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Tackling disability claims involving concussions

Football season welcomes stadiums, bars and homes as they fill up with fans eager for the kind of knockdown, drag-out action that can only come from the gridiron. Football enthusiasts cheer their favorites and jeer their rivals, both for their crushing tackles.

What is becoming more difficult to overlook is the long-term effects of those jarring blows play after play and game after game. Awareness of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has increased. The NFL seems to be taking the affliction more seriously following a recent court settlement that provides compensation for players suffering from CTE.
However, other hard-working professionals who live with the effects of multiple concussions do not have the largesse or legal help that professional athletes enjoy. How do the players secure the help they need, both medically and financially?
What should they do?
  • See multiple medical professionals, including doctors who specialize in CTE alongside physical, occupational and speech therapists
  • Secure evidence in the form of medical records and supporting statements from treators
  • Understand the differences in a typical workday and compare job performance before and after the injury
  • Show commitment to a recovery plan regardless of the injury’s severity
  • Be aware that it takes time to document the medical condition
What should they not do?
  • Immediately file for long-term disability benefits when short-term benefits are an available option
  • Downplay the symptoms, even if everyday ailments such headaches, fatigue and trouble sleeping may seem normal
  • Give up following denial of a claim when re-filing is an option that should move forward within mandated deadlines
While everyone involved in the claims process knows that the brain is a complex organ, insurance companies tend to exploit that as a mystery. Insurers manage to discourage claimants and employ delay tactics. Insurance giants set the “evidence bar” high, and demand near-impossible amounts of paperwork documenting several months of treatment and anticipated recovery time before ruling on claims.
Consider the strategies as the insurance companies’ form of tackling.

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