Filing for Long-Term Disability for Migraines
Migraine sufferers know the difference between a regular headache and a migraine. The pain is usually severe and accompanied by other symptoms including nausea, vomiting, auras (areas of blurred vision, or bright flashes of light), and an increased sensitivity to light and sound. Unlike most other headaches, migraines are neurologically based and can range in severity from mild to totally debilitating. If you suffer from migraines, it's important to know what the insurance company will look at when it comes to awarding long-term disability for migraines. To learn more, contact CJ Henry Law Firm today.
Living With Migraine Headaches
An occasional migraine headache is an annoyance. But for those who experience recurring migraines, they can impact the performance of daily activities. To alleviate migraine pain, sufferers may retreat into a dark room for several hours or days. Feelings of nausea and vomiting can make episodes physically and emotionally draining.
Treatment for Migraine Headaches
Pain medications, injections, or anti-nausea medication are primarily used to alleviate pain after a migraine develops. Other medications are prescribed to be taken on a regular basis to reduce, or in the best cases, to prevent headaches. Medication used for other conditions such as beta-blockers or anti-depressants may also be prescribed to treat the symptoms of migraine headaches.
Long-Term Disability for Migraine Headaches
If you suffer from chronic migraines and have long-term disability insurance, you should take the time to determine if your insurance company provides benefits for your condition. Guidelines for benefit qualification due to migraine headaches may be vague to non-existent. But you must be able to prove the need for a long-term disability benefit.
The insurance company will assess how headaches affect your ability to function and to what extent. Some of the symptoms relevant to an LTD claim include lack of concentration, decreased ability to recall information, difficulty maintaining normal interaction with others, and difficulties lifting, walking, or standing.
Insurance providers will also want to know the frequency of the attacks and how often they result in an absence from work. Additionally, they will explore whether or not you have other conditions that may exacerbate your ability to work such as back injuries.
Medical Evidence and Medical Records
A primary factor in qualifying for long-term disability is the on-going treatment for your headaches. The subjective information you provide will be considered by insurance companies, but documentation of treatment will carry more weight in the deliberation process. Since there is no single test available to determine a migraine diagnosis, the process is often one of elimination. When reporting symptoms to your physician, be sure to include any family history of migraines. Your doctor may order additional tests, such as a CT scan or MRI to rule out various causes for your headaches.
The following types of documentation and evidence should be in your medical file.
- Doctor's notes detailing the frequency and severity of your headaches
- Test results conducted to rule out other conditions
- A complete list of medications you are currently taking or have taken before without success
- Other treatments you have tried to gain relief
- Records that document visits to other medical facilities such as to the emergency room or in-patient hospitalization related to your migraines
You may be asked to have your doctor complete a report or questionnaire about your diagnosis and limitations. There are certain cases when an insurance company may ask other family members to provide information.
Qualifying for Long-Term Disability for Migraines
The first thing you should know about qualifying for long-term disability benefits for migraines is that it can be an uphill battle. Insurance companies scrutinize self-reported medical claims more closely than for other types of illnesses. This often results in a denial of claims. Be sure your claim is complete and contains as much of the documentation listed above as possible. If you submit a claim supported by mostly your account of symptoms, your chance of having your claim denied increases.
Keep these tips in mind when applying for disability benefits associated with migraine headaches.
- Keep a journal of your migraines and include the duration, symptoms and how severity of each occurrence.
- List the daily activities affected by your migraine, i.e. inability to drive, dizziness when standing, etc.
- It is better to list all your symptoms rather than exclude those you see as not important
If Your Claim Is Denied
When the insurance company receives your claim, a claims agent may contact you. He or she will verify information and may request additional information. He or she will then make a determination to either approve or deny your claim. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision.
For Questions About Filing for Long-Term Disability for Migraines
To learn more about filing for long-term disability for migraines, contact the CJ Henry Law Firm today.