability to comprehend and understand information, as well as cause memory issues. In serious cases, blocked or narrowed arteries to the brain can result in vascular dementia.
How CCK Can Help With Your Hypertension Long-Term Disability Claim
Insurance companies often try to look at claims as black and white and only evaluate the limitations that arise from a single diagnosis, rather than taking a claimant’s whole disability picture into account. At CCK, we understand how complications or underlying causes of a condition can often contribute to a disability claim. If you experience disabling symptoms resulting from hypertension but have been wrongfully denied, we can help file an administrative appeal with the insurance company and fight to get you the benefits you deserve.
A large part of the appeal process is gathering supportive evidence to prove to the insurance company that you meet its definition of disability and are entitled to benefits. The most common piece of evidence we gather is the medical records from your treating providers.
As a patient, it is important for you to have open communication with your physicians and ensure they are documenting the symptoms, limitations, and medication side effects that you experience day-to-day. It is also important to tell them of any new or worsening symptoms that may be related to your hypertension. For example, if you are suddenly experiencing migraines that require you to lay down in a dark room for a few hours, you will want your doctor to note that in their medical records as evidence of your impairment.
At CCK, we also evaluate the insurance company’s denial letter, claim file, and policy to determine the best strategy for approaching the appeal. In addition to gathering your medical records, we often obtain reports from your treating doctors, send you for additional testing if necessary, get expert opinions, and gather witness statements from you, your family and friends, and your former co-workers.
It is important in ERISA-governed claims to gather all the evidence you will need for court during the administrative appeal. This is because you are typically unable to add new evidence to the record once a final denial is issued. Accordingly, the attorneys and professionals at CCK develop the strongest appeal possible, to make sure we have enough supportive evidence of our client’s disability in court.
Long-Term Disability Claim Denied?
Call Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick today at 401-331-6300 for a FREE consultation and see if we can assist you or contact us here.
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