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It is not the diagnosis, but the symptoms that are disabling.

For many people that file a Short Term Disability (STD) or Long Term Disability (LTD) claim, they believe that having a disease or injury with a label from a doctor is enough to prove they are disabled.  It is not.  Simply because a doctor has given you a diagnosis – no matter what it is – does not prove that you cannot work.  You need more.  You need to document what symptoms your conditions and medications cause you, and how those symptoms limit you.

A federal judge once said,

For most illnesses or injuries, the disabling aspect is not the disease itself, but the pain, weakness, or fatigue caused by that illness or injury. Even diseases that are extremely likely to cause an inability to work, such as stage IV cancer or advanced heart disease, are disabling because of the pain, weakness or fatigue.

Weitzenkamp v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 661 F.3d 323, 330 (7th Cir. 2011).  This is very accurate, except that symptoms go far beyond pain, weakness or fatigue.

So how is that important to you if you are making a disability insurance claim?

The answer to that question lies in what you tell your doctor and what your doctor writes in their notes.  Perhaps the best way for you to document your symptoms and side effects from medications is for your doctor to write them down, along with how those symptoms and side effects limit you.  Without good medical documentation of these facts, disability insurance adjusters will often not believe your claims about being limited.  This is not the only way to document how you are limited, but it is a good way, and you should start working on it today.

 

If you have questions about your Long Term Disability insurance claim, call (866) 282-5260 to speak to Disability Insurance Attorney John V. T Tucker. 

 

 

 

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