- Can you get Long-Term Disability for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?
- Disabling Symptoms of MCAS
- Comorbidities and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
- Proving Long-Term Disability with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
- Proving How MCAS Affects Your Job Performance
- Can an Attorney Help Me Get Long-Term Disability for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?
Do You Have A Case?
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) is a chronic condition where allergy cells (masts) cause immediate allergic reactions. Generally, mast cells react to allergens in the body by releasing chemical “mediators” to bind to the allergens. Mediators help produce an allergic reaction, which directs antibodies to the allergens to attack them. However, MCAS is a condition where the mast cells become defective and release mediators because of internal signals. In some cases, a mast cell will overproduce copies of itself, causing an abnormal number of identical mast cells. These clones will, in turn, overproduce the mediators.
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is not a well-known condition, even in the medical community. There is currently no cure. If you are living with MCAS, you may be suffering from symptoms that can limit your ability to perform at work. If your Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is affecting your ability to work, you may be able to file a long-term disability insurance claim for your condition.
Can you get Long-Term Disability for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?
Yes, you can receive benefits from your long-term disability insurance for your MCAS. Generally, the symptoms of MCAS can be debilitating if they present themselves severely or frequently enough. Treatment can often help minimize symptoms, and reduce flare-ups. However, even with proper treatment, certain triggers for your condition can prove debilitating. The severity of your symptoms, as well as their frequency, can play a major role in determining if your condition is debilitating. Because of this, proving the disability will often hinge on proper documentation of your symptoms.
Disabling Symptoms of MCAS
Generally, the symptoms of MCAS are similar to that of an allergic reaction. The most life-threatening of these symptoms is anaphylaxis. This is where the airway tightens, reducing airflow to the body. If left untreated it can lead to shock, loss of consciousness, and even death.
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome can affect a number of body systems with its symptoms, much like a typical allergic reaction. MCAS can cause coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. Skin rashes, itchiness, hives, and swelling may occur. During an episode, you may experience dry or itchy eyes, nose & throat congestion, and gastrointestinal stress.
MCAS can make it more difficult to regulate blood pressure. Rapid heart rate, dizziness, and lightheadedness are not uncommon during more severe cases. Sometimes, MCAS can also lead to cognitive issues, such as fatigue, brain fog, short-term memory issues, headaches, and more. Additionally, living with MCAS can lead to a secondary diagnosis of anxiety or depression. But it is important that if you want to provide your mental health condition as part of your disability claim, that you report it as secondary to your Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
Comorbidities and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is a condition that has common associations with 2 other major health conditions, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). It is very common for an individual diagnosed with one of these 3 conditions to develop at least one other. All 3 of these conditions are fairly new to the medical community, and there is currently no clear-cut explanation for the connection between the 3 conditions. If you have one of these 3 conditions, it may be a good idea to look into whether or not you have the others.
Because these conditions are all debilitating, it can be important that you seek out testing for the other conditions as well. Your health and safety need to be made aware of potential conditions you may be suffering from. Since all 3 could be considered long-term disabilities, it can also be important to show the full medical extent of your debilitating conditions in your insurance claim. If you are suffering from MCAS and POTS, for example, be sure to include proof of both in your claim.
Proving Long-Term Disability with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
To get approved for your long-term disability benefits, you will need to provide proof to the insurance company of how your condition limits your ability to work. However, this can be difficult with MCAS. Because this condition fluctuates erratically, you may not be able to as accurately report it. Some days, you may be fine. On other days, you may struggle with multiple flare-ups that can affect you severely. After a flare-up, you may feel fatigued and unable to focus on work. A more severe flare-up can land you in the hospital.
It can take a lot of strong evidence to build a solid disability claim. Your disability attorney can help you through the process of gathering evidence and filing your claim. Below, we will discuss some of the more important sources of evidence that you can use for your claim.
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome Diagnosis
While there is no singular diagnostic test for MCAS, there are a few ways that your doctor provide a proper diagnosis. First, they will look for symptoms that correspond with MCAS. Skin irritation and blood pressure readings can be important in providing an initial basis for your diagnosis. Next, blood and urine lab tests can help narrow down the diagnosis. Blood tests can also look for higher levels of mast cell mediators within the blood. High levels of histamine and prostaglandin levels within your urine can also be a sign of MCAS.
A positive response to MCAS treatments can also be helpful. if your doctor suspects an MCAS diagnosis, they may prescribe anti-histamines or other medications to see if you respond well to them. If these medications help, it may be a sign that their hypothesis was correct.
Other possible diagnoses can be ruled out through certain tests. Generally, if a doctor suspects that you may have MCAS, they should also be testing you for EDS and POTS.
Documenting Your Symptoms
Documenting symptoms of your Mast Cell Activation Syndrome can be important in proving how your condition affects your job performance. Because many of the symptoms can be subjective, it is especially important to keep a good record of your symptoms. For example, brain fog and fatigue can often be considered subjective symptoms. Insurance companies may try to just look at when your flare-ups occur, rather than considering their lingering effects as well.
Be sure to keep a journal record of your flare-ups and other symptoms. Discuss these, including dates, with your doctor. Be sure that your doctor has an accurate record of your symptoms as part of your medical record. If you have a breakout of a rash or hives from your symptoms, be sure to document them with pictures, and have your doctor observe them. Your doctor’s records can help substantiate your claim.
Lastly, consider testing that can provide objective medical evidence of your symptoms. The Functional Capacity Evaluation tests your physical function and limitations. This can be helpful in providing support for symptoms like fatigue. A Neuropsychological Evaluation can provide evidence of cognitive deficits as a result of your condition, such as brain fog or memory issues. Both of these evaluations have validity testing that helps add to the objectivity of the results by ensuring that the individual is putting forth maximum effort.
Proving How MCAS Affects Your Job Performance
Generally, the disability insurance company will want you to prove how your condition causes you to not be able to work in your current profession. This means that you will have to show how your MCAS condition limits your ability to perform at your job. You will have to provide vocational evidence to support your claim.
Vocational evidence ties your symptoms to your occupation and shows the correlation between your symptoms, and your limitations in the workplace. It also helps show that you are otherwise qualified for your position. This evidence can include your job responsibilities, education history, training history, accolades, employment history, etc.
You may also want to use a vocational assessment. A vocational assessment is an evaluation of your job and its duties by a third-party professional with expertise in your field. This helps them evaluate how your condition limits your day-to-day job performance. This can help provide further expert evidence for your claim.
Can an Attorney Help Me Get Long-Term Disability for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?
If you are looking to file a long-term disability claim for your MCAS condition, you should seek out an experienced attorney. At D’Agostino & Associates, we help people living with disabling conditions such as Mast Cell Activation 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.