Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID)

Common Variable Immune Deficiency, or CVID, is a relatively common disorder that impairs the immune system. People with CVID are highly susceptible to infection from foreign invaders such as bacteria, or more rarely, viruses. Recurrent infections are common, particularly in the lungs, sinuses and ears and often lead to pneumonia. Over time, the frequency of infections can lead to chronic lung disease. Affected individuals may also experience infection or inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, leading to more serious disorders.

Approximately 25 percent of people with CVID have an autoimmune disorder, which occurs when the immune system malfunctions and attacks the body’s tissues and organs. Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and Lupus can occur with people who have CVID. There is currently no cure for this debilitating disease, but various treatments may help relieve symptoms and infections associated with the disease.

The main treatment for persons with CVID is immunoglobulin (Ig) replacement therapy given at frequent intervals for life, which stops the cycle of recurrent infections. In addition to IVIG, some people with severe autoimmune disease may need steroids or other immunosuppressive drugs. CVID is a complicated diagnosis with issues that may be hard to identify and even harder for insurance companies to understand. In addition, persons who receive IVIG treatments may not show their deficiencies in routine bloodwork as the length of the disease progresses.

Insurers often deny coverage for long-term disability after someone has been diagnosed with CVID because they simply don’t understand the ramifications and complications of the disease. If you have been diagnosed with CVID and have been denied your long-term care benefits from companies such as Unum, Hartford or Cigna, the attorneys at Burke Harvey can help. Contact us today for a review of your case.

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