Legal Insights, Updates and Outcomes

Obtaining Long-term Disability Benefits for Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease, a bacterial infection contracted via ticks, affects roughly 300,000 people per year. In early stages, symptoms generally include flu-like symptoms and may include a bulls-eye shaped rash. Whether treated or not, these symptoms can advance to Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (“PTLDS”) which involves far more serious symptoms including chronic pain, heart complications, neurological problems, arthritis, and more. In addition to the symptoms of PTLDS, patients suffering can also develop depression and anxiety from dealing with the persistent symptoms.

All of these factors combined can greatly impact a person’s ability to continue working. However, it is often difficult for people suffering from Lyme Disease and PTLDS to obtain long term disability benefits. The problem for patients is that the blood tests for Lyme Disease are not regarded as conclusive because of high rates of both false negatives and false positives. As a result, patients without a positive Lyme test may not have data to support their symptoms and be denied benefits. Based on the inconclusive test results, many insurers may label Lyme disease as a mental illness.

While the claim can be challenging, you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits if you are experiencing the debilitating symptoms of Lyme disease or PTLDS. In preparing our Fairfield County and Westchester County disability benefit appeals, the attorneys at ZNC coordinate with your physician, family, employer, and friends to substantiate your symptoms and clearly demonstrate how your ability to work is impaired. The claims process can be daunting and confusing; let us help with both the initial benefits application and any appeals of disability benefit denials. If you are suffering from the symptoms of Lyme Disease, please contact David Rintoul at drintoul@znclaw.com or 203-332-5782 for a free consultation to discuss your disability claim.

This article was co-authored by legal intern, Alyssa Ferreone. Alyssa is not yet admitted to practice law.