Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are both conditions that affect joints, causing pain, swelling and discomfort. Both conditions can severely limit a person’s fine motor skills and reduce their ability to effectively perform the duties of their job.
At MK Disability Lawyers, we are experienced in helping clients successfully appeal the denial of long-term benefits with respect to both conditions. We have experience representing both claimants as well as insurance providers, and as a result, we understand how the decision-making process works on the provider side. We know the best ways to challenge their position and how to set our clients up for success when facing them in a dispute.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory condition that can have a wide-reaching impact on various parts of the body. The condition occurs when an immune system begins to mistakenly attack the body’s own tissue. The condition affects the body’s joints, generally starting in the smaller joints of the fingers and toes, but it can move beyond the joints and ultimately impact the skin, eyes, heart, lungs, blood vessels and more. Untreated, the condition can result in bone erosion and joint deformity. Symptoms may come and go, with patients entering periods of ‘remission’, but the condition cannot fully be cured, only managed.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be challenging to diagnose however close observation of symptoms, combined with blood and imaging tests will usually allow a physician to concretely diagnose the condition. While there is no cure, there are medications and therapies that can help patients manage their symptoms and prevent them from worsening or at least slowing them down. The sooner these options are started, the more effective they are, so anyone who suspects they may have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are advised to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Osteoarthritis is what we think of when we think of the term ‘arthritis’. The condition occurs when, over time, the cartilage around the joints begins to erode, causing bones and joints to rub against each other. This can result in pain and discomfort and may become quite debilitating over time. While this condition can occur anywhere in the body where there are joints, it is most commonly found in the fingers, knees, hips and spine (see also degenerative disc disease). Osteoarthritis is generally indicated by symptoms including stiffness, pain, tenderness and the loss of flexibility in certain joints. The condition is diagnosed with the use of MRIs and bloodwork, and while the effects cannot be erased, there are treatments that can make the symptoms manageable, from medications to surgery.
As with other conditions, the key factor to an effective challenge to a claim denial is to establish a clear and fulsome record of one’s symptoms, treatments and medical oversight. This record must be created and maintained by a physician as personal records will have little sway with an insurance provider. It is important to report all symptoms to your physician as soon as possible and to follow their recommended treatment options. Failure to do so will generally be seen as a red flag by an insurer and may impact your ability to access your benefits.
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 dealing with the challenges of rheumatoid or osteoarthritis are under a great deal of stress as it is, 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 may be 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.