Fibromyalgia and Long-term Disability Claims

Fibromyalgia and Long-term Disability
Insights into fibromyalgia and long term disability claims by Tim Louis

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia causes widespread musculoskeletal pain. It is usually accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. It is believed that fibromyalgia amplifies pain sensations. It does this by affecting the way the brain and spinal cord process both painful and non-painful signals.

Many fibromyalgia sufferers have their symptoms begin after an event, such as physical trauma, surgery, infection, or severe physiological stress. However, many other fibromyalgia sufferers experience their symptoms beginning and then gradually accumulating over time but with no single triggering event.

Researchers are unable to determine why women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men.

Many people also suffer tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety and depression.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, however there are a variety of medications that can help control fibromyalgia symptoms. Some fibromyalgia sufferers can also experience some symptom relief from exercise, relaxation, and stress-reduction measures.

Why seek legal advice and legal representation

If you suffer from fibromyalgia and it is preventing you from working, you should consult with a lawyer familiar with fibromyalgia before submitting any application to your insurance company for long-term disability benefits. This is because fibromyalgia is not an objective medical condition – something that can be verified by medical tests.

The diagnosis relies very heavily on your description of the symptoms you are suffering. Insurance companies will look for inconsistencies in your application. A lawyer familiar with fibromyalgia and long-term disability law can review your long-term disability application before it is submitted.

Fibromyalgia Cases I have dealt with

I have dealt with many fibromyalgia long-term disability cases over the last three decades. I always ask my clients for witnesses. These individuals will be able to corroborate and confirm my client’s symptoms as well as the devastating impact fibromyalgia has on their lifestyle, such as all of the joyful activities they used to experience, but are no longer able to and a description of any household chores they are no longer able to do.

Fibromyalgia and Long-term Disability Law

The law as it relates to long-term disability and fibromyalgia is no different than as it relates to long-term disability and any other disabling condition.

If your fibromyalgia prevents you from performing your current occupation then you are eligible for long-term disability benefits if you have long- term disability coverage with an insurance company. However most long-term disability insurance policies will only pay you two years based on an inability to do only your current occupation. After two years you are only eligible for continued long-term disability benefits if you are unable to perform any occupation that pays at minimum 75% of what you were earning prior to receiving long-term disability benefits.

Denied Compensation? How Tim Louis & Co can help

If you have had your long-term disability application denied, or if it was approved and then at a later point in time your benefits are terminated, you should contact me immediately. I will normally not appeal the insurance company’s decision. This is almost always a waste of my client’s time. This is because the appeal is conducted by an employee of your insurance company. Appeals just delay the commencement of a lawsuit against your insurance company.

Don’t forget that you must start your lawsuit within two years of submitting your application or from the date your benefits were terminated. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your two year limitation period only begins to run once your application has been denied.

A very common tactic that insurance companies like to employ is to delay the denial of your benefits for as long as possible so that when they do deny it, you will have less time to be able to start your lawsuit against them.

Frequently Asked Questions

The way that fibromyalgia causes disability can differ from person to person. For some people it causes disabling pain but not disabling headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, or depression. For others, the pain is manageable and only disabling occasionally but the tension headaches unbearable and are definitely disabling. For others, irritable bowel syndrome is so severe that it is, in and of itself, a disabling condition. Finally, it may be anxiety and depression which sometimes accompany fibromyalgia that are the disabling symptoms.
All of Canada’s long-term disability insurance companies recognize fibromyalgia as a possibly disabling condition. I say possibly because the diagnosis in and of itself is not enough to be eligible for long-term disability benefits. It must be so severe that it prevents you from working.
Chronic pain, if it prevents you from working, is definitely a condition that will qualify you for long-term disability benefits.
If your insurance company denies your claim for long-term disability benefits, and your fibromyalgia is preventing you from working, you should consult a lawyer familiar with this condition and long-term disability benefits immediately. For over three decades, I have been suing insurance companies on behalf of disabled people, including those that suffer from fibromyalgia.

Contact Tim Louis today for Fibromyalgia and Long-term Disability Claims

If you have had your long-term disability application denied, or if you were approved, but your benefits were then later terminated, call me immediately for a free consultation.

I would be pleased to review your insurance company’s letter denying or terminating your benefits. I will do so on a no-fee basis.

You can call me on my cell at 778-855-3494. If you would like to know what my clients say about me, please take a look at my reviews on Google.

Further Reading

What is Fibromyalgia – from Healthlink BC
Fibromyalgia insights from the Canadian Spondylitis Association
Chronic Pain
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