What to do if I’ve been denied a disability claim due to an allegedpre-existing injury?

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What to do if I’ve been denied a disability claim due to an allegedpre-existing injury?

I had an accident about 20-30 years ago but I was cleared and there was no continuing issue from the accident. I’ve been able to work all these years fine without handicap. Then I had an accident at work to the same body part. How they found record I do not know, especially because of HIPPA. Now theey are saying that my condition it is due to a pre-existing injury. Is there anything I can do to fight back? Clearly if I’ve been fine working for 30 years I cannot see how they’d use that to deny disability benefits.

Asked on February 19, 2012 under Personal Injury, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can appeal the denial, and/or bring a lawsuit seeking a declaration that you are entitled to benefits. In your appeal or legal action, you would present evidence showing that the pre-existing injury did not, in fact, cause the disability. The fact that you had an injury to a certain body part is, by itself, not necessarly relevant; you may be entitled to compensation or benefits for whatever loss of function (i.e. whatever disability) was caused by the recent accident. In fact, even if there was some previous loss of function, you should be able to collect for any increase in disability arising from the new accident.

You should retain an attorney to help you pursue compensation; a lawyer will know how best to try to vindicate your rights.


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