Your Source For Disability Information

LTD AttorneysPeripheral nerves carry information to and from the brain, spinal cord and virtually every other part of the body. When a person has peripheral neuropathy it means that those nerves don’t work properly – this type of damage interferes with vital connections, and distorts and interrupts messages between the brain and the rest of the body.

When the damage affects only one nerve the neuropathy is called mononeuropathies. More commonly multiple nerves are affected. This is called polyneuropathy. Less often, two or more isolated nerves in separate areas of the body are affected. This is called mono neuritis multiplex.

Because every peripheral nerve has a highly specialized function in specific parts of the body, there are more than 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy that have been identified. With this wide array of classifications come all types of symptoms. Common symptoms include temporary numbness and tingling, prickling sensations, twitching, sensitivity to touch and muscle weakness. More debilitating symptoms are burning pains, muscle wasting, paralysis and organ and gland dysfunction.

Symptoms usually cause people to feel much less sensation than they would if nerve damage was not present, however in some cases people with peripheral neuropathy feel pain from stimuli that are normally painless. Gastrointestinal symptoms can also be linked to nerve damage. Nerves that control intestinal muscle contractions sometimes malfunction and often lead to diarrhea, constipation and incontinence.

Peripheral neuropathy can be inherited or acquired. Acquired peripheral neuropathies are caused either by systemic disease, trauma from external agents, or infections or autoimmune disorders. The most common cause of nerve damage, including peripheral neuropathy, is diabetes. Other causes are autoimmune disorders, chronic kidney disease, infections such as HIV and liver infections, low levels of vitamin B12 or other dietary issues, poor blood flow to the legs, under active thyroid gland and excessive drug and alcohol use.

Diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy can be difficult because it has so many varying symptoms and can present itself in a number of ways. To diagnose, a doctor will take a detailed history of you and your family, perform a physical exam, do blood tests, check muscular activity, measure the speed at which signals travel along nerves and might even sample a nerve under a microscope.

There are things that patients can do to prevent or treat their own nerve damage. For example, restricting alcohol use, replacing vitamins and controlling blood sugar can prevent damage and assist in its healing. Self-awareness is also crucial. Because many peripheral neuropathy patients do not feel pain the way they should, they do not take the proper precautions in their everyday life. Doing simple day-to-day tasks like wearing closed toe shoes and testing the temperature of things before grabbing them can make daily life more manageable.

No medical treatments currently exist to cure peripheral neuropathy, however there are recommended therapies that patients can participate in. Medicines can reduce pain although they will not return a loss of feeling. Physical therapy specialists can help train your body to recover, and physical exercise and exertion is helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Long term disability attorneys Burke, Harvey & Frankowski, LLC understand the importance of obtaining disability benefits for peripheral neuropathy and work diligently to aid you in collecting the required documentation and eveidence supporting your disability insurance claim and appeal. Call your healthcare provider if you think you may have any form of nerve damage. Early detection and treatment can decrease the presence of symptoms, and can ease the often difficult process of applying for LTD benefits.

Phoenix Insurance Bad Faith LettersEvery time that an insurance company denies a payment, delays communication and payment, retroactively cancels a policy, or employs any other bad faith practices, chances are that you have been subject to their unethical tactics. Submitting an insurance claim is a difficult and time consuming process that often calls for strict attention to detail and knowledge of medical jargon. Having your claim denied and appealing it, on the other hand, is a disheartening experience and requires the legal assistance of bad faith insurance attorney who has extensive experience successfully fighting the insurance companies. With the counsel of an attorney, one of the ways in which policyholders can fight back against insurance bad faith is to write a letter demanding the benefits outlined in the policy. The letter should be structured as follows:

To Whom it May Concern at “X Insurance Company”:

Please accept this letter as the claimant’s formal written demand for the available policy limits in this case; i.e., $dollar amount.

We contend that your failure to offer the available policy limits to protect your insured, is an instance of bad faith. Please be advised that we are fully prepared to present the claimant’s case in court.

The full $dollar amount policy limit will protect both your insured from a larger judgment, as well as your interests. My client will accept $ (X amount of dollars) as the full and final settlement of his/her claim.

Please inform our law firm of your response to this settlement demand within the next 30 days.


Attorney Name
Client Name


NOTE: Be sure to detail your medical history, timeline of claims and appeals and anything else relevant to your case. Be as clear and concise as possible.

Bad faith insurance demand letters are typically the first step to resolving denied claims and appeals. That is not to say that the insurance company will be willing to pay their policyholders promptly or, at all. But, writing a demand letter is one of the ways in which you and your insurance bad faith attorney can point out the glaring errors your insurance company has committed. Again, if you have been subject to the unethical practices of insurance companies and are in desperate need of compensation or benefits, get the help you deserve and contact Richard Langerman. Mr Langerman has over 25 years of experience successfully enforcing the policies in his clients insurance contracts.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Insurance Benefits AttorneyThe carpal tunnel is a narrow tunnel-like structure in the wrist that is created by the wrist (carpal) bones. When swelling places pressure on the median nerve- the one which supplies both feeling and movement, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs. Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain, tingling, weakness, numbness or even muscle damage. Those afflicted may feel an aching in their wrists extending from the hand to your forearm. It most commonly afflicts people from 30 to 60 years old, with women being more prone to developing it than men.

The majority of people develop carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of repetitive hand and wrist motions. Typing is the largest culprit, followed by writing, sports, tools, painting, driving and even sewing or playing musical instruments. Assembly line workers are also prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel is a painful and common affliction, that can be debilitating and limit both your work and home life. Carpal tunnel is often times covered as a long term disability by employer’s coverage plans, but a large amount of these claims are denied by insurance companies each year. Many insurance companies are under the belief that a surgery will restore your hands to their optimal state and they will deny your claim if you forego the option of surgery. However surgery is not a prerequisite to receiving or qualifying for benefits.

If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and your claim has been denied, the skilled disability benefits attorneys at Burke, Harvey & Frankowski, LLC can provide the legal assistance you need. Should the insurance company continue to deny your benefits, you are eligible to have your case presented before a federal judge in a ERISA lawsuit. A carpal tunnel syndrome LTD lawyer will be able to help provide the professional and medical resources necessary, prepare your legal documents and offer the legal knowledge needed to win these types of cases. Because there is no testimony from either side in LTD cases, the judge will only be able to see what is presented to them in your folder to base their decision. That is why it is of the utmost importance that you contact a long term disability attorney to work on your case and secure your financial future.

National Disability Insurance LawyerThe process of appealing a denied insurance claim
If you have become sick or injured and are unable to work, it may become difficult to pay bills and related expenses. The financial obligations of a long term disability can mount, allowing little room for error in applying for disability benefits from your insurance company. Often times, those who do properly apply for benefits are still denied. Unfortunately, the insurance companies have created an all too familiar routine of receiving qualified applications and wrongfully denying those requests.

Obtaining Legal Help For A Denied Insurance Claim:
With the help of an attorney who specializes in making insurance claims appeals, your chances of obtaining benefits increase exponentially. Most of the advice and assistance offered in the appeals process requires strict attention to detail and an understanding of insurance industry greed. An LTD lawyer can help you:

  • Understand why your insurance claim was denied and the methods used to measure/value your need for benefits
  • Setting legal and reasonable deadlines for completing your appeal
  • Keep track of supporting documentation, communication and additional interaction with your insurance company
  • Write an appeal letter detailing your circumstances, timeline and/or evolution of injury or disability, doctor visits and supporting information.
  • Keep tabs on the insurance company and the progress of your appeal.

After all the steps taken to ensure benefits are awarded, insurance companies are still able to deny your appeal. In any situation, you have the right to take legal action against them and have your case reviewed by a federal judge. If your initial insurance claim, or your appeal have both been denied, then strengthen your case by hiring a disability insurance lawyer who has extensive experience fighting the insurance companies and successfully obtaining benefits.

Learn more about the basics on disability insurance law from skilled LTD attorneys Burke, Harvey & Frankowski, LLC:

Mental health disability claims
Mental Disability Claims

Physical disabilities can make it very challenging to function in a work environment. For this, employers provide workers compensation and disability benefits to cover you financially until you are able to return to work. What happens however when you are suffering from a mental disabilities?

As most who have suffered from depression, dost-traumatic stress, or bipolar disorder can attest to, mental disabilities can be just as debilitating as any physical condition and occur more often than people think.

What most people also do not know is that a mental disability in many cases can and should be covered by your disability insurance. The problem however is that a mental disorder can be difficult to prove. Because of this, insurance companies try everything in their power to avoid awarding you coverage.

Additionally, if by some miracle you are awarded a mental disability claim, insurers will often cap the length of coverage to less time than you may need.

Dealing with insurance companies is a full time job and suffering from a mental condition can make it near impossible to manage. If you or someone you know is having trouble receiving the disability coverage they deserve, contact an Employment and Disability Lawyer immediately.

You need help from a long term disability attorney who specializes in obtaining benefits for mental health disabilities. You have been through enough, put your trust in their hands and be confident that you will get the best resolution possible from your case.

LTD benefits for rare disordersAccording to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), nearly 7,000 rare diseases affect close to 30 million Americans. Applying for long-term disability benefits can be especially difficult if you have an uncommon condition because you need to document the existence of specific symptoms of a medically determinable rare disease. Currently, many people with rare diseases experience devastating delays, most up to three years, because those making the decisions are less familiar with such diseases and their debilitating capacities.

Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowances (CAL) is a recent initiative that was designed to fast-track Social Security disability applications for 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers that are deemed to be severe. CAL criteria and conditions were developed due to information received at public outreach hearings, comments received from the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities, counsel of medical and scientific experts and research with the National Institutes of Health. A few of the conditions that have been included in the initiative are ataxia telangiectasia, numerous cancers and early-onset Alzheimers disease.

Unfortunately, there is a giant number of rare diseases that didn’t make CAL’s cut. Getting long-term disability coverage for rare yet painful and debilitating diseases like carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia and Lyme disease remains difficult, largely because the Blue Book that is used as a reference when determining whether a person with a condition qualifies for coverage does not put as much focus on such rare diseases and their symptoms – therefore making them subjective and difficult to prove.

Obtain Damages for extreme cases of insurance bad faithAs a community we have come to embrace the idea that insurance companies exist to benefit us. This is not particularly true, as a for-profit company a insurance company’s number 1 priority is to maximize their profit and reduce loss. This is why you may notice if you are older, a smoker, or have a preexisting health condition your rates may be substantially higher. Generally speaking insurance companies will fulfill their duties as required, but there may be times a policy holder is denied their full benefits when they file a claim. By law all insurance companies must deal in “good faith” and fulfill the benefits of legitimate claims. “Bad faith” occurs when a policyholder’s benefits are in someway intentionally minimized or altogether denied.

Examples of bad faith would be:

-Failure to act within a reasonable time frame

-Attempts to undervalue the claim

-Refusing to give a reasonable explanation to deny the claim

-Settling for less than the policyholder is entitled to

-Refusing to conduct a thorough investigation or misrepresenting the facts of the case

If a policyholder is denied the benefits outlined to them and their claim is legitimate, they can sue the insurance company in a bad faith claim if the denial was malicious and intentionally unreasonable or delayed. This bad faith claim will cover the policy holder’s full claim value, all the damages resulting from the delay or denial and the policyholder’s attorney fees. In particularly egregious cases the policyholder may also be awarded punitive damages, otherwise known as exemplary damages. This will be some sort of payment usually given completely to the policy holder to discourage the insurance company from repeating the same actions and further penalizing them.  Bad faith insurance tort claims are unique in that unlike a standard breach of contract claim, tort claims are entitled to exemplary and punitive damages. The result would be that the policyholder could receive substantially more than the original claim and their losses was worth.

Punitive damages are awarded to compensate for the policy holder’s mental, emotional, physical and monetary distress; and to punish insurance companies who delay or deny claims without a reasonable cause. However bad faith insurance claims and punitive damages can involve costly expert analysis and legal witnesses as well as a thorough understanding of insurance law. If you feel that you may be eligible for punitive damages in a extreme bad faith insurance case speak to a personal injury attorney who specializes in bad faith insurance claims. They have the legal knowledge and resources to make sure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries, distress and loss of past and future income. On average those who hire the services of an attorney receive 3 times more than people who represent themselves.

Insurance companies are notorious for their bad faith tactics. Some will go as far as retroactively canceling your insurance policy after you have filed a claim. Unfortunately for policy holders, insurance companies are in the business of quickly generating profits and denying pay outs to those who qualify for the benefits outlined in their contracts. The following acts by an insurer are examples of First-Party and 3rd-Party Bad Faith.

First party bad faith deals with claims made by policy holders. The refusal of an insurance company to pay a claim without a reasonable basis, or failure of an insurer to properly investigate the claim in a timely manner, can constitute a case in first party bad faith. Specifically, the insurer’s actions can include the following:
• Deceptive practices or deliberate misrepresentations of records or policy language to avoid paying claims
• Inadequate claims processing and failure to follow the standard investigative guidelines of verifying the insured’s proof of loss, investigating the claim and inspecting the site of the loss, determining the coverage, appraising the amount of the loss and paying or denying the claim
• Improper or inadequate claim investigation (in many cases this means that the insurer will simply believe either party rather than conducting a proper investigation)
• Delay in payment
• Unreasonable denial of claim, which may be based on an equally unreasonable demand for proof of loss.

Third party bad faith claims are made when a policyholder has been sued and the policyholder’s insurance company has failed to act reasonably to settle the claim, or has failed to properly and timely investigate or defend the claim. The following are things that an insurer can do to act in alignment with third party bad faith:
• Failure to settle a case in which a judgement is entered in excess of the liability protection
• Failure to defend an policyholder if a contract exists that includes provisions which require the insurer to act in the policyholder’s defense
• Negligent handling of defense

There are three levels of enforcement against bad faith. Firstly, Common Law is the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. Half of all states recognize a common law tort for bad faith in first-party insurance claims. Second comes State Legislation. Some states have general statutes that prohibit bad faith, some have Unfair Claims Practices Acts which carry further specifications, and others have an insurance commission which regulates insurance claims. Thirdly is the Federal Legislation that governs insurance practices with laws like the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

If your insurance claim has been unreasonably delayed, or has been denied without justification, or your insurance policy has been canceled by your insurer, you may be a victim of bad faith. Bad faith insurers can be responsible for the following damages: statutory penalties, statutory interest, liability for judgements in excess of the policy limits, attorney fees, emotional distress, economic loss and punitive damages. If you think your insurer has acted in bad faith contact an experienced insurance attorney to understand your right to recover.

Ataxia is a neurological condition that impairs the voluntary movements of the muscles, affecting the way a person walks, runs, bends over, stoops, grasps objects, or performs daily tasks. Often times, Ataxia sufferers are unable to work efficiently, making it difficult to earn an income. People who are unaffected by the condition are unaware of the extent of the disability, making it difficult on the Ataxia sufferer and the work environment in general. Insurance providers who carry Ataxia policies, often deny claims based on the fact that the condition is a subjective matter and difficult to measure the impact on your ability to work. Fortunately, Ataxia sufferers can obtain long term disability benefits to cover bills and other expenses.

Common side effects of the condition include:

  • Physical coordination – various areas of the body are affected, particularly walking
  • Balance – ability to undertake normal skills such as walking and stepping may be extremely difficult or impossible
  • Movement abilities – ability to walk,  move the limbs, extend or reach with the limbs, gesture
  • Speech – dysarthria – ability to form words and speak
  • Eye movements –  nystagmus, or ability look from left to right, up and down, etc.
  • Ability to bend down, stoop, grasp object – affects ability to pick up objects from the floor, tie shoes, etc.

Ataxia presents itself in two forms: hereditary and acute.

Hereditary Ataxia depends on the hereditary disorders of the cerebellum. Those with this form often experience a slow development of their symptoms over several years, with the underlying condition most commonly caused by issues with genes.

Acute Ataxia sufferers experience a sudden onset of symptoms, most commonly after significant trauma, injury or the development of another health condition such as a stroke or infection of the brain. Acute ataxia often times occurs due to radiation poisoning.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a specific treatment for ataxia, although doctors have been able to treat the underlying factors attributed to the condition. If you suffer from Ataxia and are unable to work, it may become difficult to pay for bills and related expenses. Ataxia disability attorneys, Burke, Harvey & Frankowski, LLC are seasoned LTD lawyers who will fight for the disability benefits that you are entitled to.

Video surveillance is a tool that insurance companies like The Hartford Financial Services sometimes use to review and validate disability claims in order to protect themselves from fraud. Although this can be a moral and useful tactic, The Hartford is facing numerous claims that they wrongfully terminated disability benefits based on surveillance video produced by private investigators.

It all started when Jack “Rocky” Whitten went on Good Morning America to share his story about how he was spied on while getting into a van, reading a magazine and while eating chips and salsa. He had “no difficulty dipping chips at a restaurant,” The Hartford said. The insurance company used this video surveillance as evidence that Whitten, who was on disability due to a broken neck, could return to work. Following the airing of the GMA segment Whitten’s benefits were reinstated, however it prompted dozens of other policyholders to come forward with their stories.

Policyholders find the correlations of their actions and the actions of their insurance companies to be bizarre and unwarranted. “I mean, they found the least little thing that makes no sense, I mean a chip weighs nothing,” Whitten’s wife, Leigh, said. Eric Neubarth, who suffered a traumatic brain injury, said that his benefits were cut off partially because he was filmed dong his laundry and eating lunch at a deli. Evan Werner severely injured his back in a car accident, and surveillance of him going to a doctor’s appointment and walking his dog was enough to convince The Hartford that he could perform sedentary work.

Susan Pisano, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, defended The Hartford’s decisions to sever policies, claiming that surveillance is conducted to gather information, not to terminate claims. “My understanding is that the video is never used as a stand-alone tool for decision making. And what I can say is that claims can be appealed,” Pisano said.

Werner and many others have chosen to sue The Hartford, claiming that evidence gathered was absolutely insufficient and that their disability benefits were wrongfully terminated. Werner doesn’t understand why he was staked out after nine doctors told him that he was unable to work. Investigators waited outside his doctors office in order to film him in action. Werner’s lawyer, Mindy Chmielarz who is a partner for the DI Law Group, said “planning surveillance and setting up your investigator in the doctor’s office parking lot is dirty pool, you know you are going to get some type of activity, no matter how minimal it may be.”

The Hartford issued a statement in defense after the GMA piece aired, saying that they conduct surveillance in less than five percent of its long-term disability claims, and that in less than two percent of all of their cases investigated using surveillance are disability benefits terminated. Regardless of the amount of people this investigative surveillance affects, the question remains: Are The Hartford’s tactics fair?  Tell us what you think in the comments section.