Many people have sensitivities to chemicals such as lotions, perfumes or cleaning products that make working in a communal space challenging. However, in many cases, these issues can be addressed by asking a cubicle neighbour to refrain from wearing cologne or even asking the cleaning staff to switch to unscented cleaning products. However, in some cases, chemical sensitivities can be so severe that sharing space with other people can become untenable, and the mere act of going to work, going out in public or even leaving the house can become too much to deal with. These people can be harmed by exposure to even trace amounts of chemicals. For those who suffer from extreme sensitivity to chemicals, seeking long-term disability benefits may be their only recourse.
At MK Disability Lawyers, we have worked with clients challenged by severe sensitivity to environmental chemicals and other factors who have been unfairly denied their long-term disability benefits. This type of disability is relatively new compared to other disorders that may prevent people from performing the duties of their job, however, it has been recognized as a disability under provincial human rights legislation as a disorder requiring accommodation when possible by an employer.
When dealing with a severe sensitivity to environmental and chemical factors, sometimes leaving the house is a feat. At MK Disability Lawyers, we understand that travelling to meet with us in person will not always be possible, and so we have designed our practice to allow us to meet with clients remotely when needed. We enable the use of video and teleconference technology to meet with clients from wherever they are most comfortable, and we use a program that even enables clients to sign paperwork instantly from the comfort of their home. We have even arranged to meet with clients in an outdoor environment, in order to meet face to face without subjecting them to chemicals that may cause them harm.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome, otherwise known as ‘sick building syndrome’ or ‘environmental illness’ is a chronic condition whose sufferers experience a variety of symptoms when exposed to certain environmental toxins such as tobacco smoke, exhaust, perfume, chlorine and other chemicals commonly found in our work and living environments.
Many people who suffer from MCS struggle to find appropriate housing. They struggle to access healthcare as they cannot go to hospitals or emergency departments due to the chemicals used in these environments to keep them clean. Many Multiple Chemical Sensitivity patients end up with psychological conditions as well, often as a result of the difficulty of accessing treatment and being isolated from others. It is not uncommon for people with MCS to also have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia.
Symptoms vary in both type and intensity, but can include the following:
There is no definitive diagnostic tool for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome, however, an official diagnosis is unnecessary in order to appeal the denial of a long-term disability claim. Rather than establishing a cause or a source, a claimant is instead required to demonstrate their history of symptoms and attempts at treatment and accommodation. It is important for those experiencing symptoms related to chemical sensitivity at the workplace to report all symptoms as soon as possible to their physician.
While there may still be skepticism about the existence of a disorder called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome, there is no arguing with medical evidence of symptoms and repeated attempts to treat the source of the irritation. Our lawyers have advised many clients on best practices with respect to evidence-gathering in order to effectively appeal a denial of their long-term disability benefits. We work with each client to understand their particular circumstances so that we can provide personalized representation in their long-term disability dispute.
At MK Disability Lawyers, we do our best to take on the stress of dealing with our clients’ long-term disability disputes, so they don’t have to. Clients facing difficulties performing their job due to environmental or chemical sensitives face an uphill battle with respect to disability benefits. The difficulty with diagnosis and the skepticism about this relatively new disability can be frustrating, which is compounded if a claim for long-term disability is denied. We advise clients on the best path forward to successfully appeal a claim denial while remaining sensitive to the physical and emotional challenges they are facing. If you have had a long-term disability claim denied or terminated, we can help. To arrange a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced disability lawyers, please complete the online form, or call us at 844-697-4600.