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.
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.