Tips for Filing a Stroke Long-Term Disability Claim
A stroke can cause severe brain damage, negatively impacting a person's ability to think, move or communicate. And in many cases, these cognitive deficits can lead to a permanent disability. If you or a loved one suffered a stroke, here's what you need to know about filing a stroke long-term disability claim.
How Can You Tell If Someone Is Having a Stroke?
Strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a blood clot, an aneurysm bursts, or if blood from a blood vessel leaks into the brain. A stroke can come on suddenly, and the best chance of survival and reducing the severity of disability is to react quickly. Symptoms of stroke include numbness, dizziness or balance problems, sudden confusion, or a severe headache.
Medical professionals sometimes use the acronym FAST to determine if a person is having a stroke:
- Face: When the person smiles, does their face droop on one side?
- Arms: When the person lifts both arms, does one arm drift downward?
- Speech: When the person answers a question or repeats a sentence, is their speech slurred or garbled?
- Time: If the person exhibits these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
What Are Symptoms of a Stroke?
The after-effects of a stroke vary from person-to-person. Some people can resume normal or near normal activities quickly after a stroke while another person may require on-going rehabilitative care. The extent of physical and cognitive disabilities also vary, although most people have some combination of physical and cognitive symptoms.
Physical symptoms include:
- Balance or coordination problems
- Trouble walking or standing
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of manual dexterity
- Tremors or abnormal movement
- Numbness or tingling
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness or falling
- Nausea or fatigue
Cognitive/mental symptoms include:
- Memory problems
- Mental confusion
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in personality
- Mental fatigue
- Emotional instability
- Difficulty speaking
How Is Stroke Treated?
The first step in the treatment of stroke is an assessment by your physician. Using the NIH Stroke Scale, your doctor will evaluate your ability to function. Depending on the results of your test, there are a variety of treatment options:
Your physician will work with you to reduce the chances of another stroke by treating any underlying issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes.
Your doctor will want to monitor your progress on a regular basis for signs of another possible stroke.
If you need to re-learn skills such as feeding and dressing yourself, occupational therapy will help you
PT can help you regain strength and functioning in your limbs
Speech and Language Therapy
This type of therapy ranges from re-establishing speech to regaining the ability to swallow
A serious stroke with long-lasting disabilities may require extended stay at a medical facility or nursing care at home. In cases like these, the financial support of long-term disability benefits can provide security and peace of mind.
How to File a Stroke Long-Term Disability Claim
When preparing to file a long-term disability claim for stroke, you will need complete medical and treatment information. The insurance company will want information about your physical and cognitive symptoms. You will need to provide:
- Medical records
- Diagnostic tests such as MRI or CT scans
- Neuropsychological tests
- Reports from physicians including a neurologist or other specialist regarding physical and cognitive condition
- Reports from physical therapists or other health care professionals
- Physical limitations or restrictions
- Pre and post-stroke job skills
It is very important that you are compliant with any treatment your doctor prescribes for you. If you don't follow your doctor's plans, the insurance company may deny your claim.
The insurance company will want a detailed assessment from your doctor, outlining both the severity and impact of your symptoms. They may also require you to meet with a doctor of their choice or to undergo other examinations as part of the claims process. And as the insurance company is aware that there is potential for improvement with strokes, you may need to provide them with proof of an ongoing disability even after your claim has been approved.
Appealing a Denial of Benefits
If your LTD benefits claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal. If you have an independent policy, you can file an appeal for a reversal of decision. And if your insurance is provided by your employer, you can appeal the decision via a federal lawsuit under ERISA.
Learn More About Stroke Long-Term Disability Benefits
At CJ Henry Law Firm PLLC, we can guide you through the process of filing a stroke long-term disability claim. Call today to learn more.