June is National Migraine Awareness Month, and we would like to recognize this by discussing a few current news articles and events surrounding migraines and how this misunderstood affliction affects our readers who suffer from migraines. Migraines are very common in the United States, with the World Health Organization estimating that 37 million people suffer from them. This includes 17 percent of women and 8 percent of men in the U.S. that experience some form of the condition. Caused by many different triggers, there is no singular definitive cause for migraines, but many studies and tests increasingly point to types of hyperactivity in the brain. New studies are beginning to shine some light on the causes of these debilitating headaches and how people can help mitigate the effects of migraines and continue to successfully contribute in their careers. Continue reading
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, often called CFS, is a debilitating condition that is still relatively ambiguous to the medical field. CFS is also referred to as Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). Led by persistent, unexplained, recurring feelings of exhaustion, CFS can have debilitating side effects, leaving the sufferer unable to perform most daily tasks or hold a steady job. Disability insurance companies label cases of CFS as self-diagnosed conditions, somewhat similar to Fibromyalgia, making CFS based disability claims much more difficult to get approved. Developing solid, concrete evidence is critical. Today I am going to describe the symptoms that are often present with CFS and how to present the information needed for a successful disability insurance claim. Continue reading
Modern pharmaceuticals have been responsible for many medical advances and helped improve the quality of life for many sick and disabled individuals, many of whom receive disability benefits from both the Social Security administration and private disability insurers. With all of the positive news, it is easy to overlook the cases of addiction and the life-long dependencies many of these drugs cause. When claimants become addicted to the medications they’re using to control their disability or disease, their claims for disability benefits can become much more difficult and challenging, subject to multiple delays or denials.
We’ve recently had several clients who have had utterly terrible experiences with their claims examiners. From rudeness to laziness to incompetence, it seems like some insurance companies are not only trying to save money by denying claims but also by hiring less qualified staff. Companies and claims departments (who know better!) are hiring, training, and even promoting claims examiners who don’t return phone calls, provide wrong information, or become defensive or non-responsive when asked claim questions that deserve an answer. After complaining, some insureds are reassigned to another claims examiner who in turn answers their questions. Although this may be seen as a win, all that’s been accomplished is a game of musical chairs. Continue reading