Arthritis Claims

Home » Practice Areas » Los Angeles Disability Insurance Attorneys » Arthritis Claims

Do you suffer from Arthritis?  Did your disability insurer deny your claim for disability insurance benefits?

Arthritis pain can stop you in your tracks and disable you. According to the Arthritis Foundation, over 50 million Americans (one in five adults) suffer from it making it the number one cause of disability in the country. Even if treated, the symptoms may prevent you from performing the important duties of your job. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) reports that 23 million Americans, about 43% of those who have it, experience significant activity limitation caused by arthritic pain.

Arthritis is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease.  There are over 100 forms, including conditions such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, gout, lupus and many more.  There are two main types of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”) and osteoarthritis (“OA”).  RA is an autoimmune condition that occurs when your immune system attacks the lining of your joints.  Over time, it can damage your joint cartilage and bones.  OA happens when cartilage in your joints breaks down over time through wear and tear.

RA, OA and all types of arthritis can cause severe pain and inflammation in your joints, including your shoulders, elbows, wrists, finger knuckles, hips, knees, ankles, toe joints and spine.  It occurs when cartilage in your joints break down and allows your bones to rub against each other.  The pain can limit your range of motion and overall mobility.  You may find it difficult to walk, have trouble grasping small objects with your hands, or standing or sitting for long periods.

The side effects from medication can also disable you.  Common medications for arthritic joint pain include acetaminophen combined with an opioid narcotic like codeine, oxycodone or hydrocodone.  But with the good comes the bad.  These opioid drugs have well-known common side effects including drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness and lightheadedness.  These side effects can interfere with your ability to perform your important occupational duties, particularly if you have an office job that requires a high level of mental concentration or, for example, a construction, manufacturing or traveling job where you could endanger yourself or others if your physical acuity is negatively affected.  Some forms of arthritis such as lupus and fibromyalgia cause severe mental and physical fatigue and therefore would cause similar disabilities as the opioid narcotics used to treat arthritis pain.

If you suffer from debilitating arthritis, hopefully you purchased a long-term disability insurance policy or enrolled in coverage with your employer.  It will pay you a monthly disability benefit if you become “disabled” due to an illness or injury, including arthritis.  Depending on the wording of your long-term disability policy, that may require proving that you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation, or that you are unable to perform the duties of any occupation for which you are reasonably fitted by education, training or work experience.  In either case, if you suffer from debilitating arthritic pain, there is a good chance you are disabled within the meaning of your long-term disability policy and entitled to monthly long-term disability benefits.

That is only half the battle to obtaining your well-deserved benefits.  Federal ERISA and state bad faith insurance laws are complex.  We often see disability insurers look for ways to avoid paying even legitimate claims, and insurance companies are experts in these laws and their own insurance policies.  They know them intimately and, likely, much better than you.  If your disability insurer has denied your long-term or short-term disability claim, you need a long-term disability insurance lawyer to help you.  No matter what type of arthritis you are suffering from, our lawyers will stand by your side.

If you believe you are totally disabled or if your insurer has denied your claim for long-term or short-term disability insurance benefits, please contact us, McKennon Law Group PC, for a free consultation.  Call us at (949) 387-9595, email us at info@mckennonlawgroup.com or fill out our Consultation Request Form.  Let us decide whether your long-term disability claim was wrongfully denied and let us see if we can assist you.