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TYPES OF DISABILITIES

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HELPING THE DISABLED FROM COAST TO COAST

TYPES OF DISABILITIES

Webster’s dictionary defines disability as “a physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition that impairs, interferes with, or limits a person’s ability to engage in certain tasks.” With a definition this broad, many people can claim they’re disabled. For example, if you’re out of shape and can’t run a marathon, your physical condition has technically “impaired” your ability to engage in this task. You’d be hard-pressed, however, to claim you’re entitled to individual or group disability benefits because you can’t run 26 miles.

But what if you’re a sponsored, professional runner who maintains private, individual long-term disability benefits? In this case, your individual long-term disability insurance policy may entitle you to claim long-term disability benefits if your physical restrictions prevent you from engaging in the important duties of your regular occupation.

When it comes to individual or group-sponsored long-term disability insurance benefits, the definition of disability varies according to the terms and limitations of your policy or certificate. Typically, a long-term disability is defined as when an insured, as a result of an injury or illness cannot perform the important duties of his or her regular occupation, or in some cases you are unable to do any occupation by which you are trained, educated, or suited.

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In the example above, if you’re a professional runner and break your leg, you may qualify for individual or group disability insurance benefits if your policy was “occupation specific.” However, if you can run half-marathons and earn at least 60 percent of your sponsorship money, even if you’re unable to run 26 miles, your policy may not entitle you to claim individual or group long-term total disability insurance benefits, but you might be eligible for partial benefits.

Whether you suffer from a disabling illness or injury under the terms of your long-term disability policy depends on the circumstances of your case and your policy language. While we’ll discuss some of the most common disabling conditions in the United States below, just because your injury or illness isn’t listed doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for individual or group long-term disability benefits.

The award-winning individual and nationally renowned group long-term disability attorneys at DarrasLaw will always conduct a free disability policy analysis and free claim consultation to determine whether your individual or group policy entitles you to long-term disability benefits. If you’re suffering from any type of injury or illness that prevents you from performing the important duties of your occupation, or any other occupation, call us today at (800) 458-4577 or contact us online.

Understanding Your Disability Insurance Policy

Your private long-term disability insurance policy typically falls into one of the following categories:

  • Individual disability insurance: This is a private insurance policy you purchase from an agent or broker to protect yourself. It generally follows you, not your job, and if you pay your premiums, individual benefits flow to you tax-free. Individual disability policyholders are generally not subject to the complicated, constantly changing federal litigation restrictions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). You likely have this type of policy if financially planned well or if you’re self-employed or an independent contractor.
  • Employer-sponsored disability insurance: These are the most common disability policies. Your employer may provide you with long-term disability insurance as part of your employment benefits package, similar to your health insurance. Your employer will typically cover at least a portion of your disability insurance premiums. The policy is linked to your job—and leaving your job generally will result in termination of your employer-sponsored disability benefits. ERISA generally governs employer-sponsored disability insurance plans.
  • Group disability insurance: These are similar to employer-sponsored plans, but they are provided through a union or professional organization. As long as you remain in good standing with the organization, you may qualify for long-term group disability insurance benefits. Group policies are also generally subject to ERISA’s restrictions.

While each type of plan is unique, many private disability insurance companies defer to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definitions and standards for disabling conditions if the language of your plan is any occupation for which you are trained, educated, or suited.

Disability Categories

The SSA breaks disabling injuries and illnesses into the following categories:

  • Cardiovascular disabilities
  • Digestive system disabilities
  • Endocrine disabilities
  • Genitourinary impairments
  • Hematological (blood) disorders
  • Immune system illnesses
  • Cancer
  • neurological and sensory disorders
  • Musculoskeletal disabilities
  • Multiple impairment disabilities
  • Respiratory disabilities
  • Neurological conditions
  • Sensory and speech disorders
  • Skin conditions

Just because your illness or injury doesn’t fall into one of these categories doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for individual or group long-term disability insurance benefits. Our experienced long-term disability lawyers and group ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw commonly see the following disabilities when our clients need help obtaining their individual or group disability benefits.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The following cardiovascular disabilities may prevent you from working:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension): One in three Americans suffer from high blood pressure, which can be difficult to treat and may qualify you for individual or group disability benefits. Frequent side effects and medication changes may result in very difficult attempts to reliably return to work.
  • Peripheral arterial disease: If you are diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease, proper treatment is a must. This disease is a precursor to many heart conditions, but it can also result in other serious health problems. The disease occurs when plaque builds up in your arteries, reducing or preventing blood flow to the rest of your body. Reduced blood flow to your brain or limbs may result in brain damage or amputation of the limbs.
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS): This condition affects blood flow and can cause a rapid heartbeat. It often results in an inability to stabilize your blood pressure, which can cause lightheadedness and fainting. Many people with this condition need to lie down to alleviate unexpected symptoms, which can naturally hurt your ability to reliably work.
  • Recurrent arrhythmias: Most Americans experience an arrhythmia once in a while, but the severity of some people’s arrhythmias can truly disable them. Arrhythmias are caused by electrical activity dysfunction within the heart, which can lead to shortness of breath, a pounding chest, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, and fainting. You can qualify for individual or group disability benefits with an arrhythmia alone. As with hypertension, you’ll need to link difficulty with prescribed medications fluctuating results that don’t allow a safe return to work.

Whether you qualify for individual or group long-term disability benefits depends on how your condition affects your ability to perform the important duties of your occupation. If you suffer from an arrhythmia once a month, causing mild discomfort, you’ll likely have to use only sick days. If, however, you can no longer drive or work due to fatigue, loss of focus, or concentration, you may qualify for individual or group long-term disability benefits under your individual or group disability insurance plan. An award-winning individual disability attorney or nationally acclaimed group ERISA lawyer at DarrasLaw can help analyze your situation to determine whether you qualify under the terms of your policy.

While medication and diet can manage certain manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome, doctors generally have difficulty effectively treating all digestive or bowel disorders. Many digestive disorders can result in severe pain, illness, and extended disability.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease: Like most digestive disorders, IBD can range from mild to severe. IBD mainly encompasses two bowel disorders, Crohn’s disease and colitis. The disease is defined as chronic inflammation of your gastrointestinal tract, which can cause permanent damage to your bowels.
  • Bowel incontinence: This condition is typically caused by an underlying condition. Your long-term disability insurer may look for clinical documentation of the underlying digestive disorder that’s causing your incontinence.
  • Cirrhosis: While this condition is a liver disorder, the liver is part of your digestive system. Cirrhosis is typically caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, and some individual or group long-term disability insurers may limit or cap your benefits. Hepatitis and fatty liver disease, however, can also cause the liver degeneration and scarring associated with cirrhosis.
  • Diverticulitis: These types of infectious pockets in your intestine become more common after age 40. Treatment of diverticulitis typically involves antibiotics, rest, or surgery. However, if you develop complications, such as an abscess, bowel blockage, or peritonitis, diverticulitis can require immediate surgery and substantial rehabilitation.
  • Colitis: This disease is categorized by inflammation of your colon, which catches your body’s waste. You may experience extreme pain, fever, bloating, bleeding, weight loss, and colon ulcers. If you develop colitis, it’s typically a progressive disorder that presents unexpected flare-ups, which may lead to unreliability at work and disability. In serious cases, you may experience excessive bleeding or develop a hole in your colon, liver disease, or colon cancer.
  • Liver disease: With more than 100 different liver diseases, you might certainly qualify for individual or group long-term disability benefits. If you suffer from chronic liver disease, your individual or group long-term disability insurer will look for the following symptoms: Fluid buildup in your abdominal or lung cavities, infections and inflammation of your abdomen, kidney failure, hemorrhaging within the digestive track requiring hospitalizations and blood transfusions, low blood oxygen, and loss of liver function. Once your liver fails, some surprising disabilities may arise, including changes in mental health, confusion, coma, and neurological abnormalities. A liver transplant is the only way to treat end-stage liver disease, and you’ll need to stay within an hour of your transplant hospital if one becomes available.
  • Crohn’s disease: There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, and the condition typically worsens with time. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that leads to pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, malnutrition, and abnormal weight loss. It can also result in infections, fever, cramping, blood in your stool, rectal drainage, and mouth sores. If you have Crohn’s disease that does not respond to treatment, you may find employment impossible. While some patients can work from home, this isn’t an option for many. You may claim individual or group long-term disability benefits as the result of Crohn’s disease if you have weight loss, frequent accidents, or urgency.

Your general practice primary care physician may diagnose you with a general digestive disorder, such as bowel incontinence, IBD, or liver disease. However, your individual or group long-term disability insurer may require a more specific diagnosis, which is why you should always see a gastroenterologist if you’re suffering from disabling digestive problems. Furthermore, consult the top-rated long term individual disability lawyers or nationally recognized group ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw for help with the confusing questions on your claim forms or the delay, denial, or termination of your valid claim.

While medication and diet can manage certain manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome, doctors generally have difficulty effectively treating all digestive or bowel disorders. Many digestive disorders can result in severe pain, illness, and extended disability.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease: Like most digestive disorders, IBD can range from mild to severe. IBD mainly encompasses two bowel disorders, Crohn’s disease and colitis. The disease is defined as chronic inflammation of your gastrointestinal tract, which can cause permanent damage to your bowels.
  • Bowel incontinence: This condition is typically caused by an underlying condition. Your long-term disability insurer may look for clinical documentation of the underlying digestive disorder that’s causing your incontinence.
  • Cirrhosis: While this condition is a liver disorder, the liver is part of your digestive system. Cirrhosis is typically caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, and some individual or group long-term disability insurers may limit or cap your benefits. Hepatitis and fatty liver disease, however, can also cause the liver degeneration and scarring associated with cirrhosis.
  • Diverticulitis: These types of infectious pockets in your intestine become more common after age 40. Treatment of diverticulitis typically involves antibiotics, rest, or surgery. However, if you develop complications, such as an abscess, bowel blockage, or peritonitis, diverticulitis can require immediate surgery and substantial rehabilitation.
  • Colitis: This disease is categorized by inflammation of your colon, which catches your body’s waste. You may experience extreme pain, fever, bloating, bleeding, weight loss, and colon ulcers. If you develop colitis, it’s typically a progressive disorder that presents unexpected flare-ups, which may lead to unreliability at work and disability. In serious cases, you may experience excessive bleeding or develop a hole in your colon, liver disease, or colon cancer.
  • Liver disease: With more than 100 different liver diseases, you might certainly qualify for individual or group long-term disability benefits. If you suffer from chronic liver disease, your individual or group long-term disability insurer will look for the following symptoms: Fluid buildup in your abdominal or lung cavities, infections and inflammation of your abdomen, kidney failure, hemorrhaging within the digestive track requiring hospitalizations and blood transfusions, low blood oxygen, and loss of liver function. Once your liver fails, some surprising disabilities may arise, including changes in mental health, confusion, coma, and neurological abnormalities. A liver transplant is the only way to treat end-stage liver disease, and you’ll need to stay within an hour of your transplant hospital if one becomes available.
  • Crohn’s disease: There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, and the condition typically worsens with time. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that leads to pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, malnutrition, and abnormal weight loss. It can also result in infections, fever, cramping, blood in your stool, rectal drainage, and mouth sores. If you have Crohn’s disease that does not respond to treatment, you may find employment impossible. While some patients can work from home, this isn’t an option for many. You may claim individual or group long-term disability benefits as the result of Crohn’s disease if you have weight loss, frequent accidents, or urgency.

Your general practice primary care physician may diagnose you with a general digestive disorder, such as bowel incontinence, IBD, or liver disease. However, your individual or group long-term disability insurer may require a more specific diagnosis, which is why you should always see a gastroenterologist if you’re suffering from disabling digestive problems. Furthermore, consult the top-rated long term individual disability lawyers or nationally recognized group ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw for help with the confusing questions on your claim forms or the delay, denial, or termination of your valid claim.

The endocrine system controls your hormones, which in turn control many bodily functions. Disorders of the endocrine system include diabetes, thyroid disorders, and sexual dysfunction. The following endocrine conditions may result in an award of individual or group long-term disability benefits:

  • Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes: This occurs when your body naturally can’t produce enough insulin to manage your blood sugar. You’re typically born with Type 1 diabetes, and it’s often diagnosed in early childhood. Type 2 diabetes occurs in adults and generally develops from unhealthy eating habits, which affect your body’s ability to control and use the insulin it has. While patients can often manage diabetes with diet and medication, certain manifestations of the disease cause permanent disabilities. These include hypoglycemia, leading to a coma and neuropathy, which can disable your limbs and hampers your ability to walk or stand.
  • Pancreatitis: This disorder describes inflammation of your pancreas, which helps control your body’s sugar levels. Pancreatitis can result in significant weight loss and multiple hospitalizations, which can render you disabled.
  • Genitourinary disorders: These damage your kidneys and genitals, and include conditions such as:
    • Chronic obstructive uropathy (which obstructs the flow of urine flow from the kidney to the bladder, potentially resulting in kidney damage and renal failure)
    • Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome)
    • Kidney failure and transplants
    • Nephrotic syndrome (which can cause heart disease, renal vein thrombosis, chronic kidney disease, acute kidney failure, and malnutrition after producing high blood pressure; edema around the eyes, ankles, and feet; a swollen abdomen and weight gain related to fluid retention; poor appetite, and foam in the toilet water after urination)
  • Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome): As your bladder weakens due to this syndrome, you may need to urinate as often as 60 times per day. This can lead to a complete inability to function in the workplace. You may feel excruciating pain when your bladder fills, and this condition can also result in a bladder bleeding and ulcers. It’s especially painful for menstruating women.

Some of the hardest disorders to treat result when your own immune system malfunctions. While your treating doctor can help you manage some symptoms, few cures exist for autoimmune and immune system disorders. Examples of these disorders include:

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS): Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disorder that strikes your central nervous system, which includes your brain and spine. It occurs when your immune system attacks the cells protecting your nerve fibers, which causes communication problems between your central nervous system. This often results in slurred speech, double vision, chronic fatigue, tremors, difficulty walking, and bladder dysfunction. With the most common type of MS, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, your immune system suddenly and consistently attacks your central nervous system, causing pain, fatigue, and difficulty walking. You may go completely symptom-free between periods of relapse and may not qualify for individual or group long-term disability benefits during MS’s initial stages. Because MS is a degenerative disorder, you may become totally disabled later in life or as your symptoms increase.
  • Scleroderma: Scleroderma causes a tightening and hardening of your skin and tendons, but it can also afflict your blood vessels, organs, and digestive tract. It manifests in many ways, including painful responses to cold, numbness, and color changes in your fingers and toes. It can also cause emotional distress and acid reflux, and attach your heart, lungs, and kidneys. Serious cases of scleroderma can restrict blood flow to your fingers and result in amputation, scar your lung tissue, resulting in pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension, put you in renal failure, trigger congestive heart failure, cause digestive distress, and result in sexual dysfunction. The complications associated with scleroderma typically lead to total disability.
  • Lupus: This serious, whole body autoimmune disorder occurs when your immune system begins to attack your healthy tissues and organs without reason. Lupus can attack your kidneys, blood, brain, joints, skin, heart, and lungs. Whether you qualify for individual or group long-term disability benefits for lupus depends on the severity of your symptoms, which can include joint pain and swelling, facial rashes, fever, fatigue, Raynaud’s phenomenon, skin lesions, shortness of breath, dry eyes, memory loss, and chest pain. Some patients even need kidney transplants.

Medications may treat the symptoms of immune disorders and slow their progress, but generally no cures exist. Eventually, your body will wear down as the result of continuous autoimmune attacks. Before that happens, consult an award-winning long-term disability attorney or ERISA group lawyer at DarrasLaw about your options.

Physicians diagnose cancer at different stages, typically Stage I through Stage IV, with IV the most severe. If you’re diagnosed with terminal cancer, you may immediately qualify for individual or group long-term disability benefits. The following types of cancer are among the most common suffered by Americans. Whether you qualify for individual or group long term disability insurance will depend on your policy, the severity of your cancer, and the side effects from your treatment.

  • Testicular, prostate, and breast cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer—which is typically not diagnosed until terminal
  • Lymphoma
  • Stomach cancer

Surgery can remove certain cancers without chemotherapy or radiation therapy. If your cancer requires chemo or radiation, however, you may experience more symptoms from treatment than the cancer itself. These symptoms can include:

  • Bruising and bleeding
  • Hair loss
  • Infection
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Mouth, tongue, and throat sores
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry skin
  • Kidney problems and urinary dysfunction
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Mood changes
  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing

No matter your type or stage of cancer, always review the terms of your individual or award-winning group long-term disability policy with a top-rated individual disability attorney or group ERISA long-term disability lawyer at DarrasLaw. We can help you get a head start on preparing your individual or group ERISA claim application so you can focus on your recovery. Call us today at (800) 458-4577 or contact us online.

Mental and emotional disabilities are typically classified as “self-reported” disabilities because they don’t always provide objective clinical evidence. Instead, the patient reports the nature and severity of the symptoms and how those symptoms directly impact their ability to perform the important duties of his or her occupation. Many individual and group long-term disability insurers limit how long they will provide benefits for self-reported conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Bipolar or manic-depressive disorder: A series of emotional highs and lows that range from depression to mania. Bipolar outbreaks are extremely hard to predict and treat, making steady work difficult.
  • Anxiety disorders: For those suffering from an anxiety disorder, every day can feel like living in a nightmare. Anxiety disorders include obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorders, PTSD, and social phobias. Anxiety disorders are marked by an overreaction to normal stimuli or an inability to cope with stressful situations. An anxiety disorder may completely prevent you from working in an especially high-stress job—because it’s difficult to predict anxiety attacks.
  • Depression: Everyone’s experienced bouts of depression, especially during periods of mourning. However, if you suffer from a depressive disorder, you experience symptoms of hopelessness, melancholy, and lack of motivation almost constantly. While some days are worse than others, this depression is not situational. Patients suffering from clinical depression are often so hopeless that they see little point in getting out of bed or seeking proper medical treatment. Severe depression can disable you. While a variety of medications may treat depression, the underlying condition almost always remains present.
  • Drug addiction: Substance abuse and opioid addictions are increasing in the United States. Many patients don’t realize that certain prescription pain medications, such as Oxycodone, actually alter your brain chemistry to relieve pain. As a result, these medications will produce both a reduction in your pain and a pleasurable sensation, as well as both physical and psychological withdrawal when you try to stop. This often results in serious addictions to prescription pain medications, which can lead to illegal drug abuse. Most individual or group long-term disability insurers will provide limited disability benefits to assist you during rehabilitation and while you develop a new pain management plan.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Military veterans and victims of trauma, such as rape or catastrophic car accidents, may develop this disorder. While trauma may produce general anxiety, nightmares, and jumpiness, if your symptoms do not improve, seek treatment for PTSD promptly.
  • Organic mental disorders: This is generally not a self-reported disability, because clinicians can confirm these disorders with objective testing. Organic mental disorders develop as the result of physical illnesses or diseases. Examples of illness and injuries causing organic mental disorders include strokes, traumatic brain injuries, toxic exposure, and substance abuse.
  • Somatoform disorders: These are technically mental disorders that result in patients experiencing physical symptoms. Phantom limb syndrome is an example of a somatoform disorder, in which you believe your limb is not your own. Body dimorphic disorder (body-image disorders) and hypochondria are also common examples of somatoform disorders.

Individual and group long-term disability insurance companies routinely delay, deny, and terminate disability benefits in bad faith for those suffering from cognitive disabilities. Consult an experienced long-term disability attorney or a nationally prominent ERISA lawyer at DarrasLaw about whether you qualify for disability benefits if you experience these conditions.

Some of the most common disabilities result from herniated discs and spinal cord injuries. Whether developed as the result of a degenerative condition or a car accident, even a slightly bulging disc can disable you. Many musculoskeletal disabilities are temporary—a broken wrist may heal in about six weeks. However, the chronic pain associated with these conditions can result in complete disabilities:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis: This inflammatory disease often requires the fusion of your vertebrae, causing permanent humps or hunches. It can also cause difficulty breathing, eye problems, and pain in your ribs, hips, and shoulders.
  • Back pain, herniated discs, and sciatica: These disabilities are so common that some individual and group long-term disability insurers limit back pain benefits that are self-reported or that don’t have confirmed radiculopathy by EMG or NCV testing along with MRI or CT scans. Many conditions result in back pain, and it will often qualify you for individual or group long-term disability benefits alone. You’ll generally need to show that your pain is disabling, interferes with focus, concentration, and sleeping, or is from a herniated disc, pinched nerve, or degenerative condition to claim individual or group disability benefits for back pain.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: This condition causes pain, numbness, and tingling in your hands, arms, and wrists as the result of nerve compression. Typing especially aggravates carpal tunnel syndrome, which is why carpal tunnel syndrome can prevent many people who use their hands in their occupations from working.
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS): CRPS causes pain, usually in your limbs. It often occurs as the result of another disability or injury, such as surgery or accident—but generally CRPS pain is far worse than the initial or underlying disability or injury. CRPS may provide independent grounds for claiming long-term individual or group disability benefits or to support a previous disability claim.
  • Knee and hip replacements: While you may engage in some work after knee or hip replacements, the procedures may still limit your ability to perform reliable work. If you work in a physically demanding occupation, you may need individual or group long-term disability benefits after a knee or hip replacement.
  • Lyme disease: Lyme disease starts as an infection from a tick bite, but it may cause severe joint pain, swelling, and arthritis, among many other disabling and even fatal conditions.
  • Muscular dystrophy: Muscular dystrophy, a progressive condition that causes muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass, and actually encompasses many conditions. Some forms of muscular dystrophy don’t manifest until adulthood and ultimately result in frequent falls and difficulty walking.
  • Osteoarthritis (arthritis): Arthritis occurs when the cartilage between the ends of your bones wears down and the bones grind against one another. Because arthritis is a degenerative condition often seen in old age, many individual or group long-term disability insurers try to limit benefits.

Long-term individual or group disability insurers are quick to wrongfully delay or deny disability benefits associated with musculoskeletal disorders. Many disability insurers take the position that we all experience age related muscular pain, so you’ll need to prove how exactly your condition impairs your ability to complete the important duties of your occupation. Let the award-winning disability attorneys and nationally prominent group ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw help you.

Most people need their brains, eyes, ears, and voices to work reliably. Loss of any of these functions can result in a total or partial disability. Examples of disabling neurological and sensory disorders include:

  • Chronic migraines
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome: An inherited neurological disorder that causes a multitude of ambulatory symptoms by deteriorating your motor and sensory nerves. This syndrome causes foot weakness, difficulty walking, foot deformities, loss of muscle mass, and even respiratory problems.
  • Neuropathy: Weakness, numbness, and pain in your nerves caused by illness.
  • Seizure disorders: Epilepsy is a type of seizure disorder that often results in valid disability claims from individual and group disability insurance policies. Seizure disorders developed as the result of a traumatic brain injury also may qualify you for benefits.
  • Strokes: A blocked or bursting blood vessel causing damage resulting in disability.
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome: An elbow disorder that affects the nerves in your arm, causing pressure, pain, numbness, and tingling.
  • Macular degeneration: While a monthly shot can sometimes treat certain types of macular degeneration, this is the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
  • Meniere’s disease: An inner ear disorder that causes extreme vertigo that often leads to total disability.

The following conditions may result in chronic fatigue or an inability to work in certain environments:

  • Asthma: Allergic reaction that strikes the lungs and makes breathing difficult.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): This disease damages the lungs and makes breathing difficult. Although it typically develops in smokers, any consistent exposure to irritating substances can cause COPD.
  • Sarcoidosis: A growth of cells in various areas of your body, including on your eyes, lungs, and lymph nodes. In some cases, these can cause organ damage and result in disability.
  • Sleep apnea: Irregular breathing that prevents a healthy, restful sleep. Sleep apnea is associated with and may cause a wide range of serious health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart problems, liver disorders, and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Cellulitis: A bacterial infection of the skin.

No Matter Your Injury or Illness, Contact DarrasLaw Today

Whether your condition is listed or not, if you’re suffering from an injury or illness that makes it difficult or impossible to perform the important duties of your occupation, call America’s top-rated individual and group long-term disability lawyers and ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw. Frank N. Darras and his firms have recovered nearly $1 billion in wrongfully delayed, denied, and terminated insurance benefits for clients. To schedule your completely free disability policy analysis and free claim consultation, call us today at (800) 458-4577 or contact us online.

Where Are You in the Process?

Whether you have only recently become disabled and need help filing a claim or you have already filed a claim and been denied, our lawyers are here to extend a helping hand to you.

Compassion is a unique feature of our firm, one displayed by all of our lawyers. We know how much it means to you to get all the benefits you are entitled to as soon as possible. Whether it’s the result of a neck or back injury, a heart attack, rheumatoid arthritis or anything else, you are coming to us in a very stressful time as you adjust to life with a disability. The last thing you need is the stress of having to wait for your benefits longer than necessary. We are here to make your insurance policy work for you.


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Experienced and Compassionate Attorneys

Call us at 800-458-4577 or send us an email. Our insurance attorneys offer free consultations to people with injuries, illnesses and disability conditions of all types.

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DarrasLaw was the answers to my prayers. I am grateful for the way they handled my case.

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What Kind of Disability Issues Are People Facing?

"Our disabled clients have literally fallen to the very bottom of their life. They’ve been beaten up, worn down, and starved out by their insurance companies. They’ve got an insurance policy that’s supposed to pay benefits, but the claim forms are confusing.” "The insurance company wants to go get them examined. They want tax returns. They want more documents. They’re literally overwhelmed and they need our help now."

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What Kind of Disability Issues Are People Facing?

"Our disabled clients have literally fallen to the very bottom of their life. They’ve been beaten up, worn down, and starved out by their insurance companies. They’ve got an insurance policy that’s supposed to pay benefits, but the claim forms are confusing.” "The insurance company wants to go get them examined. They want tax returns. They want more documents. They’re literally overwhelmed and they need our help now."

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What Sets DarrasLaw Apart In The Field of Disability Law?

“I think the difference at DarrasLaw is that we’ve really earned the respect of the industry. We have over 100 years of hard fought insurance and litigation experience. They know we’ve been to the home office. We’ve deposed everybody there is, at every major insurance company, over the last 30 years. That’s certainly earned the respect of their general counsel, their national trial counsel, defense counsel.” “And that’s important because when you litigate, you’d like somebody to respect you and respect your lawyer, and that’s really, really important. We have left the other side with their dignity and they respect our clients. Last, we have unparallelled resources. We know how to get the insurance company to buckle and to make sure that they’re accountable and responsible for what they did.”

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What Do I Need To Think About Before I Request Claim Forms?

“Oftentimes, it’s really difficult to decide when you’re really disabled. It’s no problem if you’re hurt in an accident. That’s easy. It’s the day of the accident.” “But when you’ve got a progressive sickness, sometimes we see it a lot with doctors. They give away the big surgeries. They let the younger associates take over the surgical responsibilities. And by the time they get ready to file a year or two later, they’re left with the strains and sprains or pre and post-op follow-up care and treatment duties, and the carrier doesn’t have a very clear picture of your true occupation.”

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Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Disability Insurance Claim?

When it comes to insurance, we're often told we're in good hands. And we know better. Our insurance company is going to take advantage of any confusion or ambiguity. Whether you're buying a policy and you need some help understanding the features or the advantages or the benefits, we offer that free policy analysis. Two, you've got a policy, you're not sure that you're ready to file a claim, but you need some help in understanding how to properly fill out a claim form so you won't get delayed or wrongfully denied. Or you're on claim and now the carrier says, we want to come out and have a field visit with you, we want to send you to an independent medical exam, or we want to get a functional capacity evaluation.

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What Kind of Disability Issues Are People Facing?

"Our disabled clients have literally fallen to the very bottom of their life. They’ve been beaten up, worn down, and starved out by their insurance companies. They’ve got an insurance policy that’s supposed to pay benefits, but the claim forms are confusing.” "The insurance company wants to go get them examined. They want tax returns. They want more documents. They’re literally overwhelmed and they need our help now."

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What Sets DarrasLaw Apart In The Field of Disability Law?

“I think the difference at DarrasLaw is that we’ve really earned the respect of the industry. We have over 100 years of hard fought insurance and litigation experience. They know we’ve been to the home office. We’ve deposed everybody there is, at every major insurance company, over the last 30 years. That’s certainly earned the respect of their general counsel, their national trial counsel, defense counsel.” “And that’s important because when you litigate, you’d like somebody to respect you and respect your lawyer, and that’s really, really important. We have left the other side with their dignity and they respect our clients. Last, we have unparallelled resources. We know how to get the insurance company to buckle and to make sure that they’re accountable and responsible for what they did.”

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What Do I Need To Think About Before I Request Claim Forms?

“Oftentimes, it’s really difficult to decide when you’re really disabled. It’s no problem if you’re hurt in an accident. That’s easy. It’s the day of the accident.” “But when you’ve got a progressive sickness, sometimes we see it a lot with doctors. They give away the big surgeries. They let the younger associates take over the surgical responsibilities. And by the time they get ready to file a year or two later, they’re left with the strains and sprains or pre and post-op follow-up care and treatment duties, and the carrier doesn’t have a very clear picture of your true occupation.”

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Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Disability Insurance Claim?

When it comes to insurance, we're often told we're in good hands. And we know better. Our insurance company is going to take advantage of any confusion or ambiguity. Whether you're buying a policy and you need some help understanding the features or the advantages or the benefits, we offer that free policy analysis. Two, you've got a policy, you're not sure that you're ready to file a claim, but you need some help in understanding how to properly fill out a claim form so you won't get delayed or wrongfully denied. Or you're on claim and now the carrier says, we want to come out and have a field visit with you, we want to send you to an independent medical exam, or we want to get a functional capacity evaluation.

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The Best of The Best

Our Awards and Recognitions

DarrasLaw's attorneys, including founder Frank N. Darras, have received numerous honors and awards from peers, validating the claim that we are America's top disability firm.

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Reason #4

Why Choose DarrasLaw?

We believe our clients, and we fight hard every day to ensure they are not bullied by billion dollar insurance companies.

Call our experienced, top-rated national disability attorneys at 800-458-4577 or send us an email.

We offer free consultations on all insurance matters, including free policy analysis and free claim help.

Request a Free, Confidential Case Review.