Denied Long-Term Disability After a Stroke?
Strokes can have permanent life-altering consequences. A person may be unable to perform many of the activities of daily living required to care for themselves. Some people who suffer a stroke are unable to return to work. For those individuals, receiving long-term disability benefits is essential.
Unfortunately, most employer-provided, group disability plans are governed by a federal law known as ERISA. ERISA tilts the scales in favor of the insurance companies and gives a denial of disability the benefit of the doubt.
This does not mean you should give up. Our long-term disability attorney in Kansas City, Missouri helps stroke victims appeal wrongful denials to get the disability benefits they deserve.
If you were denied benefits after a stroke, call our long-term disability law firm at 816-203-0143. We will review your denial letter for free and offer a strategy on how to fight back.
Understanding Causes, Signs, & Treatments for Strokes
Strokes are a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. A stroke occurs when there is a lack of blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures. The lack of blood supply causes the impacted area of the brain to become damaged or die.
Hemorrhagic strokes are caused when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain. Ischemic strokes are caused by blood clots or blocked blood vessels.
Signs of a stroke include, but might not be limited to sudden:
- Weakness or numbness in the face, leg, or arm (especially on one side of the body)
- Trouble walking
- Dizziness, loss of coordination, or loss of balance
- Trouble understanding speech or speaking
- Inability to see in one or both eyes
- Severe headache with no known cause
The symptoms of a stroke can depend on the area of the brain impacted. Therefore, any sudden unexplained symptoms should be treated as an emergency.
Seeking immediate medical treatment for a stroke improves the person’s chance of surviving and minimizing impairments. Calling 911 is generally the best option because medical professionals can begin life-saving treatments on the way to the hospital. Make sure to note the time the symptoms began because that information helps doctors treat the patient.
Treatments for a stroke may include medication and surgery. Certain medications can dissolve blood clots if given within four hours of the onset of symptoms. Surgery may be necessary in acute cases.
Strokes can lead to short-term and long-term cognitive and physical impairments. Even with extensive treatment, a stroke can leave a person with a permanent disability.
Disabling Consequences and Complications of a Stroke
After a stroke, a person may experience one or more physical or cognitive impairments. The consequences of a stroke could include, but are not limited to:
- Problems with speech and language
- Memory loss
- Confusion and inability to focus or concentrate
- Vision loss or vision problems
- Impairments to fine motor skills, such as typing, writing, and grasping objects
- Emotional and behavioral problems
- Muscle weakness and lack of coordination
- Difficulty standing or walking
- Slowed movements
- Tremors and abnormal movements
- Chronic headaches
- Loss of bodily functions
Stroke patients may require extensive and long-term vocational, occupational, physical, and rehabilitative therapy. Additionally, they may require counseling to learn to cope with the physical, cognitive, and emotional consequences of a stroke.
Even with extensive therapy, an individual may not recover fully from a stroke. An individual may continue to experience symptoms or have permanent impairments from the stroke.
Filing a Long-Term Disability Claim After a Stroke
If the complications from a stroke prevent you from working, your long-term disability insurance policy may provide benefits. But, unfortunately, the insurance company may disagree about whether the complications are debilitating.
The insurance company will scrutinize your medical records. It wants to see evidence of diagnostic tests proving you experienced a stroke and have ongoing symptoms or impairments.
A physician needs to provide detailed descriptions of your impairments and an assessment of your limitations. You may need an evaluation from a medical expert to prove you continue to experience disabling complications from the stroke.
The insurance company could demand an independent medical examination by a medical examiner it chooses. The insurance company pays these medical examiners, so they tend to be less favorable to claimants. They downplay symptoms and evidence, which could result in a denial of claim.
The insurance company may also require updated medical records to determine if your symptoms improve with continued rehabilitative treatment. If the insurance company believes that you can perform functions to hold a job, it could stop long-term disability benefits.
It is essential that you follow your doctor’s treatment plan, including continuing with therapy treatments. Failing to adhere to your medical treatment could also be used as a reason to deny your claim.
Denied Long-Term Disability After a Stroke? Call Our Law Firm.
It is possible to receive long-term disability payments for a stroke. However, the insurance company will do everything within its power to avoid paying claims. It will not make the process easy for you.
If you have been denied long-term disability after a stroke, hiring our long-term disability attorney is in your best interest. Our experienced long-term disability attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to appeal the wrongful denial of your long-term disability claim. Our attorney has expertise and resources to appeal and fight back against the insurance company if it denies your claim.
It is important to remember that if you file a long-term disability appeal, you have one chance to get it right. Most group disability policies are governed by a federal law known as ERISA. ERISA generally prohibits you from submitting new evidence for your claim after your appeal. Therefore, having our attorney file your long-term disability appeal can mean the difference between losing and winning your claim.
Contact Our Kansas City Long Term Disability Attorney for a Free Consultation
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus has successfully represented clients seeking long-term disability benefits for a stroke. We understand stroke-related disability claims and how to appeal a wrongful denial. Kevin J. McManus is a nationally recognized disability lawyer with extensive experience handling ERISA claims.
Contact our office to schedule your free consultation with our long-term disability attorney by calling 816-203-0143 or completing our online contact form.