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Long-Term Disability Benefits & Chronic Respiratory Diseases

Long-Term Disability Benefits & Chronic Respiratory Diseases

Long-Term Disability Benefits and Chronic Respiratory Disease

Chronic respiratory disease can be classified as a group of lung diseases which are characterized by long-term breathing problems and reduced lung function. There are many different types of chronic respiratory diseases, including lung cancer, asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. Chronic respiratory diseases often develop over time, and they can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, environmental exposures, and lifestyle choices. Chronic respiratory diseases can be very serious, and they can lead to a number of complications, including difficulty breathing, pneumonia, and heart failure. Treatment for chronic respiratory diseases often includes medications, pulmonary rehabilitation, and oxygen therapy. In severe cases, a lung transplant may be necessary.

Currently, there is no cure for chronic respiratory diseases. While supportive technologies and products are available, living with CRDs can be a struggle that affects daily life choices and can even interfere with someone’s ability to work.  Chronic respiratory diseases are one of the leading causes of long-term disability. People with chronic respiratory diseases may find it difficult to breathe, to stay active, and to complete everyday tasks. Chronic respiratory diseases can also compromise the quality of a person’s work, making it harder for them to meet deadlines or perform complex tasks. In some cases, people with chronic respiratory diseases may be forced to leave their jobs entirely. Chronic respiratory diseases poses a serious challenge to both workers and employers.

If you suffer from some form of chronic respiratory disease and have been denied long-term disability, call our Hamilton disability lawyers today for your free consultation. We are located in Hamilton, but we serve claimants in Ontario, throughout Canada. Matt Lalande has been representing disability claimants since 2003 and has recovered tens of millions of dollars in wrongfully denied disability benefits.

Call us local at 905-333-8888 or toll-free no matter where you are in Canada at 1-844-LALANDE. Alternatively, you can send us a confidential email through our website.

Types of Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRDs)

In Canada, over 3 million people suffer from asthma, and close to 2 million have COPD. Along with these two major conditions, there are a number of other CRDs which can cause discomfort, physical pain, mental stress and, in many cases, long-term disability that could affect your ability to work – leading of course, to disabled persons to rely on their long-term disability benefits.

Asthma: more than 3.8 million Canadians suffer from asthma and according to Statistics Canada, and asthma accounts for about 3,000 deaths each year. Asthma occurs when muscles around the airway become inflamed and swell up, causing tightening in the airway which limits the flow of air in and out of the body. Asthma is a serious chronic respiratory disease that affects the lungs. It is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, and it can also occur in adults. asthma. Asthma symptoms include shortness of breath, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, and wheezing. asthma can be triggered by allergens, exercise, cold air, strong emotions, and other factors. asthma is a serious medical condition that can often interfere with employment and other activities.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): often occurring alongside emphysema as comorbid conditions, COPD is a chronic respiratory disease that develops as a result of inflammation in the lungs. It is a serious lung condition that can affect a person’s ability to work. COPD is a leading cause of death and disability in Canada, and the number of people living with COPD is increasing. COPD is a progressive disease, which means it gets worse over time – it does NOT get better. COPD is also a fatal disease. In fact, COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada. There are many different types of COPD, and each type can have different symptoms and severity. COPD can be caused by smoking, exposure to second-hand smoke, or exposure to other airborne pollutants. COPD is a preventable and treatable disease, but there is no cure. If you have COPD, it is important to quit smoking and to avoid exposure to airborne pollutants. If you are exposed to second-hand smoke or other airborne pollutants, it is important to get checked by a doctor and to get treated early. COPD is a serious disease that can have a significant impact on your quality of life – and ability to continue one’s own or any occupation.

Emphysema: is a slowly progressive lung disease characterized by destruction of the alveolar walls. Emphysema results in impaired gas exchange and compromise of the ability to work. Emphysema is a fatal disease, with about 3,600 deaths each year in Canada. The number of new cases diagnosed each year has been increasing, although the overall mortality rate has been declining. Emphysema is one of the most common causes of work disability in Canada. The prevalence of Emphysema is estimated to be about 1% of the entire Canadian population. Emphysema is more common in men than women. The average age of death from Emphysema is about 70 years. Emphysema is a leading cause of death in Canada for people aged 65 and over.this condition can result in the alveoli weakening to the point of breakage. Recovering alveoli are unable to absorb the same level of oxygen and can lead to additional complications like holes in the lung, pneumothorax or a collapsed lung.

Chronic Bronchitis: is a type of lung disease that is characterized by the inflammation of the bronchi, the tubes that carry air to the lungs. Chronic bronchitis typically develops slowly and gets worse over time. People with chronic bronchitis often experience coughing and shortness of breath. Chronic bronchitis can be caused by a number of different things, including smoking, exposure to fumes or dust, and infections. Chronic bronchitis is a serious condition that can no doubt compromise a person’s ability to work the substantial duties or one’s own occupation, or any occupation. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, chronic bronchitis is one of the leading causes of disability in Canada. If you have chronic bronchitis, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your options for treatment. There are a number of different treatments available for chronic bronchitis, and your doctor will be able to help you find the best option for you.

Lung Cancer: is a type of cancer that starts in the lungs. The lungs are two spongy organs in your chest that take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Despite advances in the detection, pathological diagnosis and therapeutics of lung cancer, many people unfortunately still develop advanced, incurable and progressively fatal disease – it is the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in Canada. Lung cancer kills more people than any other type of cancer. Lung cancer is typically caused by smoking tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke, or exposure to air pollution. Lung cancer can also be caused by lung diseases such as tuberculosis. Lung cancer can have a tremendous affect a person’s ability to work. Lung cancer can make it hard to breathe, which can compromise a person’s ability to work. It can also make it hard to think clearly, which can make compromise a person’s ability to do mental work. Many employees end up suffering from fatigue related issues, concentration issues and decreased work ability associated with type of treatment (chemotherapy), treatment-related side-effects that they are experiencing.

Cystic Fibrosis: is a life-threatening genetic disorder that mainly affects the lungs and digestive system. The primary symptom of cystic fibrosis is persistent respiratory infections that can damage the lungs and compromise a person’s ability to work. cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease in Canada, affecting about one in 3,600 children born each year. In people with cystic fibrosis, mutations in a gene called CFTR cause the body to produce thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and intestine. This mucus also promotes bacterial growth, leading to recurrent infections, inflammation, and eventual lung damage. In recent years, advances in treatment have dramatically improved the outlook for people with cystic fibrosis. However, the disease still takes a toll on patients and their families. People with cystic fibrosis typically have a shortened life expectancy and must contend with a range of symptoms that can compromise their ability to work.

According to Statistics Canada, about 12% of Canadians aged 15 and over reported having a disability that limited their ability to work in 2015. For people with cystic fibrosis, this figure is likely even higher. While there is no cure for cystic fibrosis, early diagnosis and treatment can help people manage the disease and enjoy a better quality of life. Cystic fibrosis is a chronic, progressive disease that affects many different systems in the body, including the lungs and digestive system. cystic fibrosis can compromise a person’s ability to work, making it difficult to maintain employment. The symptoms of cystic fibrosis can make it hard to perform even the most basic job duties, such as standing for long periods of time or lifting heavy objects. Many disabled persons with cystic fibrosis end up replying on long-term disability benefits if they cannot work.

Pneumonia: inflammation within the lungs causes the build up of fluid. Many individuals with pneumonia exhibit cold-like symptoms, such as wet coughing, fevers, and difficulty breathing.

Pleural effusion: when there is an excess amount of liquid around the lungs, it becomes difficult for an individual to breathe as a result of the extra resistance limiting the expansion and contraction of the lungs. Pleural effusion can cause chest pain and difficulty breathing.

Tuberculosis: is a bacterial infection that usually attacks the lungs. It is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Tuberculosis is a serious illness, and in some cases, it can be fatal. According to the World Health Organization, tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. In Canada, tuberculosis is not as common as it is in other parts of the world. However, the Canadian Tuberculosis Reporting System shows that there were nearly 2,000 cases of tuberculosis in Canada in 2017. Tuberculosis can compromise one’s ability to work. The disease can make it difficult to breathe, and it can make people feel very tired. In some cases, people with tuberculosis need to take time off from work to recover. Tuberculosis can also be expensive to treat. The cost of treatment can add up, and in some cases, people with tuberculosis may need to pay for special equipment or medication.

Symptoms of Chronic Respiratory Disease

Regardless of the type of chronic respiratory disease, many of the symptoms are related to the impact that it has on an individual’s ability to breathe. CRDs like emphysema and COPD can compromise the integrity of the lung organ, while conditions like pneumonia and pleural effusion can make it difficult to expand the lungs due to fluid build-up. As a result, many individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Difficulty speaking as a result of breathlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Chest tightness
  • A chronic cough that may produce mucus (sputum) that may be clear, white, yellow or greenish.
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Lack of energy
  • Unintended weight loss (in later stages)
  • Swelling in ankles, feet or legs

The fact that chronic respiratory diseases do not have any cure can have a heavy mental toll on an individual who has to live their life knowing that there may never be an end to the symptoms they experience. In addition to the physical symptoms that can result from different CRDs, many individuals also suffer from mental conditions as a direct result of their chronic respiratory disease:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Memory difficulties
  • Mood swings

In severe cases, chronic respiratory disease can lead to hospitalization. According to Statistics Canada, about 3% of Canadians aged 12 and over reported being hospitalized as a result of their chronic respiratory disease in 2015/2016. This figure is likely even higher for people with more severe forms of CRD. Furthermore, as the diseases get worse, it is not uncommon for an individual’s quality of life to decline significantly from where it was before the diagnosis. This is often the case in CRDs like COPD, where the individual may slowly lose the ability to do things that they once enjoyed, like going for walks or even spending time with family and friends.

Causes of Chronic Respiratory Disease

While there are chronic respiratory diseases where it’s unclear what the direct cause may be, some common environmental and lifestyle factors lead to an increased risk of developing a CRD.

Genetics: as with any other chronic condition, genetics can play a role in developing certain chronic respiratory diseases. For example, CF is an inherited disease that is caused by a mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. There’s also indications that asthma can be passed down genetically from parents to children.

Age: as we age, our bodies become less efficient and more susceptible to developing chronic conditions and diseases. This is particularly true for those over the age of 65 who may have a weakened immune system or other health conditions that could lead to developing a CRD.

Lifestyle: long-term exposure to cigarette smoke is one of the most significant risk factors for developing chronic respiratory diseases like COPD, bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer. Other lifestyle choices that may increase the risk of developing a CRD include long-term exposure to environmental and occupational irritants like dust, fumes and chemicals, which can be the case for individuals working in certain industries like mining or manufacturing.

Environmental: living in an urban environment exposes individuals to higher levels of air pollution which can contribute to the development of chronic respiratory diseases. Air pollution is made up of particles like dust, smoke and chemicals that can irritate and damage the lungs when inhaled.

Chronic respiratory diseases can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. These diseases can result in long-term symptoms and complications that may make working difficult or impossible. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a chronic respiratory disease, it’s important to speak with a long-term disability lawyer like Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers to learn about your legal options.

Living and working with chronic respiratory disease

CRD affects individuals ranging in age from children to seniors. Working-age adults are one of the largest segments of people who suffer from CRD. It’s estimated that CRD costs Canadians approximately $12.02 billion in health care costs and lost productivity each year.

Chronic respiratory diseases are a leading cause of hospitalization in Canada. In fact, COPD is the fourth leading cause of hospitalization for adults aged 65 years and older. These diseases can also lead to long-term disability and premature death. According to Statistics Canada, the number of deaths caused by CRDs has been on the rise in recent years. Since 2000, the number of deaths related to CRDs has increased by 18%, which is particularly alarming since there is no cure for CRDs. For some individuals, the long-term effects of a CRD can be debilitating and, in some cases, can lead to a long-term disability.

While there is no cure for CRD, long-term disability lawyers can help those suffering from the disease to get the benefits and compensation they need to support themselves.

The impact of chronic respiratory disease on daily life

Chronic respiratory diseases’ long-term nature can significantly impact every aspect of an individual’s life. Many individuals with CRDs find that their symptoms limit their ability to work and participate in activities they once enjoyed. Many individuals find that their symptoms limit their ability to participate in activities with friends and family which can lead to social isolation and feelings of loneliness.

As the disease progresses, it is not uncommon for individuals to give up work entirely due to chronic respiratory disease. This can significantly impact an individual and their family, as they may no longer have the income they rely on. Long-term disability benefits can be a vital source of income for these individuals, and long-term disability lawyers can help claimants secure the benefits they need.

Can Chronic Respiratory Disease Compromise Employment?

If a person suffers a serious chronic respiratory disease, such as lung cancer or COPD (to the most common lung diseases in Canada) then his or her ability to work can be compromised. Many people who suffer from lung cancer or COPD may suffer serious symptoms, such as shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, weight loss, pain, chest pain, chronic cough, problems with memory, attention etc.

Even with advanced treatment options, many cancer survivors and persons with COPD may go on to develop psychological disturbances, depression and mood disorders, mental or behavioral disorders – all of which are inextricably linked to a poor or delayed return to work – and the need for long-term disability benefits. Long-term disability benefits are available for persons suffering chronic respiratory disease, if he or she is unable to return to work. Unfortunately, many disability carriers override doctor’s orders and come to the conclusion that when treatment is done, the person return to work. This is certainly not the case.

If you are unable to own employment or occupation, within two years of the onset of your chronic respiratory disease, then you will be entitled to long-term disability benefits. Then, after 24 months, if you are unable to complete the substantial duties of any occupation for which you are reasonably suited by education training and experience, you will be entitled to long-term disability benefits until the age of 65 years old in most cases. 

Chronic Respiratory Disease and denied Long-Term Disability Benefits? Contact our Hamilton Disability Lawyers today.

If you suffer from a chronic respiratory disease and your long-term disability benefits have been wrongfully denied are terminated, it’s important that you contact our Hamilton disability lawyers today. Since 2003, Matt Lalande has recovered tens of millions in wrongfully denied long-term disability benefits for disabled claimants were going to the worst times of their lives. Stop struggling with a faceless insurance company – and call our Hamilton disability lawyers to get your free consultation today. We represent claimants all over Ontario can help you get your long-term disability benefits back on track.

Our consultations are 100% free – and if you decide to work with our Hamilton disability lawyers, the fee is free. We do not charge our clients anything unless we win their case. We are happy to provide you the legal advice you need in order for you to make an informed decision about your own particular situation.

Call us no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Southern Ontario region at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, you can send us a confidential email through our website – and we would be happy to explain your long-term disability rights and legal options to you, at no cost.

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5 FAQ Article Summary

What is a chronic respiratory disease?

A chronic respiratory disease (CRD) is a long-term lung condition that makes it difficult to breathe. CRDs can be caused by smoking, air pollution, and Dust particles. The most common CRDs are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and emphysema.

Can I get long-term Disability if I suffer from a Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Yes, you can obtain long-term disability benefits if you suffer from a chronic respiratory disease and you are unable to perform the substantial duties of your own occupation.

What happens after two years of disability?

After two years of disability, your insurance company that you are unable to complete the substantial duties of any job for which you may be reasonably suited by way of education training and experience.

How long can I get disability benefits for if I suffer from a chronic respiratory disease?

You can be in receipt of long-term disability benefits up to the age of 65 years old, so long as you satisfy the definition of total disability as it is set out in your disability insurance policy.

Can I get disability benefits for lung cancer?

Yes, you can obtain long-term disability benefits if you suffer from lung cancer, and you are unable to complete the substantial duties of your own employment. After 24 months, if you’re still suffering symptoms or your cancer is recurred, then you would be entitled to long-term disability benefits so long as you are unable to complete the substantial duties of any job for which you are reasonably suited by way of education training and experience.

My disability benefits were stopped, should I hire a disability lawyer to help me

Yes, the longer you wait to hire a disability lawyer, the longer it will take to get your long-term disability benefits back on track. An experience disability lawyer will know how to pursue a disability insurance company for the wrongful denial of long-term disability benefits. Never try to negotiate a claim by yourself and we would always recommend to hire a disability lawyer instead of filing and internal appeals.

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