Migraines and Long-Term Disability
Millions of Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Some people get them only occasionally, while others suffer from frequent, chronic migraines that significantly diminish their ability to reliably perform the important duties of their occupations. As a result, those who suffer from chronic disabling migraine headaches may try to qualify for individual or group long-term disability benefits.
To successfully claim benefits from an individual or group long-term disability insurer, you will certainly face an uphill battle, as headaches are a self-reported illness. If you’re experiencing migraine headaches that interfere with your ability to perform the material and substantial duties of your occupation, contact the experienced long-term disability lawyers and skilled ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw today to schedule a free consultation.
What Are Migraine Headaches?
Migraine headaches are severe, debilitating headaches that may last for several hours, or in some cases, for several days. They often take place concurrently with a sensitivity to light and sound, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, and can result in crushing fatigue.
Doctors do not know what exactly causes migraines headaches, but believe they are neurological in nature and originate in the brain stem. group long-term disability benefits, there are numerous possible triggers, including:
- Food and alcohol
- Family history of migraines
- group long-term disability benefits
- Hormonal changes
The Mayo Clinic also states that women are three times more likely than men to suffer from migraine headaches.
Do I Have a Valid Individual or Group Disability Insurance Claim?
Migraines are typically self-reported, meaning that physicians diagnose them based on a patient’s reported symptoms, not the results of any true objective tests. In any individual or group long-term disability claim, the insurance company is going to want compelling medical evidence and proof—a diagnostic test or other strong indication that demonstrates that you have a defined medical condition that prevents you from performing the important duties of your occupation. Rather than denying claims based on self-reported conditions outright, many individual or group long-term disability insurers limit the length of time that a claimant can receive benefits to 12, 18, or 24 months.
If you suffer from migraine headaches that cause you to miss work or you are unable to reliably perform the important duties of your occupation, a stellar disability attorney or prominent group ERISA lawyer at DarrasLaw can provide a completely free disability policy analysis and free claim consultation to help you understand your options.
Where Do I Start?
Assuming that you have already gone to your treating doctor, a good place to begin is by keeping a headache and pain journal in which you track:
- Dates and number of hours you missed work or could not perform the important duties of your occupation due to migraines
- Duration and severity of each migraine, along with additional symptoms you experienced (nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, etc.)
- Impacts upon daily life, even small inconveniences
- Documenting the frequency, intensity, and severity of your migraines is very important documentation to keep and continuously update
This medical data will not only help a seasoned long-term individual disability lawyer or award-winning group ERISA attorney at DarrasLaw evaluate your valid individual or group disability claim, but may also persuade your insurance company that you are in fact disabled and unable to perform the important duties of your occupation as a result of your migraines.
Do I Need to See My Treating Doctor?
Maybe you suffered from migraines for years, and your treating doctor diagnosed you with migraine headaches long ago. You must still see your treating doctor, especially if your migraines have increased in severity, frequency, or intensity. Insurance companies want to see preventative medicines prescribed along with abortive medicines when migraines strike. They also look for emergency room visits and periodic treatment from a neurologist.
Keep in mind that there is no objective, admissible test for migraine headaches. Your treating doctor diagnoses you based on the symptoms you describe. Make sure that you tell your treating doctor everything, and carefully relay even your minor problems. Discuss with your treating doctor whether any tests might rule out underlying causes. Finally, your treating doctor may prescribe medication or other treatments that may help alleviate or prevent your migraines.
A successful claim application will require that you submit current, detailed medical records, prescriptions filled, and other documentation—especially in the complicated group ERISA disability claims process.
What if I Have Other Chronic Issues?
If you have other issues that limit your daily occupational activities and ability to reliably perform the important duties of your occupation, you may fit the definition of disabled when they are taken into consideration with your migraines. Raise these issues with one of DarrasLaw’s nationally respected individual disability attorneys or preeminent national group ERISA lawyers when discussing whether you qualify for individual or group disability coverage.
How Does the Individual or Group ERISA Disability Claim Process Work?
Don’t make a fatal claim mistake. Consult one of the top-rated individual disability attorneys or award-winning group ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw as early in the disability claims process as possible. A seemingly small error can irreparably damage your claim and jeopardize your chances of ever obtaining individual or group long-term disability benefits, especially in complicated and unforgiving group ERISA claims.
After you submit a valid claim application for benefits to your individual or group long-term disability insurance provider, a claims examiner will review your file and all of the related documentation you submitted. Be thinking about before and after witness statements, medical reports, your treating physician’s chart notes and complete medical records and testing, pharmacy records, and your treating doctor’s detailed opinion on why you are unable to work due to your disabling migraines. Don’t forget to always fill in your headache log.
The claims examiner may take whatever steps the insurance company deems necessary to investigate your valid claim. They may interview you, repeatedly request additional or duplicative records, or subject you to so-called “independent medical exams” with often improperly credentialed insurance company-paid doctors. A nationally respected individual disability attorney or premier ERISA lawyer from DarrasLaw can help prepare you for these claim hurdles.
Once the occupational, financial, and medical review is complete, the claims examiner determines whether to approve your valid disability claim.
If your claim is approved, your individual or group long-term disability insurance carrier will begin paying your benefits. Don’t get lulled into a false sense that your disability carrier will now pay you until the policy ends. Initial grants of coverage are terrific. Just make sure you were filling your prescriptions, going to the doctor, and maintaining your headache log.
If you need to file an administrative appeal or federal ERISA lawsuit, an experienced individual disability attorney or skilled ERISA lawyer at DarrasLaw can help you. In a group ERISA claim, you do not have the same rights as an individual disability policyholder. You can only use the medical records, statements, and documentation you and your carrier used in the underlying claim and your group administrative appeal during any federal court ERISA litigation. You generally can’t go back and present any new, additional evidence in federal court ERISA cases. The federal judge will review the underlying record and will generally only overturn the insurer’s decision if it was arbitrary and capricious.
Consulting one of DarrasLaw’s top-rated ERISA disability lawyers before you file your claim application or before making fatal administrative appeal mistakes can help ensure the best possible outcome of your case.
Contact a Top-Rated Long-Term Disability Attorney or Renowned ERISA Attorney at DarrasLaw for Help
With more than 100 years of combined litigation and claim experience, the nationally respected long-term individual disability insurance attorneys and award-winning group ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw know how to fight for individual and group long-term disability benefits on behalf of the injured and sick—and we win. We can help properly evaluate your disability claim and analyze the terms and limitations of your individual or group long-term disability insurance policy for free. We can also advise you about your options and help you fight a wrongful delay, denial, or termination of your individual or group long-term disability benefits.
If migraines prevent you from performing the important duties of your occupation, schedule a completely free disability policy analysis and free claim consultation with one of DarrasLaw’s stellar California disability attorneys or nationally recognized ERISA disability lawyers today by calling (800) 458-4577 or contacting us online.