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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

Autoimmune Disease Disability Benefits

  • Published: June 13, 2019

When your immune system is functioning normally, your white blood cells sense the presence of foreign (or unhealthy) cells like viruses and bacteria, attacks and destroys them. When your immune system malfunctions, your white blood cells begin to attack healthy blood cells. Many autoimmune disorders are genetic or age-related but you can still qualify for autoimmune disease disability benefits.

One word of caution. Your long-term disability insurance company may latch on to the genetic or age-related aspects of autoimmune disorders and deny your disability claim because they consider them pre-existing conditions or the results of natural aging. Don’t be discouraged by these tactics.

Insurance Companies May Unfairly Deny Your Claim

Depending on whether you have an individual or group long-term disability policy, you’ll typically pay 2 percent or less of your annual income. Based on the average American worker, that comes to about $1,000 a year. Disability benefits usually pay 60 percent of your monthly income when you are ill or injured.

How can you pay $1,000 per year to the insurance company and get 60 percent of your annual salary paid to you for months or even years? One way insurance companies keep money in their pockets are by unfairly denying individual or group insurance benefits.

Common Autoimmune Disorders

Many people associate autoimmune disorders with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, or Guillain-Barre syndrome but there many more conditions ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to ear infections that are included in this category.

Common symptoms of autoimmune disorders include:

  • Swollen glands or lymph nodes
  • Skin irritation and sores
  • Fever
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Digestive upset

Risk Factors for Autoimmune Disorders

It can be difficult to diagnose autoimmune disorders but there are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of developing these types of disorders.

  • Obesity: Excess weight and fat tissue puts pressure on your joints and may cause inflammation which can lead to rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Genetics: If a blood relative has an autoimmune disorder, such as multiple sclerosis, you have a greater risk of developing some conditions.
  • Medication: Taking certain medications can make you susceptible to autoimmune disease. These medications include blood pressure pills and antibiotics.
  • Smoking: You increase the risk of developing arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and thyroid conditions if you smoke.

Types of Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders can affect many parts of the body and cause a variety of symptoms:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS): When your immune system malfunctions and attacks the lining of your intestines you may experience diarrhea, bleeding, incontinence, fever, pain or weight loss. Crohn’s disease is a serious form of inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Type 1 Diabetes: Your pancreas produces insulin, which regulates your blood sugar. A malfunctioning immune system can attack the insulin-producing cells and could be fatal if not treated properly. Type 1 Diabetes can cause nerve damage, heart disease, kidney damage, and amputation.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Arthritis is a very common type of autoimmune disorder and develops when your immune system attacks the lining of your joints causing pain, inflammation, and stiffness. The result can be permanent joint damage.

Other diseases which occur because of a malfunctioning immune system include Addison’s disease, alopecia, Guillain-Barre syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and Graves’s disease.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders can’t be diagnosed from a single test. Many doctors will perform an antinuclear antibody test or ANA if they suspect an autoimmune disorder is a culprit in your condition. This test checks for antibodies in your system. For example, a vaccination for chicken pox will produce antibodies in your system that will identify and attack the chicken pox virus.

Unlike other diseases such as cancer, your immune system is vital to your survival. You can’t destroy it or remove it but you can suppress it. There are over-the-counter and prescription drugs that can prevent your immune system from attacking healthy cells.

However, it is possible for an immunosuppressant to work too well and prevent your immune system from doing its job. A weakened immune system can make you more susceptible to disease or result in a more serious form of a disease. With a compromised immune system, the common cold becomes a serious illness requiring hospitalization.

Prevent Misdiagnosis of Autoimmune Disorders

Insurance companies may mistakenly or intentionally consider autoimmune disorders the result of genetic or age-related illnesses and deny your long-term disability benefits. Working with an experienced LTD disability attorney can help prevent misdiagnosis of your condition and prevent a claim denial.

Speak to an Ocala LTD Attorney About Your Autoimmune Disease Disability Benefits Claim

If you are applying for have been denied autoimmune disease disability benefits, contact CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC today.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to help you
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