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"Short-Term Disability"

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tecky Click to EMail teckyClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Apr-20-09, 11:11 AM (CMT)
"Short-Term Disability"
Has anyone had any experience in the processing of a short- or long-term disability claim for migraine disease through their employer's disability insurance provider?

I've been "battling" the system for months now because I've seen so many different doctors trying to get some relief. I guess it would have been more cut and dried if I would have had one treating migraine specialist during this whole ordeal.

Some treatments didn't work, and I went on to a new doctor. When he no longer responded, I went on to yet another doctor.

I live in a very rural area of Montana and we have to travel great distances to see any specialist.

Does anyone have any suggestions or words of advice they can offer? Your help would be greatly appreciated.



 Table of contents

RE: Short-Term Disability, Richard, Apr-20-09, (1)
RE: Short-Term Disability, somebodyhealme, Apr-20-09, (2)
RE: Short-Term Disability, tecky, Apr-21-09, (3)

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Richard Click to EMail RichardClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Apr-20-09, 05:27 PM (CMT)
1. "RE: Short-Term Disability"
Howdy Becky

I wanted someone to respond to you - even if you are making me take a walk way in the past - well way in the past for a migrainer. It is back to 2003 which is only 6 years ago, but it seems a lifetime to me.

In 2003, I needed to apply simultaneously for:

1. Social Security Disability
2. Private Company Insurance Disabilty
3. State of California Sick Pay

The State of California has a Sick Pay program similar to unemployment insurance. Everyone pays into the program with each pay check. Then when you are sick, you apply for benefits. The State sends you a check - whether your company gives you sick pay or not. Really cool.

Like you, I had seen a multitude of neurologists since 1997. I had several MRI's, a carotid sonogram, CT Scan, EEG, EKG, Sleep Test, lots of blood work, and some other tests I forget - from Alaska and California providers - at least four labs, and at least five referring doctors.

In addition to at least 7 neurologists that I can think of off the top of my head, I had two chiropractors, one psychiatrist, one psychologist, and two primary care physicians in that time frame.

It was way too much to contemplate. Way too much to deal with, especially for a migrainer.

I called lawyers. No one would touch me unless I had been turned down at least once.

So I went to the smartest guy I know, my primary care physician who has managed my care since 1999 in San Francisco. His name is Lee. I explained the problem.

He said "No problem. Been there, done that."

Lee was the only doctor that Social Security, the private company, or the state of California ever dealt with. The only doctor. I forgot but it was Lee who had referred me to most of the other doctors. It was Lee to whom most of the other doctors had sent regular reports. Those who did not were not that important to my case.

We scheduled a double appointment and went through my file letter by letter, page by page. Steve and I made copies of things - tests, letters for neurologists, etc. - that Lee thought would help my case. Letting Steve and I make the copies saved a lot of money for all.

I drafted a letter to Social Security and the Private Insurance for Lee. I had it that day with me on Paper and on a CD. Lee took it and editted the heck out of it. Great!! We both concentrated NOT on showing how sick I was BUT on showing how my illness prevented me from working at all.

And that is critical. Disability folks do NOT care how sick you are. They ONLY care if your illness prevents you from WORKING! It is a fine but very important distinction.

Then Steve and I mailed everything where it was supposed to go. That saved his office a hassle and we were certain things went where they were supposed to go quickly.

Phone calls from here and there did not go to my neurologists but only to Lee - he was my only advocate and he was absolutely terrific!

Oh yes, we filled out the California form in about 5 minutes of less ... it was real easy.

I got my Social Security and Private Disability benefits on step one - just based on my application. This method worked for me.

Consolidating everything with my family doctor was the best decision we ever made.

I wish you nothing but well!

Hang In There! Tieni Duro! Non Mollare! Tiens Bon! Ne Laches Pas! Hou Je Taai! Dayan! Bliv ved med og Hober for det Beste! Ganbattel! Vse budet xorosho! Hll Ut! Trzymaj si! Tachzik Ma-amad! Drzhi se! Halte durch! Jab Inebata! Hakuna Matata! Fica Forte! Jia you! Jo-gum-man du him-nae-sae-yo!



somebodyhealme Click to EMail somebodyhealmeClick to check IP address of the poster Apr-20-09, 06:19 PM (CMT)
2. "RE: Short-Term Disability"
LAST EDITED ON Apr-20-09 AT 06:20 PM (CMT)

I didn't apply through an employer, but I successfully applied for Social Security Disability and was approved, like Richard, based on my application (no appeals needed).

I'm an attorney, and I do work with people applying for disability. I don't work the way most attorneys do, however. I don't charge by the hour (I charge a flat rate) and I prefer to work with people from the get go on their initial applications. There are so many things you can do to improve the chances of a successful application if you only know how to approach it.

My best advice is to be extremely thorough and to tell them everything you can think of in your application. Kill them with details.

Please feel free to e-mail me through my blog if you're interested in having me work with you or if you have any questions I might be able to help with.

Somebody Heal Me


tecky Click to EMail teckyClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Apr-21-09, 10:20 AM (CMT)
3. "RE: Short-Term Disability"
Thanks so much Diana and Richard. This process is difficult for someone who feels well, let alone when you do not feel well. My primary physician has been my greatest advocate, and she has been a God-send to me (Thanks, Richard!).

I think I will compile a letter of the details and history of my migraine disease and how it has prevented me from working. That seems like an excellent, no-nonsense approach.

Thanks again and God bless you both.




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