If you have become disabled due to fibromyalgia and can no longer work, or perform the major duties of your occupation, you may be entitled to disability insurance benefits depending upon the type of coverage you have and your policy’s limitations.
Fibromyalgia is a painful musculoskeletal condition that afflicts millions of people. Although women are more likely than men to develop this painful condition, it does affect both men and woman. Currently, there is no cure for fibromyalgia , and it is often diagnosed with other underlying conditions that can either mask, or exacerbate symptoms making it difficult to treat. It is this difficulty in diagnosis that can lead to wrongfully denied disability insurance claims.
Until the past decade, many people who suffered from fibromyalgia often went undiagnosed or were misdiagnosed, and women, in particular, were sometimes seen as hypochondriacs exaggerating or even imagining their symptoms. Although it can be a tough condition to live with, the medical community now has a better understanding of what it is, how it can occur, and how to diagnose fibromyalgia.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia (FM) can mimic those of other serious diseases and disorders including hypothyroidism (low thyroid), sleep apnea, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and even some types of cancer so it is important that you seek medical attention if you have any symptoms of the condition.
Fibro Brain Fog is Considered One Measure of Fibromyalgia as a Disabling Condition
Unfortunately, for those who suffer with the physical discomforts and symptoms, fibromyalgia can also lead to persistent and debilitating chronic fatigue, and induce a mental state sufferers often refer to as ‘brain fog’ or ‘fibro fog.’ In fact, chronic fatigue and memory issues are more often reported as a major symptom than deep muscle pain and body aches. This state can be so debilitating that in July of 2012, a Social Security Ruling was issued clarifying the significance of this aspect of FM, including it as one of their criteria for receiving disability benefits:
…Repeated manifestations of six or more FM symptoms, signs, or co-occurring conditions, especially manifestations of fatigue, cognitive or memory problems (“fibro fog”), waking unrefreshed, depression, anxiety disorder, or irritable bowel syndrome.
Recent studies suggest that persistent pain alone can affect the frontal lobe of the brain that processes emotions. This area of the brain can become overactive causing disturbances in the brain as a whole as over active neurons wear out. Another theory suggests that chronic pain can lead to poor sleep which may also cause mental fatigue.
Arthritis Today, a nonprofit awareness and support organization states that”Brain scan studies have shown that from time to time, people with fibromyalgia do not receive enough oxygen in different parts of their brain. One possible reason is that part of their nervous system is off-kilter, causing changes in the brain’s blood vessels.”
Regardless or why it happens, for those who suffer from fibro fog, it can become profound and debilitating for many people who have fibromyalgia resulting in:
- Mental confusion including forgetfulness and using the wrong words;
- Lapses in memory;
- Difficulty or inability to concentrate;
- Loss of mental and physical energy; and
Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia can cause intense, unrelenting pain, as well as migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome. and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and muscle problems. Dealing with pain can be difficult enough, but when coupled with extreme fatigue and memory problems, it is easy to see why fibromyalgia can become a disabling condition.
Many insurance carriers, as well as government disability programs, used to treat fibromyalgia claims with great skepticism, and unless it was diagnosed with another disabling condition, more often than not was seen as a nondisabling condition. However, in July of 2012 that changed when the Social Security Administration issued a new ruling that clarified when fibromyalgia is considered a disability. Read the ruling in, “How And When Fibromyalgia Is Determined To Be A Disability By The SSA.”
“Manifestations of extreme fatigue” is now a recognized symptom of FM that can be so profound as to be part of a disabling condition.
Fibro Brain Fog / Fybromyalgia Pain – Denied Disability Insurance Claims Attorneys
If you have own-occupation disability insurance, your coverage should provide benefits if you are not able to perform your own occupation due to debilitating fibromyalgia. Own-occupation insurance is often purchased by surgeons, doctors, and other highly trained professionals who might otherwise be told by an insurance company that they could simply do another job such as typing or answering phones. Own-occupation disability insurance is intended to provide coverage to skilled workers who can no longer do the job they were trained for.
Our attorneys handle fibromyalgia cases involving all types of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and non-ERISA disability insurance, including:
- Employer-provided disability insurance
- Private disability insurance
- Private disability insurance for doctors and medical professionals
- Own-occupation disability insurance
We will review your fibromyalgia claim free of charge. If your claim has been wrongfully denied, we can handle your case on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing and we receive nothing unless you win your case by way of settlement or verdict.
Call us toll free at 877-664-5407 or e-mail us to schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles fibromyalgia bad faith insurance attorneys. Even if your disability prevents you from coming to us, we can help.
If your insurance company has denied your long-term disability insurance claim for fibromyalgia, contact our law offices today for a free initial legal consultation.
$600k For Wrongful Denial Of Disability Claim For Fibromyalgia
Attorney: Michael B. Horrow
Case Summary: A man diagnosed with Fibromyalgia received $600,000 after an insurance company wrongfully denied his claim for disability benefits.
Denied Disability Claim Case Description
Michael B. Horrow represented a Senior Manager IT Consultant who became totally disabled due to Fibromyalgia. He was a participant in an employee benefit plan regulated and governed under ERISA. As his symptoms progressed, he became unable to perform his occupation due to the progressive decline in cognitive function. When his claim for long term disability benefits was denied by the insurance company, Mr. Horrow took on the case.