Disability claims for pain disorders can be difficult
Filing disability claims for disorders such as migraine headaches and fibromyalgia can be challenging.
Author: Attorney Lonnie Roach
If you have a pain or stamina related disabling disease such as fibromyalgia or migraines,
simple everyday tasks can be a challenge.
Migraines are the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world and the 6th most disabling disease.
They tend to run in families and are most common between the ages of 25 to 55 years of age. More than 90% of migraine sufferers are unable to work or perform required tasks normally during their migraine but visible, external signs of this highly debilitating disease are often minimal.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder characterized by fatigue and severe discomfort and is often accompanied by sleep disorders and compromised cognitive functioning.
It affects 2-4 % of the world’s population and is far more common for women than men.
A diagnosis for fibromyalgia typically involves discussion and feedback from the patient since fibromyalgia sufferers typically appear healthy and normal however the effects of the disease can often make even simple tasks nearly impossible.
Disability claims sometimes have a higher likelihood of being denied if the condition by which you are disabled, such as migraines or fibromyalgia, relies heavily on subjective evidence like self-reported pain or fatigue.
Typically, there are no lab tests or x-rays that verify these conditions, so the task of proving your disability becomes much more difficult, though not impossible. Austin disability attorney Lonnie Roach is highly successfully at assisting clients with such claims.
A Floresville client had been found totally disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The SSA found that she had a medically determinable impairment, fibromyalgia, which met the criteria set out in Social Security’s Guidelines. She was presumptively disabled due to fibromyalgia under Social Security’s standards, but Liberty Mutual denied her. Mr. Roach challenged the denial and got her a settlement.
Contact a Social Security disability attorney at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and see if you can get disability benefits while suffering from Migraine Headaches, Fibromyalgia or related ilness. If you have been denied disability don’t give up!
One client from Manor suffered from severe migraines over several years.
She also experienced migratory polyarthralgia and intolerable back and bilateral leg pain that wasn’t responsive to conservative care. Though on many medications, including morphine, a narcotic patch, and Valium, any activity requiring concentration, like work or hobbies, triggered severe migraines. The Social Security Administration declared her disabled. She saw several specialists across the country but was never provided with a successful, long-term treatment option. Her daily narcotic medications left her cognitively impaired and caused her to sleep 12-14 hours each day, making it impossible for her to perform her work duties. After several denials, Bemis, Roach and Reed took MetLife to trial and won a reinstatement of benefits.
Another one of Lonnie’s clients suffered from medical conditions Northwestern Mutual had previously found to be disabling, including chronic fatigue with severe fatigue, widespread muscle/joint pain, recurrent infections, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, sore throat, cognitive dysfunction, and tender points (fibromyalgia).
She had also been diagnosed with Lyme disease. NW Mutual Life denied her claim, saying there was no medical support for a disabling condition that did not fall under the Mental Disorder provision contained in the group policy. The medical, as opposed to psychological, nature of the client’s condition was well supported by her treating physicians, and she had been awarded SSDI benefits. Lonnie fought the denial in court and won her case.
The Hartford did not dispute that our Austin client suffered from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, a significant chronic disease, as well as Fibromyalgia and Polyarticular Inflammatory Arthritis.
According to the record, she suffered near constant oral ulcerations, frequent nasal ulcerations, alopecia (hair loss), fevers, sicca symptoms (dryness of the mouth and eyes), myalgias, Raynaud’s Syndrome, fatigue, and polyarticular inflammatory arthritis. The client’s treating physician stated that the client had been ill since the time she first saw her in April of 2005. The Hartford determined that, since there were no restrictions in the client’s ability to sit, stand, walk, or drive, she was functionally able to perform her job duties. However, her treating physician emphatically stated that she did not have the physical ability to return to her previous job or any similar job. We helped the client fight her denial and were able to get her benefits reinstated.
A Dale, Texas client suffered from pseudotumor cerebri, which causes intractable headaches.
The headaches, in conjunction with pulsatile tinnitus, awoke the client at night and prevented sleep, which caused her to develop symptoms of depression. Her doctor wrote that she was unable to perform the material duties of her occupation or a qualified alternative. A board certified neurologist stated that she was totally disabled due to her multiple conditions which included chronic, daily headaches. SSA awarded SSDI, but Cigna denied her LTD claim. Bemis, Roach & Reed filed a claim and subsequently obtained a settlement.
Disability benefits are an important source of income for those who are unable to work. If you are suffering from the effects of a challenging disease such as fibromyalgia or migraine headaches you may be eligible for disability benefits from either the SSA or a private LTD Long-term disability company. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed for a Free Consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
Author: Attorney Lonnie Roach has been practicing law for over 29 years. He is Superlawyers rated by Thomson Reuters and is Top AV Preeminent® and Client Champion rated by Martindale Hubbell. Through his extensive litigation Mr. Roach obtained board certifications from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Lonnie is admitted to practice in the United States District Court - all Texas Districts and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. Highly experienced in Long Term Disability denials and appeals governed by the “ERISA” Mr. Roach is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Austin Bar Association, and is a past the director of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association (Director 1999-2005) Mr. Roach and all the members of Bemis, Roach & Reed have been active participants in the Travis County Lawyer referral service.
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