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COPD Disability Insurance Claim Information and Legal Help

Even though many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) cannot work, disability insurance providers look for reasons to deny their short or long term disability benefits. COPD is a chronic condition and disability insurance companies try to argue that the claimant should be able to work in a sedentary capacity. Under state and federal law, insurance companies cannot deny benefits for arbitrary and capricious reasons. In other words, they cannot deny your benefits unless they have a good reason. It is important to have proper support from a pulmonologist and often an Internal Medicine treating doctor. We work with our client to make sure the proper objective testing has been completed. We also make sure that the medical records and physician forms required to be sent to the insurance company are completed correctly. One mistake can be the difference between either approval or denial of your disability claim.

If your insurance provider denied your COPD benefits, or if you are about to file an application and want to make sure you have the best chance for approval, our disability insurance attorneys can help. Since 1979, our firm has helped claimants like you stand up to insurance companies that wrongfully deny or limit your benefits.

Our Disability Lawyers Understand COPD?

COPD refers to a group of lung diseases that block airflow and make it increasingly difficult for you to breathe. COPD affects nearly 32 million persons in the United States and is the fourth leading cause of death in this country. Risk factors for developing COPD include:

  • Exposure to tobacco smoke. More than 95 percent of all COPD cases are caused by cigarette smoking. Pipe smokers, cigar smokers and people exposed to large amounts of secondhand smoke also are at risk for developing COPD.
  • Occupational exposure to dusts and chemicals. About 5 percent of cases are caused by significant exposure to various types of dust such as wood, grain or coal.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition is a severe form of acid reflux. GERD can make COPD worse and may even cause it in some people.
  • Genetics. Nearly 1 percent of all cases are caused by a rare genetic disorder known as alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, also known as as inherited emphysema.

COPD treatment may include bronchodilators, corticosteroids antibiotics, flu and pneumonia vaccines, oxygen therapy and a program of exercise, management and counseling known as pulmonary rehabilitation. In severe cases of COPD, the doctor may suggest surgery to remove diseased lung tissue or to replace the diseased lung entirely.

Contact our disability insurance lawyers for a free consultation. We are available help claimants anywhere in the USA.

Resources

Review the following sites for more information about COPD:

There are numerous charities dedicated to COPD research, prevention and treatment including:

We update this page frequently with information about COPD, including resolved cases and new regulations about disability insurance.

There are 10 opinions so far. Add your comment below.

Cindy:

I have COPD Stage 3. I have received STD which will run out 1/2/15. The company pays for 26 weeks LTD and states they have a company Advantage 2000 that will help prepare me in filling out the SS paperwork and it is free. I haven’t received the approval yet (on the LTD). Should I just apply for SSD on my own if the LTD goes thru? If I do get approved for SSD will the LTD continue to pay until I receive SSD providing it does not go beyond 26 weeks? I also have severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea which they don’t seem to consider. I also had lung cancer and had a lung resection which I feel makes the COPD worse and I seem to have more COPD episodes. My insurance company is Cigna and they are not very pleasant to deal with on anything. Thank you for your assistance.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Cindy,

You can certainly apply for SSDI on your own. LTD and SSDI as you know are two separate processes and standards- so there is no way to determine which entity is going to pay what and for how long. Cigna could approve your LTD and then deny it at a later point regardless of a positive SSDI outcome. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

Shirley Evans:

I am currently unemployed with no income coming in, and am in the process of being diagnosed for sleep apnea anc diagnosed with having COPD. I have currently been tested for sleep apnea, and underwent pulmonary functioning testing. I have an appointment next week for the sleep doctor to read the results of these tests. I do know I do not have ashma, and during the sleep apnea testing I was told I stopped breathing 70 times during an hour of monitoring. At this point the doctor has told me I am unable to work at this time until all avenues have been explored and a decision made as to whether I can return to the workforce, or not. I would just like to know what options I have available to me, and if I would be able to get SSDI or even partial disability while going through all the testing, diagnosing and whatever else I may need to do. Any information is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time,
Shirley Evans

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Shirley,

If you have sufficient work credits to be eligible for SSDI then you can by all means apply. However, please note that Social Security usually requires you to have been disabled for a year before benefits are payable.

Alan B.:

I have been diognosed with copd. I am at present working but find it hard as I work for a plastering company. I have insurance that covers my mortgage etc as this is a critical illness. Would my insurance company pay out a claim for this as I know my copd will get worse over the years and I also took out a life policy with. The mortgage policy. Regards mr a berry

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Alan, mortgage protection and policies of the like are very specific as to what they will pay for. Without a copy of the policy we would realistically have no way of providing you and direction. This may not be of issue but I see that the email address as a uk notation- if you do reside outside of the US and/or your policy is governed by another country other than the US we would not be able to assist you. Otherwise, please feel free to contact our office to discuss.

Marlen C.:

I have moderate copd. Wich is stage 2. I also take ambien and prosac, for that I see a physiologist. I have anxiety and sleeping problems. I’m currently employed with the school district and have disability insurance. Do I qualify for long term disability? Or what can I do? I have a lot of trouble waking up in the mornings and do not feel good during the day.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Marlen, we would need to see your policy to be able to properly advise you. If you have a copy of same please feel free to contact our office to discuss your situation further.

Sherri C.:

I have been on short term disability since September 11, 2017, I had gotten the first three checks and then after that hadn’t got a check for 14 weeks, they kept telling me they were waiting for doctors notes, which I have been there and seen the receptionists send and receive confirmation that they got it, They finally paid me after saying I was denied, but in that time I was getting into depression, crying all the time, not even leaving my apartment, they finally paid after the receptionists called them herself and yelled at them, I got payment from January 1st to the 28th, Now here I am again going on 8 weeks with no money from them, I had just got off the phone with them and they told me I was denied, Mind you I was in the hospital again February 28th th, got out on March 7th, I am now going on 8 weeks with no pay again, getting in that depression again, Had to make an appointment for a therapist cause I feel like I am going crazy, Is there anything I can do, I have COPD and Occupational Asthma, and feel that they are making me feel worse.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Sherri, who is your disability carrier? The delays you have experienced are well beyond what is normal in a disability insurance claim. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss the denial of your claim and your appeal rights under the policy.

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