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Qualifying Conditions

Getting Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits for Blood Disorders

Getting Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits for Blood Disorders

Millions of Americans suffer from blood disorders. In many of these cases, the disorders can have debilitating effects, potentially even preventing the individuals from working. Long-term disability (LTD) benefits can be critical for protecting a percentage of their income.

Unfortunately, successfully obtaining these benefits can be difficult. As soon as it becomes necessary, it is important to consult with a long-term disability attorney who can guide you through this process to ensure that your disorder qualifies and that you receive any benefits to which you are entitled. You can call the experienced LTD attorneys at CCK today at (800) 544-9144 for a free case evaluation.

An Overview of Blood Disorders

Blood disorders affect a person’s blood and can range from mild to severe. For example, some blood disorders do not require any treatment whatsoever, while others may be fatal. The severity of the condition will depend on several factors and may differ from person to person.

These disorders have several potential causes. Some blood disorders are genetic, and others may develop due to a nutrient deficiency. Some blood disorders may be caused by medication or stress. Sometimes, there is no known cause.

Regardless of how a blood disorder develops, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of such disorders so that you may receive the healthcare you require.

Examples of blood disorders include:

  • Anemia
  • Hemophilia
  • Blood cancers, such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Leukocytosis

The abovementioned disorders are some of the more well-known, but the list goes on.

In general, blood disorders are categorized as “bleeding disorders,” “red blood cell disorders,” or “white blood cell disorders.”

While bleeding disorders are uncommon, they do pose an issue for those diagnosed with them. An example of a bleeding disorder is hemophilia, wherein the blood does not clot properly.

Red blood cell disorders, as its name implies, affect the red blood cells in a person’s blood. Red blood cells are vital for the carrying of oxygen. Such disorders include anemia and sickle cell disease.

White blood cell disorders affect the white blood cells in a person’s blood. A white blood cell disorder can cause the white blood cells to be too low or too high. When the level of white blood cells is too low, the disorder is categorized as “leukopenia”; when the level of white blood cells is too high, the disorder is categorized as “leukocytosis.”

Common Symptoms of Blood Disorders

When filing for long-term disability benefits for a blood disorder, it is important to understand the symptoms you may experience. This is especially important when filing your initial claim, as you must be able to pinpoint when your condition began to meet the filing deadline.

Each blood disorder will have its own set of symptoms. However, some common symptoms are cause to pause and check with your doctor. Examples of these symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Infections
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Itchy skin
  • Blood clots
  • Frequent and easy bruising

Of course, if you experience any of these symptoms, it does not automatically mean you have a blood disorder. Thus, it is important to visit your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a hematologist (i.e., a blood specialist) if they believe you may have such a disorder.

Diagnosing a Blood Disorder

You will need to visit a hematologist to receive an official blood disorder diagnosis. Your hematologist will ask you for your medical history. They will also conduct a physical exam. Since your disorder affects your blood, they will also take blood samples for testing. Such blood tests can include checking your complete blood count (CBC). Additionally, your hematologist may also check for specific blood disorders through other tests. Blood disorders can be difficult to diagnose, especially if you suffer from a bleeding disorder.

Once you receive your diagnosis, you may begin treatment. The treatment will depend on your specific blood disorder. Treatment may cure some blood disorders while others may require lifelong attention.

Regardless of what tests your doctor performs, they are important for your LTD claim. Insurance companies prefer objective evidence, and these tests can form a strong component of your claim.

Can Blood Disorders Qualify for Long-Term Disability Benefits?

When you develop a blood disorder that inhibits your ability to work, you may begin to wonder if should file a claim for long-term disability benefits. You may have an LTD policy either through your employer or directly from the insurance company. To receive benefits through these policies, you must have a condition that qualifies under the terms of your insurance policy.

The Social Security Administration does consider blood disorders to be disabilities as long as certain criteria are met. However, when filing for long-term disability benefits, you should not rely on the SSA. While many insurers require you to file for SSDI, these benefits are different. In other words, if your condition qualifies under one policy, this does not guarantee that it qualifies under another.

Instead, you must focus on how, specifically, your blood disorder prevents you from working. To do this, you must provide evidence with your claim. It is not enough to merely “self-report” your condition. Insurance companies prefer objective evidence, such as medical records or medical test results.

Of course, there are many types of blood disorders, ranging from anemia to certain cancers. Each has a different effect on the human body and, as such, may impact you differently at work. Therefore, it is vital to procure compelling evidence that reinforces your claim and shows why you need these benefits.

In short, blood disorders can qualify for long-term disability benefits when you can demonstrate how it debilitates you. However, the evidence you provide must show that your disorder meets the definition of disability located within your LTD policy.

When to File for Long-Term Disability Benefits

As mentioned, the symptoms of a blood disorder can be far-reaching, and they may prevent you from working. For example, if you feel fatigued or weak, you will find it difficult to perform even simple tasks. Depending on your job, this could have detrimental effects.

Long-term disability claims have strict deadlines. Your initial claim must be filed within a certain period after your condition began. Therefore, knowing when your symptoms began is important. Most policies require you to file within 180 days of your condition beginning, though other policies may have a short window within which you must file. Reading your LTD policy thoroughly will help ensure you do not miss any deadlines.

Nevertheless, you should not delay your initial claim. Often, claimants believe that if they wait, they may get better. However, every moment delayed may push the ability to receive benefits further away. If you miss the deadline to file, you may lose your right to benefits entirely. It is best to begin filing as soon as you can to ensure that your benefits are there when you need them.

How Can Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick Help?

Filing for long-term disability benefits is overwhelming for many claimants. When you suffer from a blood disorder, collecting all the relevant evidence may be difficult; dealing with the insurance company can also be frustrating. Consulting an experienced LTD attorney can be helpful.

Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick’s long-term disability lawyers have over 30 years of collective experience and can help you regardless of where in the LTD process you are. We can help you file your initial claim. You should not have to worry about submitting your claim or dealing with your insurer. We can act as a point of contact with your insurer, determine and collect the best evidence to support your claim, track all deadlines, and advise you throughout the process.

If your initial claim receives a denial, CCK can help you with your appeal. We can receive your insurer’s denial letter, address the reasons for the denial, and submit a comprehensive appeal package to your insurance company.

The attorneys at CCK are also well-versed in ERISA. ERISA governs group policies, which are LTD policies you receive through your employer. Additionally, it has its own strict deadlines and regulations. We will ensure that your claim or appeal is compliant with this law so that you do not have to worry.

In some situations, claimants may need to bring their claim to litigation. Our litigation lawyers have the experience to fight for your benefits. We have a proven track record and can help you obtain your LTD benefits.

Call CCK Today

If you have a blood disorder and require long-term disability benefits to protect your income, you do not have to handle it on your own. The long-term disability lawyers at CCK are prepared to assist you.

Call CCK today at (800) 544-9144 for a free case evaluation with a member of our team. We will analyze your case and see if we can help.