Success Story: Heather Abram
*Names have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of our clients.
Waiting for a diagnosis when you know you are sick can be a stressful ordeal. Experiencing physical symptoms that seemingly have no medical reason can be a psychological and emotional roller coaster.
On top of that, trying to claim disability benefits with your insurance company without a solid medical diagnosis can further complicate the process. Today,
Share Lawyers shares the story of Heather and her journey of achieving insurance benefits while struggling without a diagnosis.
The first thing people usually notice about Heather is her infectious smile. Always positive and warm, Heather is the kind of person who always looks on the bright side of things. A native to Calgary, Heather worked as a customer relations advisor for a major energy company and loved the interactions with people that her job provides.
Five years ago, her doctor told her she had degenerative disc disease, but she didn’t let that get her down. She was only 40 years old and she knew that if she took care of herself, she would be able to manage her pain.
She started going to the local community center and using the pool to exercise at least three times a week. She avoided lifting heavy objects and even moved into a new house that required fewer stairs and had easier accessibility.
But Heather knew something else was wrong when she started getting totally winded from minimal activity. She found that she was unable to stay asleep at night, even though she was exhausted all day.
She thought it might have to do with her back, so she went to a pain specialist. This specialist referred her to a neurologist, who eventually sent her to a sleep specialist. However, none of them were able to see anything that would be causing these symptoms. While she was given the run around, her symptoms were getting worse.
Heather became unable to focus on her job. It was scary for her when she would climb a short set of stairs and feel like she just couldn’t catch her breath. Her brain was foggy and she always felt fatigued. She had an upcoming appointment with a cardiologist, but had to wait some time before their first meeting.
She applied for short term benefits, to help hold her over in the time before meeting with the cardiologist. But, because there was no medical diagnosis or doctor who could confidently say what was wrong with her, her claim was denied. She couldn’t go on like this. As her health failed her, her cheery disposition began to get worn down, and she knew she wouldn’t be effective at her job. While desperately researching online to find some answers, she found the Share Lawyers website and contacted them to help her pursue her claim. Share Lawyers began the process, understanding how essential it was to get Heather her insurance benefits.
After a few months, she was able to see the cardiologist who was finally able to determine that Heather had a rare heart condition that required surgery. The surgery was scheduled 6 months into the future, and there was going to be months of rehab following. Heather was relieved that she finally had a diagnosis and assumed the insurance company would approve her claim. But her insurance company said she could keep working until the surgery.
Heather had a sinking feeling when she heard the news. She knew she wouldn’t be able to work, and felt frustrated. Her claim was originally denied because there was no diagnosis. Now that there was a diagnosis, they still denied her?
Share Lawyers was there to help Heather through this situation. They proceeded to pursue the matter by taking legal action and were able to negotiate a favourable settlement that included the benefits owing plus a lump sum amount for future benefits, allowing Heather to focus on her health and have something to fall back on while she obtained the medical care she required. Sometimes obtaining a definitive diagnosis takes considerable time but this does not mean that you cannot receive disability insurance benefits. If you find yourself in this situation do not hesitate to contact Share Lawyers to see if they can help you too!
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