If you are living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), you could be considering a long term disability claim. But, it is important to think about some important details when building your case. Do insurance companies consider EDS a disability? What will my insurance company look for in my EDS disability claim. And how can I improve my chances for EDS disability benefits?
We will discuss important tips and aspects of your Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome disability claim that you should consider.
Can You Get Disability For Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome can be a disabling condition. EDS is a genetic disorder that affects connective tissues, mainly in your skin, joints, and blood vessels. EDS can cause joint hypermobility, and stretchy, fragile skin. Because of their skin elasticity issues, people with this disorder may have trouble with wound healing; especially if the wound requires stitches. However, an EDS diagnosis alone will not be enough for you to qualify for disability benefits. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome has a wide array of sub-types, and the way EDS presents itself may vary from person to person. Some people living with EDS experience many medical complications, while others may not. Generally, your entitlement to disability insurance will depend on how your symptoms affect your ability to function in the workplace.
Disabling Symptoms of EDS
Your EDS symptoms can be an important factor in building your case, EDS is a result of protein structural deficits in your body. Hyper-flexibility, loose joints, and abnormal skin elasticity are common symptoms, but they may not be enough to determine disability. Other potentially disabling symptoms may include:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Poor wound healing
- Easy bruising
- Recurring sprains & dislocations
- Reduced mobility from joint damage
- Digestive issues
- Poor vision
- Skin infections
Different sub-types of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome may have additional symptoms that could contribute to your disability claim. Your doctors can help you identify further symptoms that may be important to note for your case.
How Do Your Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Comorbidities Affect Your Case?
EDS is often comorbid with other conditions. Some of these conditions can also be important factors in building your disability case. Common comorbidities include POTS, Asthma, CFS, hernias, pneumonia, gastrointestinal disorders (such as IBS), various skin conditions, and MCAS. other Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders, like EDS, may also be comorbid with your EDS.
Your doctors will be able to help determine which of your conditions and their symptoms could be affecting your ability to work and/or exacerbating your EDS symptoms.
Proving EDS as a Disability
Your EDS disability claim needs to show that your condition limits your ability to perform at your job. Often, people with EDS need to avoid lifting, pulling, and pushing. Repeated bending or stretching actions, or staying in the same position over a long period can all negatively affect those with EDS. This makes both physical and sedentary jobs potentially problematic for those with EDS. Joint pain, hyper flexibility, and fatigue are all common symptoms of EDS that can limit your ability to perform at work. All symptoms of your EDS should be properly documented by your doctors to help build your case. Discuss any symptoms you experience as a result of your EDS with your primary care physician, as well as any specialists you see because of your condition.
Because EDS is a less common condition, your insurance company may not be as familiar with it. Because of this, they may not fully understand the effect it can have on your life. So the documentation of your symptoms must be thorough.
Providing Medical Evidence of Your Ehlers-Danlos Disability
For your insurance company to regard your condition as a disability, you need to provide solid evidence. In most cases, forms of Objective Medical Evidence help build your case. Objective medical evidence refers to medical documentation that establishes your diagnosis, symptoms, and physical/mental limits. Because EDS is a genetic disease, objective evidence of your diagnosis can be achieved through a tissue biopsy. Additionally, a family history of EDS can support the diagnosis.
One example of objective medical evidence that could be helpful to your case is a Functional Capacity Evaluation. An FCE is a test of your physical capacity to test how much physical activity you can perform. We generally recommend a 2-day FCE, as it allows for a more thorough investigation into how fatigue plays a role in your disability.
Your medical records and treatment notes from your doctor can also be vital in building your disability claim. All of your medical records, including any scans or lab tests, should be submitted as evidence to the insurance company. Treatment notes from your doctor(s) can be important as well, especially if they have been thorough in documenting your symptoms. Overall, any reports, questionnaires, or other detailed paperwork from your doctor regarding your diagnosis or symptoms can be helpful as evidence.
Vocational Evidence of Your Disability
Vocational evidence is documented evidence of how your physical/cognitive limitations affect your occupational tasks. Generally, this evidence comes from your current and/or previous employers. Vocational evidence can include:
- Your Education
- Training qualifications
- History of employment
- Job description
- Any accident reports as a result of your EDS-related limitations
- Job evaluations
A vocational evaluation of your skills and your ability to perform your job can be important to developing your case further.
Can an Attorney Help Me Get Long-Term Disability for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
If you are looking to file a long-term disability claim for your EDS, you should seek out an experienced attorney. At D’Agostino & Associates, we help people living with disabling conditions such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome file long-term disability claims. We help you through the process step by step to help you build a strong case. Our law team is here for you.
At D’Agostino & Associates, our team of lawyers can help you sort through all the details, understand what you are entitled to, and fight to get what you deserve. D’Agostino & Associates P.C. has offices in New York and New Jersey. Contact us, or call us at 1-888-245-2924 to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys.