The lawyers at Aaron Waxman & Associates are experienced with Disability, Personal Injury and Employment claims.
One out of every five Canadians lives with chronic pain. Canada is recognizes the importance of pain awareness, as demonstrated by National Pain Awareness Week, which falls on November 2-8, 2014.
As long-term disability lawyers, we recognize that chronic pain can render a person unable to work as pain can interfere with various aspects of a person’s life. Chronic pain is pain that lasts for longer than 6 months and can occur as a result of injury, illness, or without any clear precipitating factor. Examples of conditions that are associated with chronic pain are fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome, arthritis and osteoporosis.
There is a strong connection between chronic pain conditions and psychological wellbeing. For example, people with chronic pain conditions may also experience symptoms of depression. Depression, anxiety and stress affect the body’s ability to cope with pain and may make a person’s pain experience more intense. People who experience ongoing pain may also experience symptoms of fatigue and low energy, making it difficult to perform their usual activities.
Why is awareness so important?
It is important to create awareness and understanding of chronic pain conditions, as these are often “invisible illnesses” and as they are not as easily identified as a fracture or broken bone, insurance companies do not understand their prolonged nature. People who have been receiving long term disability benefits may experience a denial of benefits as a result of their insurance company not understanding the degree of pain they experience and how it limits their ability to work and function.
According to the Canadian Pain Coalition (CPC), 17-31% of the general population reports chronic pain. The Pain Fact Sheet provided by CPC demonstrates that as of June 2014, pain is the most common reason for seeking healthcare, and pain as a presenting complaint accounts for 78% of ER visits.
Statistics Canada’s study of chronic pain between the ages of 12-44 revealed that the most common causes of pain are back pain and migraine headaches. The study found that, chronic pain “was associated with activity limitations and needing help with everyday tasks, and had work-related implications”. The study also found that chronic pain can lead to other health concerns like fatigue, appetite changes and disturbed sleep. Another finding of the study was that “Mental health may be compromised” as chronic pain has been associated with loneliness, anxiety and depression.
If you have experienced a denial of short term or long term disability benefits, for any reason, it is important to know that you can fight your insurance company’s decision. Contact an experienced disability lawyer as soon as possible.
* This blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute legal advice. Please read our disclaimer for further information.
* All of our lawyers are licensed by The Law Society of Upper Canada
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