Prior to becoming disabled, Mrs. C was an eighth grade English literature teacher in southern California. In 1996, Mrs. C began experiencing pain in her muscles and joints as well as fatigue and disturbed sleep. Her physicians soon diagnosed her with various connective tissue disorders, including: Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, atypical lupus , Raynaud’s phenomenon, fibromyalgia and muti-nodular goiter. She was experiencing pain in a number of small joints in her upper extremities, as well as her knees, ankles and hands. The stress and emotional toll was even causing her to experience hair loss. In 2002, Mrs. C was forced to stop working and file a claim for disability benefits under her long-term disability policy provided through her teacher’s association. After reviewing her claim and giving careful consideration to the medical evidence, the disability insurer approved Mrs. C’s claim and began paying total disability benefits.

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