disability benfits for migraine

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disability benfits for migraine

Post  sick of pain on Mon 10 Nov 2014, 3:09 pm

Im a chronic migraine girl for years not responding well to botox/preventative/abortive meds.In fact I have gotten worse. I came to my breaking point about 6 weeks ago and can no longer work. I am currently using emergency medical leave and waiting for my short term disability to be approved and then will probably have to try and get long term disability. I am a medical professional myself and am heart broken that I can no longer take care of my patients. I am either in too much pain or fear the med side effects will alter my decision making skills. Plus the meds don't work well anymore. I was wondering if other people have had trouble getting disability insurance benefits. Short term already dragging their heels and I am worried long term will deny me because of subjective nature of the disease. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. And my heart goes out to all the migraine sufferers out there. Know you are not alone. At this point I get them almost daily. Sad  Ruining my life. I just joined this forum today.

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Re: disability benfits for migraine

Post  Migrainegirl on Mon 10 Nov 2014, 8:49 pm

Hello and welcome the forum. Many of us also have had no luck with the preventatives. So sorry to hear of your difficulties.

I'll let someone who has had experience with the disability system give you their advice. But the big lessons are 1) document everything! Every doctors visit, every drug, every effect, every headache and it's severity and duration. This is key. 2) you will probably need a disability lawyer. Results vary by state. 3) plan on it taking a while and getting denied a few times.
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disability

Post  sick of pain on Tue 11 Nov 2014, 10:27 am

Thanks so much for the info! I hope you have a migraine -free day today. I have that hang-over feeling from needing fioricet couple times last night. Nice to be a part of group that really understands.

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Re: disability benfits for migraine

Post  sconesail on Wed 12 Nov 2014, 7:09 am

Hi and Welcome to the forum!

Yes, migraine is considered a disability. You said you were a medical professional- what kind- nurse, dr, etc? I'm just curious. My mother has chronic back pain. Both of my parents are physicians. When I was 6, my mother retired from general pediatrics because of the back pain- the hours just got to be too much. Still, she couldn't stand it, went back and did some part time work before going to Duke and doing a mini-fellowship so she could treat children with learning disabilities. When I was 15, she retired completely. Also, she taught me how to deal with chronic pain- you don't give in unless you have to- you just take the meds and keep going. I know she hated having to stop practicing medicine, but sometimes you just reach that point.

It is always hard to say, I can't do this anymore. I put off applying for disability for about 12 years- and it was really the combination of the migraines and the fainting disorder that caused me to do it. Migraine is listed as a disability. There are a lot of factors that go into it- age is one of them, how long you have worked is another. One of the most important things in my case was documentation. Document everything- drs visits, days missed due to migraine, what works, what doesn't, how long a migraine lasts, and how the headache effects your ability to function normally. Basically, what can you do with a migraine and what you can't do during a migraine. You may be denied- if so, do what you need to do and find a good lawyer.

I'm so sorry that you have reached this point. What medications do help you? It sounds like you have tried most of them, but there may be some other things that help- like pain management. I really hope that things improve for you.

Feel free to post anytime- even if you just need to vent.

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Re: disability benfits for migraine

Post  sick of pain on Thu 13 Nov 2014, 6:38 pm

Thanks for the great info and inspiration! I'm actually a physician assistant. and I've been working with pain for too many years. You would be surprised how frowned upon it is to call in sick or not finish your shift when you are a health professional, They can be the most unsympathetic people although the opposite should be true. So a problem lies in that I would rarely not work because of pain, and never went to ER because of pain. I just handled it on my own (i worked in an er for twenty years ironically). So I feel like I screwed myself sort of. But I did see a lawyer who felt this is totally understandable for a healthcare provider and may not work against me. Im still waiting for my short term to be approved, Very frustrating. Migraine pain unlike other chronic pain is much more difficult to work through. Can't do it anymore. But also very unhappy being home now

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Re: disability benfits for migraine

Post  Platypus on Sun 16 Nov 2014, 3:00 pm

Hi, you didn't say if you are trying to obtain private or federal disability, and I can't tell what country you're in from your profile. Private long-term disability is VERY hard to obtain. A disability lawyer I saw called it a "phantom benefit". It's up to the whims of the private disability insurance whether to grant the benefit, and they rarely do.

If in the US, it is possible to obtain federal SSDI benefits for intractable migraines that prevent you from working. It's not a lot of money. If you don't have a spouse or parent contributing to your income you will be living at the poverty level. But it's something. It can take a long time as mentioned. 2+ years is not unusual. What you need is not documentation of every doctor's visit and every sick day. What you need is written certification from a doctor, preferably a neurologist, saying you cannot work AT ALL due to your migraines. This doctor should be willing to cooperate in filling out all paperwork SSA needs from you. If you have that, you have a pretty good chance of getting the benefit if you can survive the wait financially.
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migraine disability

Post  sick of pain on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 8:32 am

OMG! It is a private policy for long term disability. I do think it is probably is a scam.The lawyer I saw wanted a five thousand dollar upfront retainer fee. That scared me cuz I can picture him saying he needs more and more money only to tell me I lost in the end I am lucky I have my husband's income but loss of my income is a six figure plus salary which is really painful.I have equity in my house as well but if my husband and I live long lives we will get into deep financial trouble. Especially with a daughter in college and a son to follow. I am truly disgusted with this migraine condition, I refer to myself as me and my head as if my head is a separate entity. Weird I guess. So crazy and if one more person tells me I look fine I am gonna scream. Migraine is one of the top horrible problems you can have but there is no test for it and you look normal (in between attacks, I know I look pretty horrible during migraine). I hope you are feeling well today. What a life.

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Re: disability benfits for migraine

Post  Cluelesskitty on Thu 11 Dec 2014, 4:17 pm

Hello, are you still with us, and how are things developing with your disability?

Risa

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disability update

Post  sick of pain on Mon 15 Dec 2014, 9:55 am

Hi! Thanks for asking! I don't go on computer too often cuz it hurts my head too much. But today I am feeling good for once. But I'm sure pain will start setting in soon. I actually have good news. I was approved for short term disability for up to 6 months. I had to resign from work because I am actually feeling worse the past few months. Disability is a huge relief but I am sad it had to come to this. I know it is foolish but I can't help feeling like a loser. I have worked for so many years and my profession is a big part of my identity . I guess Im the patient now. I will apply for long term disability in a few months unless a miracle happens( which I highly doubt.) My friend went to a migraine specialist last week and he has strong belief that inability to absorb magnesium is the root cause.I do know that magnesium deficiency shouldn't be overlooked and I did try high doses of magnesium supplements last summer but it didn't help. This doctor said IV magnesium required. Consult was 700 bucks and he doesn't take insurance.Has anyone tried IV magnesium? Hope you are having a good day

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Re: disability benfits for migraine

Post  Cluelesskitty on Tue 16 Dec 2014, 4:35 pm

I understand completely. All of us who considered going on disability felt like losers at one point.
Please know we certainly are not, you are not.
Would you feel like a loser if you got cancer and had to go on disability?
There are things beyond our control. Migraine is no less than a cancer.
In certain aspects is even worse than cancer because of its invisibility. Nobody, doctors included, have an inkling what's like to have  migraine, what horror it is unless they experience M themselves.
What havoc it wreaks on one's life. what agony, what hell of pain and more,  it puts us sufferers through.
But mention "cancer",  and immediately everyone if full of revered silence and understanding.

No, you need to give yourself a break. You said it yourself -  
I have worked for so many years and my profession is a big part of my identity .

there - you weren't a slacker, you weren't looking for a handout or an excuse to sit on your hands.
You simply got very, very sick, to the point this disease at the moment  makes it impossible for you to work, period.

Perhaps in future things will get better - you'll find your treatment, or they lessen on they own (I know, but miracles do happen Very Happy )
and you'll be able to go back to work.
Right now you just need to do what you need to do, which is to ensure you have means to live - for now. Is that what a loser do ??
I don't think so. in fact, it is very hard to get  disability benefits, so congratulations to you !!
cheers

As for magnesium, I too have heard to be truly helpful it need to be IV. I never tried that, but perhaps someone here did
and hopefully will tell you about it.

And please excuse me if you already wrote about this, but my memory is really shot these days. what else did you tried for your M? (migraines)? any preventive medications? and, hows your sinuses? I was remarkably helped with hefty doses of antibiotic.
turned out a lot of my head pain was due to under treated chronic sinuses.
and since sinus pain can mimic M very well, sometimes even us seasoned sufferers can mistake these two quite easily.

With M, every little thing counts. knock down every trigger, and you will reduce the number of episodes,
thus increasing  of pain-free days.

Good day to you, too!

Risa

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