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How disability claims for chronic migraines can get approved

If you're among the roughly 4 million people who suffer from chronic daily migraines, then you know the debilitating pain and wide array of neurological symptoms that go along with them. You also know that they make working impossible.

Yet, your disability insurance company may not consider you to be disabled because there's no objective evidence of your condition. Migraine claims are generally based on subjective evidence, making them prone to scrutiny.

How do you prove that you have a disabling condition that doesn't show up on lab findings and can't be seen on tests like MRIs or CT scans?

1. Get regular medical care.

Visiting your doctor, neurologist and pain clinic for your migraines may seem like an exercise in futility if you're not seeing any changes in your condition. But each visit helps document an objective case for the severity of your migraines. Not only are you showing that your migraines are severe enough to keep you looking for an effective treatment, you also give your doctor the chance to make repeated observations of your condition.

2. Give your doctor a migraine journal.

Get a notebook and start tracking your migraines. Write down any warning signs a migraine is coming and when they start. Write down all the symptoms you have, like dizziness or nausea. Note the intensity and location of your pain. Record the type of treatment you took, how well it worked and any other factors you think may be important. Track how long it takes before it stops.

The migraine journal helps not only uncover patterns to your migraine, it becomes part of your medical records and adds to your credibility.

3. Keep records of how the migraines interfere with work.

Track all of the times that you have to come in late, leave early or call off due to a migraine. Make sure that your employer knows of your condition, and let your boss know when you are having difficulty accomplishing a task either due to the migraine itself or any associated symptoms. Keep a record of any accommodations you've asked for over time, like different lighting, to try to cope with your condition.

If your disability insurer still denies your migraine claim, you may need help. Our firm can help you appeal the denial and effectively communicate the severity of your condition to the insurer.

Source: Migraine Research Foundation, "Migraine Facts," accessed Dec. 01, 2016

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