Cognitive Impairment Claims

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

A person suffers from “cognitive impairment” when that person’s ability to think and process information in reduced for some reason.  That is, a person begins to have difficulty with basic cognitive functions, such as memory processing, perception, problem solving and language.  The symptoms of cognitive impairment differ from person-to-person, but common symptoms include short-term and/or long-term memory loss, difficulty with planning, confusion, organizing and problem solving, an inability to handle stress, problems with time management and an inability to influence people.  Cognitive impairment can even manifest itself physically though poor motor coordination.

Cognitive impairment can arise from conditions such as delirium, dementia, amnesia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or ‎Huntington’s disease.  In addition, cognitive impairments can manifest as the result of other diagnoses, including a stroke, heart disease, an acquired brain injury, major depression, an anxiety disorder, insomnia, high blood pressure, chronic migraine headaches, lupus, Raynaud’s phenomenon and fibromyalgia.

If you experience cognitive impairment, and you purchased a long-term disability policy or enrolled in disability insurance coverage with your employer, you may be entitled to short-term disability and long-term disability benefits.  While the language of every policy or ERISA Plan is different, typically, you are entitled to disability insurance benefits if you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation or any gainful occupation for which you are qualified by education, training and experience.

It seems obvious that when a person suffers from cognitive impairment, whatever the cause, he or she would have difficulty performing the material and substantial duties of their own occupation.  However, insurance companies do not always pay benefits, even when their liability seems obvious.  Too often, the attorneys at McKennon Law Group PC have seen insurance companies/ERISA administrator’s assert that an insured has the “functional capacity” to return to work even if they are suffering from conditions such as cognitive impairment.

Sometimes, the insurance company will require the insured to sit for an “independent” neuropsychological examination conducted by a medical professional of their choosing and who they pay.  When that happens, the paid neurophysiologist often prepares a biased report concluding that the insured has the ability to return to work, regardless of the limiting cognitive impairments from which they suffer.  McKennon Law Group PC has significant experience assisting insureds in this situation, and has been successful in convincing their insurance company foes to reverse their denial decisions, even when that decision was initially supported by the results of an unfavorable neuropsychological examination.

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.