Lyme Disease Disability Insurance Claims Law Firm

How do I Get My Disability Insurance Company to Accept My Disability Claim for Lyme Disease?

Over the course of many years, Disability Attorney Jason Newfield has represented claimants suffering from Lyme disease, Bartonella, Babesiosis and other infectious diseases caused by tick bites and their associated symptoms, as these claims are often challenged by long term disability insurance companies.  The nature of these illnesses, their inability to be seen on x-rays or other imaging diagnostics, and the invisible manifestations of the disease, as well as the flares and remissions that often exist, make them challenging claims.   

Long term disability insurance companies often view these claims opportunistically and find reasons to delay or deny the claims.  They seek objective tests, lab tests or diagnostic images to prove the person is suffering from a visible condition – even where the Lyme Disease and its associated symptoms are clinically understood to not be visible.

Lyme disease is one of several tick-borne illnesses that, even when treated, can leave people with long standing medical challenges and even permanent disabilities. They include Lyme disease, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, Anaplasmosis, Erlichiosis, Alpha-gal Syndrome (AGS), among others.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the United States, caused through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Early onset symptoms include a bulls-eye rash (erythema migrans), fever, headache, and fatigue. If left untreated, infection spreads and impacts joints, the heart, and the entire nervous system. Most cases can be treated with antibiotics, but if the disease goes untreated, the consequences are life-changing.

Jason Newfield has represented many claimants suffering from the long-term effects of Lyme disease, which is called post-treatment Lyme disease or PTLDS or Chronic Lyme disease. This diagnosis on a disability claim raises a red flag for claims adjusters, as many of the symptoms that can be measured do not necessarily show a direct link to Lyme disease. Clients have had initial claims denied and claims terminated, even after payment of disability benefits for years.

The CDC devotes an entire section of its website to Lyme disease, since disease has become so prevalent in the United States. While approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC by state health departments, the CDC says other methods reveal that approximately 467,000 people get Lyme disease every year.

Will my Lyme Disease Disability Claim Get Denied? 

It is likely your Lyme disease disability claim will be denied, as insurance companies take the position that your symptoms are not severe or frequent enough to stop you from completing the tasks of your occupation. The strength of your medical records will be critical to the success of your claim.

The problem facing Lyme disease sufferers is two-fold. One, the disease is not always supported by in-depth objective medical tests. Often a diagnosis is made only after the bulls-eye rash appears, or through the process of elimination. It is crucial that a blood test is done showing the presence of antibodies in the blood from the bacteria causing Lyme disease. The insurance company may push back, saying one test resulting from exposure to Lyme disease is not enough to secure the claim.

Alpha-gal (galactose-a-1, 3-galactose) is a sugar molecule found in most mammals. You have probably read about people who are bitten by a tick then are not able to eat red meat or are exposed to other products with Alpha-gal and have a serious, potentially life-threating allergic reaction that can be fatal. AGS is most commonly the result of a bite from a lone star tick. 

Often, Lyme disease and babesiosis go untreated until symptoms emerge, at which point significant damage has occurred.

When disability claimants file for short or long term disability insurance because of Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses, a red flag is raised.

Babesiosis

Filing for disability insurance and receiving benefits for babesiosis can be challenging because the disease is still relatively uncommon and not well understood. Babesiosis is a tick-borne illness impacting red blood cells and its symptoms and progression varies widely from person to person.  Proving the extent of disability and its impact on your ability to work may require thorough medical documentation and expert opinion to navigate the complexities of the disability claims process.

Will I Be Able to Prove I Have Lyme Disease to My Long-Term Disability Insurance Company?

There are steps you can take to support your long-term disability claim. The Newfield Law Group helps clients with preparing claims or appeals by making life easier for claimants, by guiding the process, and by providing the insurance company the necessary information to support impairment and have the insurance company accept disability.  Simply having a blood test which proves a diagnosis is not enough.  

You need to offer evidence to connect the condition and its impairing issues with the vocational requirements to support a claim.  Often, insurance company representatives share that our advanced preparation of materials helped to streamline the process for approval of a claim. This is the advantage of working with an experienced disability insurance attorney who has worked with Lyme Disease patients for two decades.  We have seen your issues before and can help guide the process.

Why Would Someone Need a Long Term Disability Insurance Lawyer?  

Lyme Disease claims raise red flags for claims adjusters tasked with weeding out troublesome claims – meaning they are costly to the insurance company and there are several issues the insurance company can easily rely on to delay or ultimately deny the claim.  Many of these claims can be managed – but frequently insurance companies will target these claims and pursue examinations of claimants with such claims.

Some policies carry limited benefit periods for claims that are subjective in nature and might include Lyme Disease.  We have had success in overcoming limited benefit period application efforts with these claims.

Subjective nature of Lyme Disease claims.

Like any disability claim involving pain, fatigue or other “invisible” conditions, each individual experiences different pain levels and has different tolerances for pain.  Conditions and symptoms manifest differently for different people, at different times. Subjective complaints are often not properly considered by insurance companies, and they are difficult to prove, so careful consideration and development of evidence is critical for these claims.  We utilize experts to develop evidence to support claims.

Let Us Guide You.   Call Our Office Today at 877-406-7883

When you call Newfield Law Group, you will speak with an attorney who has more than two decades of experience in this highly focused area of the law.  During your consultation, policy terms and medical issues will be discussed, and a strategy developed.  Jason Newfield is candid, straightforward with claimants, and will share his views of the issues with you during your discussion. We invite you to call today and learn more.