Our clients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and/or fibromyalgia will be interested to know that retro-virology researchers have found a virus that might be at the root of chronic fatigue syndrome. More than a million Americans suffer from the disease, which can leave them exhausted even after a good night’s sleep, cause debilitating pain in muscles and joints, and make concentrating difficult. On NPR today, Dr. Daniel Peterson, one of the first to recognize chronic fatigue syndrome, explained the connection between CFS and the XMRV Virus. His interview is at the following link: http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=113650222&m=113650172
This medical breakthrough could help our clients establish their entitlement to long-term disability benefits in a number of ways. First, suffers of chronic fatigue syndrome and/or fibromyalgia are often accused of faking or exaggerating their conditions because they are not measurable through standard tests. Trigger-point testing and client-based reports of the symptoms have been relied on to diagnose and treat these conditions. Trigger-point tests are considered clinical in the sense that they are performed by a doctor and result in a physical reaction by the patient, however, the results are not observable under a microscope like a virus.
In contrast, with a link to a specific virus we are one step closer to establishing a cause, or at a minimum, clinically showing to the insurance carrier and court the virus as a factor correlating to CFS (and possibly fibromyalgia). Secondly, the lack of such clinical objective evidence is what long-term disability carriers, and ultimately the courts, have been using as an excuse to deny benefits to the sufferers of CFS and fibromyalgia.
With this new evidence our firm is in a better position to establish that our clients’ complaints of fatigue and pain are credible by backing it up with a correlation to the XMRV Virus. This will allow our clients to collect LTD benefits until anti-viral medications relieve their symptoms and improve physical and mental functioning.
Alan Olson writes this web-log to provide helpful information regarding long-term disability cases. He practices long-term disability law throughout the United States from his offices in New Berlin, Wisconsin. Attorney Olson may be contacted at [email protected] with questions about the information posted here or for advice on specific disability benefit claims.