The increasing diabetes epidemic among people from all walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds has made the purchase of disability insurance a higher priority. While a growing array of drugs has enabled many individuals who suffer with diabetes to live a full life without significant limitations, diabetes can still impair the ability of the afflicted to continue in their chosen occupation or to participate in gainful employment. Because insurance carriers often stubbornly refuse to pay disability claims or discontinue such claims for specious reasons, many people with legitimate claims find they must resort to litigation to enforce their contractual rights.
A study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinoloy journal found that individuals with diabetes are fifty percent more likely than non-diabetics to experience a disability. Although diabetes drugs are designed to alleviate the symptoms of diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels, the drugs can have debilitating side effects that limit their ability to prevent long term disability. The study results raise concerns that the increased incidence of diabetes combined with the rising cost of health care will lead to a higher volume of denied or terminated disability benefit claims.
The study evaluated the probability of impairment in a range of activities between diabetic and non-diabetic individuals including the following:
- Using a telephone
- Handling financial matters
- Taking care of personal hygiene & dressing
- Preparing meals and eating
The senior author of the study indicated that diabetes increases the risk of disability by 50-80 percent compared to those who do not have diabetes. This result was true for all types of disability.
The specific probability of particular disabilities being associated with diabetes is indicated below:
- Difficulty walking: 71 percent
- Shopping, phone use and transportation: 65 percent or higher
- Personal hygiene, dressing and eating: 82 percent or higher
These kinds of limitations could easily result in an individual being unable to work. When people purchase a disability policy, they anticipate that the disability coverage will provide income replacement on a short term or long term basis. While this is a reasonable expectation, many disability claimants have their claim delayed, denied, or terminated based on bad faith practices.
The majority of individuals that purchase long term disability insurance policies do so as part of their employment compensation benefits. These benefits are often governed by the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). While ERISA imposes a multitude of regulations, these restrictions and standards are rarely enforced by the Department of Labor. This regulatory void means that insurance carriers often feel safe to engage in bad faith practices especially when the claimant is not represented by an experienced long term disability claims insurance attorney.
You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].