Bartolic Law has helped many clients suffering from Migraine Associated Vertigo get long-term disability benefits paid by insurance companies. Often the clients’ symptoms begin as dizziness and they explore treatment with an ENT or neurologist. Many of our clients have then progressed to treatment with one of the handfuls of cross-specialty otoneurologic practices, and get diagnosed with Migraine Associated Vertigo. In one client’s case, the insurer repeatedly disclaimed any “objective” evidence of the client’s symptoms and wrote them all off as subjective and self-reported. Working closely with the client’s otoneurologist, we demonstrated test results showing objective signs of the symptoms.
We also obtained neuropsychological testing to show the specific effects of the symptoms on the client’s cognitive performance. By combining objective findings of the symptoms with objective measures of the limitations, we successfully took the client’s case out of a dispute over subjectively reported symptoms, and into a review of objective criteria. With much effort and perseverance, we recovered for the client, helping the client focus on treatment and the client’s health.
Migraines can cause debilitating symptoms for many sufferers, including migraine-associated vertigo, which is also called a vestibular migraine. Vertigo can result in feeling off-balance, dizziness, or like the world is spinning around you, and these sensations can make it difficult to conduct everyday activities. Vertigo can come before or during a migraine, and some people experience vertigo without head pain. Some people have migraine-associated vertigo for a few minutes, hours, or even days. Some vertigo cases are triggered by certain movements, such as changing your position from sitting to standing, but other people can have vertigo without any trigger. Something as simple as trying to focus on something can be enough to cause a vertigo attack. This effect can be in addition to other migraine symptoms, such as headache or light and sound sensitivity.
Several tests are done to diagnose vertigo. A computerized dynamic posturography (CDP) is an assessment technique designed to objectively quantify and differentiate among the wide variety of possible sensory, motor, and central adaptive impairments to balance control as well as assist in the identification of pathological mechanisms of balance disorder. A vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) test assesses the function of the saccule and the inferior divisions of the vestibular nerve, as well as their connections through the medulla. Along with other tests, this can help quantify things insurers call self-reported in disability insurance cases.
Ferrin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 336 F. Supp. 3d 910 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 28, 2018) (holding insurance policy’s grant of discretionary authority is void under Texas law due to certificate being issued after effective date of regulation, and policy renewing after effective date, and holding Plaintiff was disabled from Any Reasonable Occupation where treating doctors certify she can sit at the occasional level, and insurer’s consultants opine Plaintiff can sit frequently, as weighing all evidence together would make capacity likely at low end of frequent range at best).
Sadowski v. Tuckpointers Local 52 Health & Welfare Trust, 281 F. Supp. 3d 710 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2017) (holding plan was arbitrary and capricious in denying medical benefits for removal of spinal cord stimulator following a fall down the stairs and infection where plan argued the expenses were caused by the same injury as the car accident necessitating implantation of the stimulator years earlier)
Tassone v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 264 F. Supp. 3d 867 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 30, 2017) (awarding client long term disability benefits denied by United of Omaha despite insurer’s doctor opining there was no objective evidence of functional impairment)
Suson v. PNC Fin. Servs. Grp., Inc., No. 15-CV-10817, 2017 WL 3234809 (N.D. Ill. July 31, 2017) (holding Liberty Mutual’s denial of client’s long term disability benefits was arbitrary and capricious where Liberty Mutual disregarded client’s carpal tunnel syndrome and relied on a vocational opinion to which client never had an opportunity to address before litigation)
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