Collecting Rheumatoid Arthritis Disability Benefits Is A Reality

Disability insurance carriers often challenge a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. How Can Disability Insurance Attorneys Dell & Schaefer Assist You?

As disability attorneys, Dell & Schaefer have represented numerous long term disability claimants that have been unable to work as a result of rheumatoid arthritis. Disability Attorneys Dell & Schaefer have an expansive understanding of the significant restrictions and limitations that a person suffering with rheumatoid arthritis must live with on a daily basis. We have worked closely with top physicians in order to sufficiently satisfy a disability carrier’s threshold of evidence necessary to prove that a client is disabled by rheumatoid arthritis.

Not everyone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis qualifies for long-term disability benefits, therefore the medical records of each client must be reviewed to determine the level of restrictions. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your long-term disability claim. You can contact us for a free consultation.

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that most typically affects the small joints in the hands and feet. Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity. For most people with RA the pain varies day to day, however it is continuous.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder and occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues. In addition to causing joint problems, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect your whole body with fevers and fatigue.

Approximately 2.1 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis and about 1-2 percent of the world population is affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Seventy-five percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients are women. Men, women, and even children can develop rheumatoid arthritis. Typically, disease onset for rheumatoid arthritis occurs between 30 and 60 years old.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system attacks the synovium, which is the lining of the membranes that surround your joints. The resulting inflammation thickens the synovium, which can eventually invade and destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint. The tendons and ligaments that hold the joint together weaken and stretch, gradually, the joint loses its shape and alignment completely.

Doctors cannot pinpoint a single cause of the rheumatoid arthritis, although a genetic component appears likely. While your genes don’t actually cause rheumatoid arthritis, they can make you more vulnerable to environmental factors, such as infection with certain viruses and bacteria, which may trigger the disease.

Additional Factors that may increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis include gender, as women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than men are. Age is a factor even though rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age, it most commonly begins between the ages of 40 and 60. Smoking cigarettes increases your risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

How the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can affect you

Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint damage that can be both debilitating and disfiguring. Damage to your joints may make it difficult or impossible to go about your daily activities. You may find at first that tasks take more energy to accomplish. With time you may find you are no longer able to do them at all.

Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include joint pain, joint swelling, tenderness, swelling, rheumatoid nodules (firm bumps of tissue under the skin), stiffness, fever and weight loss.

Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first, such as the joints in your wrists, hands, ankles and feet. As the disease progresses, your shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, jaw and neck also can become involved. In most cases, symptoms occur symmetrically, in the same joints on both sides of your body.

Rheumatoid arthritis signs and symptoms may vary in severity. Periods of increased disease activity, called flare-ups, alternate with periods of relative remission, during which the swelling, pain, difficulty sleeping and weakness fade or disappear.

There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Medications can reduce inflammation in your joints in order to relieve pain and prevent or slow joint damage. If your joints are severely damaged by rheumatoid arthritis, surgery may be necessary.

Many drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis have potentially serious side effects. Doctors typically prescribe medications with the fewest side effects first. You may need stronger drugs or a combination of drugs as your disease progresses.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofenand naproxen sodium.

Corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone and methylprednisolone, reduce inflammation and pain and slow joint damage. Doctors often prescribe a corticosteroid to relieve acute symptoms.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and save the joints and other tissues from permanent damage. Commonly prescribed DMARDs include methotrexate, leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine and minocycline.

Immunosuppressants act to tame your immune system, which is out of control in rheumatoid arthritis. Examples include azathioprine, cyclosporine and cyclophosphamide.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) inhibitors, is an inflammatory substance produced by your body. TNF-alpha inhibitors can help reduce pain, morning stiffness, and tender or swollen joints. Examples include etanercept, infliximab and adalimumab.

Several other rheumatoid arthritis drugs target a variety of inflammatory substances produced by your body. These drugs include anakinra, abatacep and rituximab.

If medications fail to prevent or slow joint damage, you and your doctor may consider surgery to repair damaged joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis surgery may involve one or more of the following procedures:

During a total joint replacement surgery (arthoplasty), your surgeon removes the damaged parts of your joint and inserts a prosthesis made of metal and plastic.

Inflammation and joint damage may cause tendons around your joint to loosen or rupture. A tendon repair surgery may be able to repair the tendons around your joint.

If the lining around your joint (synovium) is inflamed and causing pain, your surgeon may recommend a snovectomy, removing the lining of the joint.

Joint fusion surgery (arthrodesis) may be recommended to stabilize or realign a joint and for pain relief when a joint replacement isn’t an option.

Through education about the disease, exercise, diet changes, assistive devices, and other supports many people are able to manage their disease.

Resources

There are many valuable sources of rheumatoid arthritis information available. You can also access resources over the internet such as:

There are numerous charities dedicated to rheumatoid arthritis research, detection and treatment including:

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New York Life

Keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting

Reviewed by M.T. on February 15th 2024   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
I have been appealing a claim for LTD for 8 months! New York Life keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting ... read more >
Reliance Standard

Staff Lie

Reviewed by Tanya on February 12th 2024   Verified Policyholder | August 2021 date of disability
I had my disability cut off the day I was scheduled to find out whether I should have surgery. The claims examiner was aware that I had an appointment on that date and sai... read more >
Reply
Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

I am sorry to hear about your experience. It’s crazy that Reliance Standard would deny your disability benefits when you are suffering so badly that you need surgery.... read more >

Hartford

Former Hartford employee has had life insurance and accidental death policy's revoked for one late premium payment

Reviewed by Becky H. THOMAS on February 12th 2024   Verified Policyholder | February 2024 date of disability
Dislike how they are constantly interrupting the lives of their disabled EE's whom are entitled to benefit which they paid into out of there pay check every pay period onl... read more >
Reply
Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Thank you for your review of Hartford and we appreciate you sharing.  It’s sad they don’t take care of their own employees.

Lincoln Financial

Never received benefits my entire leave - or help with them

Reviewed by Anna on December 19th 2023   Verified Policyholder | November 2023 date of disability
I used my short term disability insurance for maternity leave and started the process beforehand knowing when I would be out (scheduled induction.) It took a little over a... read more >
Sun Life

Unscrupulous Tactics

Reviewed by Misseekayy on December 19th 2023   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
Sunlife uses unscrupulous tactics in order to prevent payment of claims. They wait until it is close to the 30 day mark and then they ask for another form of information o... read more >
New York Life

New York Life used another person's medical info to deny my claim and ignored my doctors

Reviewed by Christa on January 3rd 2019   Verified Policyholder
After receiving LTD benefits through New York Life for approximately 5 years, they recently reviewed and denied my claim and it is currently in the appeal process. I’ve ... read more >
Reply
Sent on January 3rd 2019 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Christa, New York Life can be difficult to deal with. You should contact one of our attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your options.

New York Life

New York Life LTD DISABILITY IS A SCAM! They are making me crazy

Reviewed by Cindy on November 19th 2012   Verified Policyholder
New York Life LTD DISABILITY IS A SCAM! I have had 5 back surgeries, knee surgery and also suffer from rheumatoid arthritis among other things. I have been on disability f... read more >
Reply
Sent on November 19th 2012 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Cindy, Unfortunately, as you so appropriately identify, you are not alone when it comes to dealing with New York Life.

New York Life

New York Life and their employees are a disgrace.

Reviewed by David Andrews on October 23rd 2011   Verified Policyholder
There will be a special place in hell for the CEO of this company and the henchmen and henchwomen who kiss his posterior and knowingly and without conscience inflict harm ... read more >
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In more than 98% of our cases, our lawyers have been able to either get our clients paid monthly disability benefits or obtain a one-time lump-sum settlement. Our lawyers have seen it all when it comes to disability insurance claims and we know exactly what it takes for your disability claim to be approved.

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Our clients include all types of employees ranging from retail associates, sales representatives, government employees, police officers, teachers, janitors, nurses, pilots, truck drivers, financial advisors, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, consultants, IT professionals, engineers, professional athletes, business owners, and high level executives.

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Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

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Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

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No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via phone, email, fax, GoToMeeting sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

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When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-698-9159 or by email. Lawyers and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.