Does Fibromyalgia Qualify Me for Long-Term Disability Benefits in Ontario?January 06, 2019
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that is quite common. It is characterized by a group of symptoms that exist simultaneously and need to be managed. Warning signs include fatigue, chronic pain, changes in mood, and problems with memory. While painful, it is not life-threatening nor does it lead to joint impairment.
At the early onset of a fibromyalgia disability, the condition often affects a certain area subtly. As time progresses, multiple areas of the joints, organs, and skin are affected. Although any part of the body can be distressed, the sites most affected by the condition are the legs, back, arms, shoulders, and neck.
Fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatic condition, meaning it is marked by pain and inflammation in the muscles, joints, and fibrous tissue in the body though it causes no damage.
Approximately 900,000 Canadians are affected by the condition.
The Challenge of Receiving Long-Term Benefits for a Fibromyalgia Disability
Acquiring long-term benefits for a fibromyalgia disability is difficult, but it is not impossible. An experienced disability lawyer can carefully read your policy with you and determine how you can receive long-term benefits for your fibromyalgia disability.
Companies that provide long-term disability insurance often limit or deny claims for benefits if an individual has fibromyalgia. This is because, currently, an objective test to diagnose the disease does not exist. Fibromyalgia identification is largely based on symptoms that are self-reported. Frequently, fibromyalgia is specifically excluded from coverage for long-term benefits.
Some insurance companies limit long-term disability benefit payments to one or two years because they consider a fibromyalgia disability to be mainly a mental disorder.
Keep in mind that even if your insurance policy does not specifically limit or exclude coverage for fibromyalgia, you can anticipate significant resistance when applying for long-term benefits on the basis of being disabled by fibromyalgia.
Improve Your Chances for a Successful Fibromyalgia Long-Term Disability Claim
Primary care physicians regularly diagnose a patient with fibromyalgia when they are unable to pinpoint the cause of a patient’s discomfort. As a result, it is vital that you regularly consult with your family doctor and a rheumatologist, who will utilize a number of techniques to diagnose and treat your condition..
Because fibromyalgia is a conglomeration of maladies, some of which can affect a patient’s mental health, it is important to keep a journal of all of your symptoms. In doing so, your physician will be able to not only give you a more accurate diagnosis, but possibly help prove to your insurance provider that your condition is genuine.
Regardless of whether you have an employer provided insurance plan or an individual long-term disability policy, collecting money from an insurance company is going to be a complex process that is packed with limitations, exclusions, and exceptions. A skilled disability lawyer can help you navigate the complex claim process for a fibromyalgia disability. He or she will be able to help ensure you meet claim deadlines and pursue any appeals if necessary.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.