Multiple sclerosis is considered an “immune-mediated” disease, where an individual’s immune system attacks the central nervous system. The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown. However, scientists believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors likely contribute to an individual’s risk factor of developing multiple sclerosis.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates that 2.3 million people live with multiple sclerosis and approximately 200 people are newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis per week. Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and most people with multiple sclerosis are diagnosed between 20 and 50 years of age. The progression of the disease, range of symptoms, and the severity of symptoms vary among individuals with multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis can be extremely disabling, interfering with an individual’s home, social, and work life. While the physical effects of multiple sclerosis are apparent in some people, many other people living with the disease appear physically health but are actually debilitated by their unseen symptoms. Fatigue, cognitive impairments, pain, blurred vision, hearing impairments, headaches, speech changes, muscle spasms, incontinence, dizziness and vertigo, and joint pain and swelling are common symptoms of multiple sclerosis that can interfere with an individual’s ability to engage in activities of daily living.
Because of this, multiple sclerosis patients are often targeted for denial by disability insurance companies. Surveillance is often used to create a false picture of functionality because many of the most disabling symptoms of multiple sclerosis are invisible to a video camera. Moreover, as there is not a single test for multiple sclerosis, many insurance companies often challenge the diagnosis. Because the progression and severity of symptoms varies among those living with multiple sclerosis, disability insurance companies often claim that claimants are not disabled by their particular set of symptoms. These companies commonly contact treating physicians and ask ambiguous or misleading questions to elicit responses that can be taken out of context. For example, an insurance company representative may assert that a patient’s treating physician was unable to provide any objective evidence of the patient’s disability. In reality, the treating physician actually explained that while there are not tests that are able to detect pain or fatigue levels, there is objective evidence of the diagnosis and clinical evidence of the patient’s symptoms and limitations,
At Disability Insurance Law Group, we work closely with our clients’ treating physicians to help them provide detailed information regarding our clients’ particular symptoms and limitations, without falling into the common insurance company deceptive tactics. We make sure that all communications with our clients’ treating physicians are memorialized in writing. We also obtained detailed written or video testimony of our clients and their family members, friends, and occasionally co-workers regarding our clients’ limitations. We also hire medical and vocational experts to evaluate our clients and provide independent expert opinions. Very often, a delay or denial of benefits can be avoided by simply obtaining and submitting the right information. Please feel free to contact us at (866) 363-3628 or at our website www.dilawgroup.com for a free consultation.