Long Term Disability and Huntington’s Disease



Can I apply for Long Term Disability if I suffer from Huntington’s Disease?

Huntington’s Disease

If you have been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease you will more likely than not be entitled to apply for and receive long-term disability benefits. Huntington’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that stems from the name Huntingtin – which is a protein that is coded by defective genes codes in a person’s DNA or genetic code. The disease was first discovered by Dr. George Huntington in the late 1800. In the US, about 1 in 10,000 carry the genetic defect. Approximately 1 in 7000 people in Canada has Huntington’s Disease.  The disease is an inherited disorder. – meaning that a person only needs to inherit the abnormal gene from one parent – i.e. a person has a 50% chance of inheriting the gene from an affected parent which causes the illness. Males and females of any race and any culture have the same risk of inheriting the disease.

Is Huntington’s disease a fatal disorder?

Unfortunately, yes. Huntington’s is a progressive disease – the symptoms and brain degeneration gradually worsen. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is around 15-20 years after the onset of visible symptoms.  Currently, there is currently no known cure for Huntington’s disease and even worse, there is no way to slow or stop the progressive brain degeneration that the diseases causes.  Eventually a person will more likely than not require 24 hour care.

What are the symptoms of Huntington’s Disease?

The disease normally affects a carrier of the gene between the ages of 28 to 50. The disease is called a “progressive brain disorder” disease, which means that the nerve cells in your brain break down over time.   The most common symptoms of Huntington’s disease are the uncontrolled movements of the upper extremities, head and face.   Other symptoms which progressively worsen are:

  • Uncontrolled and increased body movement
  • Uncontrolled and increased head movement
  • Uncontrolled and increased arm and extremity movement
  • Progressive issues with cognitive abilities – i.e. thinking, recalling information and understanding
  • Proper judgment
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep issues
  • Problems walking
  • Slipping, tripping and falling
  • Major frustration with losing mental abilities and with uncontrolled movements
  • Major fatigue can be caused by constant uncontrolled body movement and the lack of sleep
  • Major depression

Have you been Diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease?

Diagnosis is not always easy because symptoms vary from person to person – but if you have been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease you may be entitled to long term disability benefits. Normally when the diagnosis occurs symptoms have set in – albeit they could be minor at the time. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease often causes major frustration and depression among persons which causes them to be unable to work or perform their duties of their own occupation.

Have you been Denied Long-Term Disability?

If you have been diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease and your disability carrier has denied your disability benefits – please call us. We represent claimants province-wide throughout Ontario in all aspects of disability law.  It is important to remember that  you are normally entitled to long-term disability benefits if you are unable to complete the duties of your own job during the 24 months after the onset of symptoms.   After 24 months there is a change of definition of total disability – which means that in order to qualify for long-term disability benefits after 24 months you must be unable to perform any job for which you are reasonably trained by education, training and experience.

We serve claimants province-wide at all stages of disability. Call us at 905-333-8888 or at 1-833-4-LAWFIRM for more information. Alternatively you can fill in a contact form or chat with our live operator 24/7, who will be happy to set up an appointment with you.