Your long-term disability (LTD) insurance should be there to replace your income if you are unable to work due to multiple sclerosis.
Unfortunately, the insurance company may deny your claim for a number of reasons, including classifying your condition is relapsing-remitting and arguing that you are able to work.
A long term disability lawyer can help those with MS better understand their long-term disability policies and exercise their rights under the terms of those policies.
Our long-term disability lawyers can meet with you in Toronto for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Point of Qualification
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease with symptoms that can come and go without warning. For MS to qualify for long-term disability benefits, it has to impair your ability to work.
Before you file for long-term disability benefits, ask yourself:
- Has my doctor diagnosed me with MS?
- Do my symptoms prevent me from working at my current job?
- Have I exhausted my short-term disability benefits?
If you can answer yes to all three of these questions, you may be eligible to collect LTD benefits if you have evidence to prove these criteria are true. After a couple of years, you may then have to prove that your MS prevents you from working in any occupation.
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Evidence of Eligibility
Maintaining regular medical care is a key part of proving the severity of your disability and how it affects your ability to work. By keeping up with regular doctor appointments and treatments, you develop a medical history that we use to help support your claim.
Your medical records are the most critical part of your disability claim, as they reveal many facts about your condition. Before we submit your claim, we look for these items in your medical records:
- Proof of diagnosis
- Consistent care and adherence to treatment
- Types and results of treatments
The prognosis is an important part of your records. This information is not always available in your records unless you request it. A disability lawyer can work with your doctor to get his or her testimony on your MS symptoms and how they affect you and your ability to work.
Use of Medical Experts
If your records are not enough to show that your condition prevents you from working, we may bring in other experts to review your case. Vocational experts can testify that your symptoms limit or prevent you from working.
Medical experts familiar with multiple sclerosis may provide additional insight into your condition to establish its severity and the limitations it places on you.
Information from your employer can also help prove your inability to continue working. We might ask your employer to write a letter of explanation of your job duties.
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The most common form of MS, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) will create periods during which your symptoms worsen and when your symptoms subside.
During remission periods, you might not experience all or any of your symptoms. However, over time the degree to which multiple sclerosis causes disability may increase during active periods of the disease.
People with RRMS may find that getting the insurance company to approve their disability claim is difficult. Insurance companies might argue that you are able to work during long periods of remission.
That is why we work with your doctor and other experts to establish how often flare-ups occur and prove that your MS is disabling enough to keep you from working.
Helping Your Claim
Documenting your health over a long period of time is critical to support your claim. Keep track of the following events:
- Symptoms flare up
- Symptoms worsen
- You start a new treatment
- You struggle to perform job duties
- You cannot perform all job duties
- You are unable to work at all
Keep track of each symptom, its severity, and how it affects your ability to work. Also inform your doctors that you are filing for long term disability benefits so they are aware. Informing your doctors early can prepare them if we contact them for further documentation or testimony.
Finally, work with a long-term disability lawyer who has experience with multiple sclerosis claims. They can anticipate insurance companies’ excuses for denying your claim and actively seek evidence that helps you overcome these obstacles.