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Inflammatory Bowel Disease | Long-term Disability Benefits

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) describes chronic conditions involving inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Main types are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract, while ulcerative colitis mainly affects the colon and rectum. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue, varying in severity and duration. Diagnosis involves medical history review, physical exams, imaging, and endoscopic procedures. Treatment aims to alleviate symptoms, induce remission, and prevent complications through medication, dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and in severe cases, surgery. Regular monitoring is essential for management.

Why do insurers question a long-term disability claim for inflammatory bowel disease?

Insurers often scrutinize long-term disability claims for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) because of various factors. First, the fluctuating nature of IBD symptoms presents challenges in establishing consistent disability levels. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fatigue can vary in intensity and frequency, making it difficult to determine the extent of impairment over time. Second, some individuals with IBD effectively manage their symptoms through medication, lifestyle modifications, or dietary changes, leading insurers to question the severity of their impairment and the impact on their ability to work. Third, IBD gets confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBD and IBS are confused because the initials are similar. IBS is used as a waste basket for a variety of disparate symptoms, from pain to excess straining or other bowel dysfunction or indigestion, which are at best misunderstood or potentially misdiagnosed by the physician. This confusion can result in unfair treatment by an insurance company when evaluating a disability benefits claim.

Moreover, the subjective nature of symptoms like pain and fatigue can raise doubts about their impact on the claimant’s ability to perform job duties. Insurers may also consider the potential for remission periods in IBD, during which symptoms temporarily subside, further complicating the assessment of disability.

Insurers evaluate the consistency and adequacy of medical documentation supporting the long-term disability claim. They may request extensive medical records, diagnostic test results, and physician assessments to ensure that the claimant’s condition aligns with the policy’s definition of disability and meets the criteria for benefits eligibility.

Insurers seek comprehensive evidence to assess the validity of long-term disability claims related to inflammatory bowel disease, aiming to verify the claimant’s level of impairment, the impact on their ability to work, and the consistency of their reported symptoms over time.

How does recording your symptoms for Inflammatory Bowel Disease help you receive long-term disability benefits?

Recording your symptoms for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can significantly bolster your case for long-term disability benefits by providing concrete evidence of the severity and impact of your condition on your ability to work. By maintaining a detailed symptom journal, you create a comprehensive record of your daily experiences, including the frequency, duration, and intensity of symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and other digestive discomfort. Write down the number of trips you make to the bathroom in a day. Keep notes on all the activities you had to cancel, particularly last minute, because IBD symptoms flared.

This documentation serves as vital evidence during the disability claims process, demonstrating the persistent nature of your symptoms, their debilitating effects on your daily life, and the limitations they impose on your ability to perform job duties. It provides objective data to support your assertions about the severity of your condition, supplementing medical records and physician statements.

Recording triggers and patterns of symptoms can help identify specific factors that exacerbate your condition, further strengthening your case for long-term disability benefits. Maintaining an accurate and detailed symptom journal can be key to proving the extent of your disability and increasing the likelihood of receiving long-term disability benefits for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

How to record your symptoms for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Recording your symptoms for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can provide valuable information to better understand the severity of your condition. Here’s how to effectively record your symptoms:

  1. Keep a Symptom Journal: Use a notebook, smartphone app, or online diary to track your symptoms daily. Note the type, frequency, duration, and severity of symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, and any other digestive discomfort. An old fashion paper calendar works well too. Write down what happened each day.
  2. Document Triggers and Patterns: Record potential triggers or factors that worsen or alleviate your symptoms, such as specific foods, stress, medication changes, or menstrual cycles. Recognizing patterns can help identify triggers and manage symptoms more effectively.
  3. Use a Symptom Scale: Consider using a symptom scale or rating system to quantify the severity of each symptom. For example, use a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being mild and 10 being severe, to rate the intensity of abdominal pain or discomfort.
  4. Include Additional Information: Along with symptoms, include other relevant information such as medication usage, dietary changes, lifestyle factors, and any significant events or stressors that may impact your condition.
  5. Bring your symptom journal to appointments and discuss it with your healthcare provider. They can review your records, identify trends, and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

By recording your symptoms consistently and thoroughly, you empower yourself and your healthcare provider to better manage your inflammatory bowel disease and you provide valuable documentation to help you receive long-term disability benefits.

How long-term disability attorney, Jonathan M. Feigenbaum can help you receive benefits for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

We can play a crucial role in helping you receive benefits for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by navigating the complex process of filing a disability claim and advocating for your rights. Here’s how we can assist you:

  1. Expertise in Disability Law: We specialize in disability law and have in-depth knowledge of the legal requirements and processes involved in filing a claim. We can advise you on your rights under the law and help you understand the eligibility criteria for disability benefits related to IBD.
  2. Assistance with Claim Preparation: We will help you gather and organize the necessary documentation to support your disability claim, including medical records, test results, and physician statements. They can ensure that your claim is comprehensive and presents a strong case for disability benefits.
  3. Representation in Appeals: If your initial disability claim is denied, we can represent you in the appeals process and prepare and submit appeals on your behalf, handle negotiations with insurance companies.
  4. Representation in litigation: Make sure you retain an attorney who has a history of successfully litigating disability claims in court. This includes ERISA and individual disability insurance claims. Ask the attorney to show you a history of litigating cases. We have a great deal of experience in both.
  5. Providing Support and Advocacy: Throughout the disability claims process, we provide you with support, guidance, and advocacy. We can answer your questions, address your concerns, and advocate for your best interests to ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve.
  6. Providing Peace of Mind: Dealing with the complexities of the disability claims process can be overwhelming and stressful, particularly when coping with the challenges of living with life altering diseases or injuries. By enlisting help from a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney, you can gain peace of mind knowing that your case is in capable hands. We can provide guidance, support, and reassurance throughout the process, alleviating the burden on you and allowing you to focus on your health and well-being.

A long-term disability attorney is an invaluable ally in helping you navigate the complexities of the disability claims process and secure benefits for your IBD-related disability.

Contact a Denied Claims Lawyer

Getting it right the first time is always best and can get you your much needed benefits faster. Contact our skilled Denied claims lawyer Jonathan M. Feigenbaum, Esquire, at 617.307.7308 today!

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