Why is Lupus Disabling for Some People and Not Others?

As long-term disability insurance attorneys, we see many people suffering from Lupus, an autoimmune disease, often insidious, which impacts numerous parts of the body.  Called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), it affects the body’s internal organs, and joints, with other manifestations less apparent. 

As with many autoimmune disorders, it is often challenging to find a doctor, secure the right diagnosis and get the appropriate treatment to help improve quality of life. Similar to other autoimmune disorders, Lupus presents differently for each patient, with a wide range of symptoms.  It may not manifest and remain latent for a period, then come on, and become impairing. 

Since there is no cure, people suffering from Lupus/SLE must learn to adapt and cope with their new lives.  As with many disabled, often those suffering from Lupus/SLE work longer than they likely should, and then often find these heroic efforts are used against them by disability insurance companies. 

How can I secure Long-Term Disability Insurance Benefits if I have Lupus/SLE?

Simply receiving the diagnosis of Lupus/SLE does not make someone disabled.  Rather, as with all conditions, the focus is on the functional deficits and limitations which impact or impair someone’s ability to perform their work. While getting diagnosed with Lupus/SLE might be a culmination of a search for what is wrong, it does not solve any of the functional issues surrounding the condition and its debilitating impacts. Often, it will functionally impact a claimant, causing extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain, stiffness, and overall lack of energy.  Many of these manifestations are “invisible,” meaning they are not measurable and are often disregarded by disability insurance companies when evaluating a claim for disability insurance benefits.  

As with many of the other autoimmune diseases, Lupus/SLE is often difficult to diagnose.  The symptoms wax and wane at times, and the specific manifestations and symptoms for each patient will often differ – making the diagnosing a challenge at times. 

Months of tests, blood work and multiple appointments with numerous specialists often is required to arrive at the necessary diagnosis, begin to map out treatment and focus on recovery of some quality of life.  Work will often not be possible.  In these situations, it is critical to consult with an experienced disability insurance attorney who handles these cases from beginning to end, to help guide you through the process for your Lupus/SLE disability claim.

Why Can Some People Who Have Lupus Work – But Others Cannot – How do I Get Paid?

The diagnosis of Lupus/SLE by itself does not qualify someone for disability insurance benefits solely by diagnosis.  As with all medical conditions, whether physical or mental, the focus is on the how and the why – what it takes to do the work, and how and why the disabled person cannot do the work.  

It is critical to support a Lupus/SLE disability claim with robust medical documentation.  Support from the treating provider will be necessary to succeed, and without the support of your doctor, or medical evidence to demonstrate impairment, a Lupus/SLE long term disability claim will be challenging.   The impact upon the patient suffering from Lupus/SLE must be shown, and where a patient is physically compromised from Lupus/SLE, it must be documented.   

Symptoms we often see with patients suffering from Lupus/SLE include fatigue, joint and muscle pain, stiffness, and others, including cognitive impacts. For two decades, we have seen Lupus/SLE claimants, and we know that people with lupus often face an uphill battle when it comes to obtaining their long-term disability insurance benefits.   

For more than twenty years, we have aggressively represented our clients suffering from Lupus/SLE when they are considering filing a lupus disability claim, helping them to develop the claim support, and acting as the face of the claim for our clients, engaging with the disability insurance companies on their behalf, taking that stress away.   We also help clients who have had claims denied or terminated. 

If you are considering filing a disability insurance claim, either through a group LTD (ERISA) policy or a private policy, or if your claim has been denied, or terminated, on a claim for lupus/SLE, we invite you to call our office at (631) 270-5090 for a free, no-obligation consultation.   We are a national firm, based in New York.  During our conversation, we will be able to give you information about your claim, the insurance company and what your options are to combat what the disability insurance company is trying to do.  We will share insight into the process and how we might add value to your claim.