COPD Diagnosis & Treatment Updates May Impact Disability Insurance Claims

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious respiratory disease affecting approximately 16 million Americans, in addition to many more who suffer despite not having a diagnosis. COPD drastically affects one’s ability to carry out daily tasks, let alone continuing in a high-stress, high-functioning career like the medical field. Physicians, surgeons, and other medical professionals need to have a certain level of physical fitness to complete the long shift work and the physically demanding tasks necessary to provide medical care to their patients.

Due to the physical limitations caused by COPD, many doctors are unable to continue practicing medicine. To continue working in the medical field would not only put themselves at risk for worsening their condition but would put patients at risk of not receiving the medical care they need. As physicians are forced out of their medical careers due to COPD limitations, they turn to their disability insurance benefits to provide financial security due to the loss of income from not being able to work.

Obtaining disability insurance benefits due to COPD may present challenges to claimants, especially doctors. For example, the disability insurance company may attempt to terminate your disability insurance benefits by utilizing policy definitions and time limits against you. These terminations or denials may be done in error, which is why it is essential to have an experienced disability insurance attorney on your side to help you secure the disability insurance benefits you deserve. 

Seltzer & Associates has decades of experience representing highly skilled and high-income earning clients who are often denied disability insurance benefits. We do not stand for our clients to be denied their rightful disability insurance benefits. You can depend on us to fight for your disability insurance benefits when COPD keeps you from your medical career. 

COPD Diagnosis and Treatment Guidelines May Save Lives

A global group of COPD experts continually studies COPD diagnosis criteria and treatment protocols in an effort to improve outcomes for COPD patients. One of the goals is to improve COPD sufferers’ survival rate by diagnosing cases earlier and thereby beginning treatment earlier.  This can prolong the life of the COPD patient. While it is good news that COPD sufferers may be able to live a longer life, the limitations of COPD are still present in regard to accomplishing work tasks and daily activities, especially for those working in the high-stakes profession of medicine.

What Does Improved COPD Outcomes Mean for Disability Insurance Benefits?

The fact there is an expected improvement in the overall health prognosis and treatment of COPD patients should not affect your individual claim for disability insurance benefits. However, we know that the disability insurance industry undergoes change as medical diagnoses, treatments, and quality of life change as well. While some of these changes may help disabled plan participants by acknowledging that certain conditions are disabling, not all changes work in favor of insureds. For example, if a new treatment protocol successfully addresses a medical condition, there may be fewer people who suffer from that condition to the extent that it becomes disabling. While this is wonderful news to alleviate the pain and suffering of patients, not all patients with the same condition now or in the future will suddenly become able to work. 

If COPD patients are able to receive a COPD diagnosis and treatment earlier in the progression of their disease, they may be able to slow the development of disabling symptoms of COPD that would prevent them from maintaining their medical careers. While this is good for individuals who are not suffering the severity of COPD, there runs the risk of disability insurance benefit denials if the insurance company views COPD claims at these less serious stages, whether the limitations are actually less severe or completely disabling. As improper claim denials occur, it becomes absolutely imperative to have an experienced disability insurance attorney work on your disability claim appeal so that you do not miss important deadlines or appeal requirements.

Having an experienced disability insurance attorney walk through each step of your diagnosis and the limitations that prevent you from working is critical to the success of your disability insurance claim for COPD. Seltzer & Associates understands that each client’s disabling medical condition is unique. We work on your behalf to ensure that the disability insurance company does not treat claim evaluations with broad strokes and generalizations that can harm a claimant’s case.

The Importance of Own Occupation Coverage for Doctors Suffering from COPD

Doctors and others in highly skilled and compensated professions should pay special attention to disability insurance policies and make sure their policy has their own occupation long-term disability coverage. What this policy does is allow the claim for disability insurance benefits to be evaluated as to whether the insured, given the limitations of their disabling condition, is able to work in their specific occupation at the time they became disabled. This is an important provision to consider and contract with your disability insurance company since the limitations of COPD may limit you from the specific duties of your medical career but may not limit you from working in another occupation that you are qualified to perform. In this instance, the disability insurance company would expect you to complete work in any other occupation for which you are qualified and are deemed to not be too disabled to perform. Being denied disability insurance benefits and being forced to work in another career field while giving up your medical career can be demoralizing and frustrating and put you at a financial loss. Your disability insurance benefits should give you financial peace of mind, not push you into a situation where you are working despite a disabling condition such as COPD and potentially cause further harm to your health and well-being.

Free Disability Insurance Claim Consultations for COPD Sufferers

If you are unable to maintain your medical career due to COPD, you need to work with an experienced disability insurance attorney to protect your claim for disability insurance benefits. Especially with expected changes to COPD diagnoses and treatments, you need to schedule a free consultation for your disability insurance claim with Seltzer & Associates. Complete our online contact form or call us at 888-699-4222.