Getting Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits for Kidney Disease
According to the CDC, nearly 37 million people in the United States suffer from chronic kidney disease. What’s more, nearly 850 million people worldwide suffer from some form of this disease. Kidney disease causes the kidneys in a person’s body to stop functioning properly, which leads to blood not being adequately filtered. This disease frequently disrupts a person’s life due to symptoms like extreme fatigue, sleeplessness, and nausea.
You may be eligible to apply for LTD benefits if you develop kidney disease. The long-term disability lawyers at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick understand the stress associated with filing a claim or appealing a denial of LTD benefits for kidney disease and want to help you through this process. Contact us today at (800) 544-9144 for a free consultation with a member of our team.
An Overview of Kidney Disease
Healthy kidneys filter blood thereby allowing a balance between water and necessary minerals; they also remove waste and toxins from the blood. Moreover, kidneys make resin (to manage blood pressure); erythropoietin (to help the body make red blood cells); and Vitamin D.
Some people may initially experience acute kidney injury (AKI), which, unlike chronic kidney disease, is usually reversible. Acute kidney injury is generally caused by a sudden injury, such as a car accident, that included trauma to the kidneys. Acute kidney injury can lead to chronic kidney disease, which in turn can become end-stage kidney disease wherein the kidneys stop working entirely. When a person’s kidneys fail completely it can lead to death.
The most common causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. If a person has either of these two conditions, they are more at risk of developing this disease. However, other causes of kidney disease include:
- Restricted blood flow (AKI);
- Damage to the kidneys (AKI);
- A backup of urine in the kidneys (AKI);
- Immune system diseases;
- Viral illnesses, such as HIV or hepatitis C;
- Repeated pyelonephritis (a UTI in the kidneys);
- Inflammation of the kidneys’ glomeruli;
- Polycystic kidney disease;
- Certain drugs, such as NSAIDs; and
- Exposure to certain chemicals and toxins.
Symptoms of Kidney Disease
Unfortunately, the symptoms of kidney disease do not always occur at the beginning of the condition. Often, the onset of symptoms is delayed. Nevertheless, a person suffering from this condition may experience the following symptoms:
- High blood pressure;
- Sleep issues;
- Shortness of breath;
- A metallic taste;
- Thinking issues;
- Ankle and foot swelling;
- Persistent itching;
- Loss of appetite; and
- Muscular twitches.
Diagnosing and Treating Kidney Disease
Kidney disease can lead to other complications, such as heart disease; anemia; nervous system damage; weakened bones, i.e., bone disease; and a weakened immune system. Therefore, it is important to visit your doctor for a diagnosis as soon as possible.
To be diagnosed with kidney disease, your doctor must first discuss your medical and family history with you. They may also ask you about certain medications you take; urinary habits you have and whether they have changed; and whether you have family members who have been diagnosed before.
Next, you must undergo a physical exam and, most likely, certain tests. These tests may include blood tests; urine tests; imaging tests, such as an ultrasound; or a kidney biopsy.
Once you receive a diagnosis, you must begin to treat the condition—though even with treatment kidney disease can continue to get worse. Treatments for kidney disease may include:
- High blood pressure medication;
- Medication for swelling that may occur in the ankles and feet;
- Anemia medication;
- Cholesterol medication;
- Calcium and Vitamin D supplements (for weakened bones);
- Dietary changes;
- Dialysis (for end-stage kidney disease); and
- A kidney transplant (for end-stage kidney disease).
It is important to remember that despite these treatment methods, there is no cure for kidney disease.
Filing a Long-Term Disability Claim for Kidney Disease
When you receive a kidney disease diagnosis you are likely already experiencing symptoms that hinder your ability to work. For example, this condition can cause pain, vomiting, and fatigue, making it nearly impossible to get through a workday. When someone is in pain or experiencing fatigue, their cognitive (and physical) abilities suffer.
If your kidney disease has made it difficult or impossible to work, you should consider filing for long-term disability benefits to protect your income. Your condition may qualify for long-term disability benefits. It is important, however, to thoroughly review your policy before filing your claim.
Every policy has a definition of disability that you must prove you meet to receive your benefits. Moreover, your policy has a lot of important information, such as the maximum benefit period; deadlines; and how (and when) to file an appeal.
You must submit evidence to demonstrate that you are disabled under your policy’s definition. Medical records are most claimants’ primary source of evidence, but a diagnosis of kidney disease is not always sufficient to win a claim. Supplemental evidence such as specialized reports from treating physicians, detailed daily logs of how your condition affects you, witness statements, and additional evaluations from outside experts can also be helpful.
Appealing a Denial of Your LTD Benefits
Insurance companies routinely prioritize their own financial needs over the health needs of their clients, which often leads to denials of claims. If your insurance company denies your initial LTD claim for kidney disease, it is your right to appeal.
When you file an appeal, it is important to update all your documentation and evidence. Insurance companies often request this updated information and may deny your appeal if you do not satisfy this requirement. Additionally, the appeal stage is often the last time you may submit new evidence if your long-term disability policy is ERISA governed.
The appeal stage is critical, and many claimants benefit from the assistance of a long-term disability insurance attorney. Having an experienced LTD attorney can ensure everything is handled properly and help you to avoid common missteps that could lead to a denial of your appeal.
How Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick Can Help with Your LTD Claim for Kidney Disease
The long-term disability attorneys at the law firm of Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick understand how stressful it is to file for disability benefits. We believe that you should be able to focus on your health instead of worrying about filing your claim or dealing with the insurance company. Kidney disease is a debilitating and progressive disease that will get worse, and it is a condition that needs your full attention. You may require dialysis or a kidney transplant, and these benefits can help your receive this treatment.
Therefore, our legal team is prepared to help you file your initial claim or appeal a denial of benefits. Regardless of where you are in the process, we have dedicated lawyers with over thirty years of collective experience ready to assist you.
If you have a group policy, an ERISA attorney can help you navigate its complexities. ERISA governs group policies and has its own strict deadlines. If you miss a deadline it could result in a denial of your claim. Our legal team tracks all deadlines and submits all evidence and documentation to ensure that the insurance company receives everything on time.
Additionally, our team can evaluate your policy, collect the best evidence to prove your disability, and act as a point of contact between you and the insurance company. We want to alleviate as much stress as we can from this process so that you may focus on your health.
Moreover, when your insurance company approves your benefits, CCK can continue to represent you. Oftentimes, insurance companies continue to ask for updated evidence while you are receiving benefits. We will make sure they receive this information so that you may avoid a wrongful termination of your benefits.
Contact CCK Today for a Free Consultation
When you develop a condition such as kidney disease, you want to make sure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled. As such, having a long-term disability lawyer help you through the process is beneficial. Our legal team has the expertise to assist with your claim or appeal. We are prepared to fight for your benefits.
Call CCK today at (800) 544-9144 for a free consultation with a member of our team. We will evaluate your case and see if we can help.
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