Success Story: Sonny Costa
Sonny was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was just 14 years old. He spent his whole life being careful, a necessity given concerns around the long-term ramifications of the disease. Despite his best efforts, by the age of 42, he started to develop diabetic nephropathy, also known as kidney disease. By this point, Sonny was a father of two kids, had a great home, and a wonderful partner in his wife, Denise. They’d built the life they’d always wanted, but now things were going to get more complicated. A mechanic, Sonny had to start making some concessions at work. Due to the kidney disease, he was having difficulty keeping up with the day-to-day activities that used to be a breeze. At first, the symptoms were manageable but as things progressed, he started to feel nauseous, suffered from shortness of breath, weakness, and started to become easily confused. He was retaining a lot of fluid which made moving around uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Sonny tried doing desk work, but eventually, he just had to stay at home. As the kidney failure progressed, Sonny applied for long-term disability in order to go on dialysis and get on the transplant list for a new kidney. His claim was approved, and he was able to stay at home and conserve his energy while he went through treatment. Fortunately, Denise was a perfect match, and able to give him a kidney. They went ahead with the transplant, which gave Sonny a new lease on life, but he wasn’t out of the woods yet with a long recovery process. Unfortunately, his insurance company didn’t see it this way. Six months after Sonny had the transplant, he was now deemed ineligible for his long-term disability benefits. They were to stop immediately. Because he’d had the transplant and no longer needed to be on dialysis or live with the symptoms of kidney failure, they believed he should be good to return to work. The insurance company closed his file. Sonny and Denise wasted no time in finding help. They asked around, trying to find a disability lawyer. One of Denise’s coworkers suggested Share Lawyers and they came in for a consultation. Immediately we knew they had a case. Cases like these are often dependent on having strong medical evidence to prove that the condition does, in fact, merit continuing time off work. There are also strict time limits to fight the insurance company’s decision. Thankfully, Sonny and Denise came to us in time. We assisted Sonny in gathering more medical information to support that he cannot return to work as a mechanic. After a very difficult fight, we were able to get Sonny his benefits going back to when he was cut-off and several years into the future. Sonny is hoping to get back to work in the next few years, but his health is the families number one concern. *All names and identifying details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of all involved.