Bartolic Law has multiple clients who experienced Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease get long-term disability benefits paid. While we wish nobody suffered from this disease, we are proud to have helped the clients and families enduring this struggle. In one client’s case, the client’s symptoms began to manifest after several seizures, which delayed the diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The insurer helped the client obtain Social Security Disability benefits due to the Alzheimer’s Disease, but subsequently contended the disability was caused by depression, applying a 24-month limitation on benefits.
We provided the insurer with literature on the diagnostic protocol for Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and documented the few methods available to distinguish cognitive limitations caused by Alzheimer’s from those caused by depression. We also used video statements from the client and the client’s family members detailing their observations. In the end, we were able to turn the denial into payment for our client, helping the whole family move forward. In another case, a client became unable to work in retail management for unexplained causes of cognitive decline. We were able to persuade the insurer to approve the claim, despite an unknown cause of disability, which gave our client and the client’s family time to focus on working with doctors to arrive at the correct diagnosis.
Most people do not expect to receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease before they are even retired, but early-onset Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed prior to age 65, and it can even happen when someone is still in their 30s, 40s, or 50s. This is a unique position to be in, and you can expect the diagnosis to change your life in many ways. Some signs of possible early-onset Alzheimer’s disease include memory problems, difficulty finding words, impaired judgment or reasoning, spatial or vision problems, and similar cognitive impairments. Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis involves a history of onset from the patient and relatives, imaging to rule out other causes, neuropsychological testing of cognitive functioning, and where appropriate, QEEGs to help distinguish Alzheimer’s Disease impairments from depression.
Diagnostic accuracy rates can be as high as 93% for clinicians utilizing all the available tools. It can be difficult to navigate your usual life, especially your job. Many households with early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnoses suffer significant income loss, as you might not be able to work for much longer once you realize what is happening. In addition, as the disease progresses, you might need extra help at home, which can add more expenses for your household. If you are working and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it is critical to learn about the benefits you should qualify for.
Ferrin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 336 F. Supp. 3d 910 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 28, 2018) (holding insurance policy’s grant of discretionary authority is void under Texas law due to certificate being issued after effective date of regulation, and policy renewing after effective date, and holding Plaintiff was disabled from Any Reasonable Occupation where treating doctors certify she can sit at the occasional level, and insurer’s consultants opine Plaintiff can sit frequently, as weighing all evidence together would make capacity likely at low end of frequent range at best).
Sadowski v. Tuckpointers Local 52 Health & Welfare Trust, 281 F. Supp. 3d 710 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2017) (holding plan was arbitrary and capricious in denying medical benefits for removal of spinal cord stimulator following a fall down the stairs and infection where plan argued the expenses were caused by the same injury as the car accident necessitating implantation of the stimulator years earlier)
Tassone v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 264 F. Supp. 3d 867 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 30, 2017) (awarding client long term disability benefits denied by United of Omaha despite insurer’s doctor opining there was no objective evidence of functional impairment)
Suson v. PNC Fin. Servs. Grp., Inc., No. 15-CV-10817, 2017 WL 3234809 (N.D. Ill. July 31, 2017) (holding Liberty Mutual’s denial of client’s long term disability benefits was arbitrary and capricious where Liberty Mutual disregarded client’s carpal tunnel syndrome and relied on a vocational opinion to which client never had an opportunity to address before litigation)
Bartolic Law helps individuals who are left reeling from a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease while they are still of working age. Maximizing your disability benefits is important to support your household and yourself through this difficult time, so you can focus on managing your symptoms and receiving the care and assistance you need.
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