Chronic pain throughout the body is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia. The amount of pain can vary, and is typically described as a shooting and stabbing pain.
Secondary symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- moderate or severe fatigue
- poor memory and difficulty concentrating
- tension or migraine headaches
- anxiety and depression
Women are more likely to get fibromyalgia than men.
Applying for Long Term Disability Benefits
If you have long term disability insurance and your fibromyalgia symptoms become too severe to continue working, you should apply to receive disability benefits. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia are self-reported and insurance companies use that to deny claims.
Other tactics used by insurance companies to deny claims include limiting your benefits under mental health exclusions and having independent medical experts contradict your treating doctor’s diagnosis. When this happens, you may feel discouraged and confused, but you can get help to understand what your options are.
If your long term disability benefits have been denied or limited, you have the right to appeal. First, you will have to appeal internally to the insurance company. You will have to convince the same insurance company that denied your claim to change its denial decision. The appeal is a critical point in your case. Mistakes can irreversibly damage your claim. It is important that you meet the appeal deadline. Many times, this appeal will be your last time to add evidence to the record. If you have to sue the insurance company in court, the court may be limited to reviewing the administrative record, which closed with the final appeal denial from the insurance company. Therefore, with the appeal, you need to send the insurance company all medical and vocational evidence that you would need in court. Each insurance policy has specific language that can affect how you should present your case and what evidence will be required to prove your claim. An experienced ERISA lawyer can help.
At Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick, we handle disability insurance appeals across the country. By studying your particular case and using our extensive knowledge of ERISA, we make sure you are in the strongest position possible to appeal your benefits claim denial.
Contact the experienced ERISA lawyers at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick so that we can determine if we can help you with your appeal. Visit our website to learn more about disability claim denials and to download our free ERISA law guide.