Mehr, Fairbanks & Peterson represents individuals whose long term disability claims for Meniere’s disease disability have been denied. We are familiar with the way insurance companies consider these claims. We can help you prove to your insurance provider (and the court) that you truly are dealing with an issue that prevents you from working
By their very nature, these claims are difficult to prove. Due to the intermittent aspects of the disease, insurers rarely consider this to be a truly disabling condition. Without a rock-solid claim, insurers can dismiss Meniere’s disease because it is “temporary” and not a long term disability.
At the same time, most claims examiners have no experience with Meniere’s disease, and do not understand its disabling consequences.
How Meniere’s Disease Can Affect You
Meniere’s disease generally affects only one ear. It most commonly develops between the ages of 20 and 50 years, but can occur at any age. While certain symptoms can be temporarily relieved or lessened, Meniere’s disease is considered to be a chronic condition.
- Recurring episodes of vertigo (spinning sensation and dizziness).
- Hearing loss that may come and go, often resulting in permanent loss of hearing
- Fluctuating episodes of tinnitus (ringing, buzzing or roaring in the ear)
- Recurring feeling of fullness or pressure within the ear
Those patients experiencing rotational vertigo may also suffer severe nausea and vomiting. People with Meniere’s disease can experience recurring symptoms weeks apart, or years apart. Sometimes, symptoms disappear completely.
Erratic and increasing bouts of vertigo and the chance of permanent hearing loss can be the most devastating aspects of Meniere’s disease. The disease can severely interrupt your life, plus generate additional disorders including fatigue, emotional stress, depression and anxiety.
Causes of Meniere’s Disease
There is no definitive cause of Meniere’s disease. Physicians attribute the condition to a combination of factors, the main cause being a buildup of fluid in the chamber of the inner ear.
Other factors that may contribute to Meniere’s disease include:
- anatomic abnormalities
- head trauma
- improper fluid drainage
The medical name of Meniere’s disease is idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), nearly 615,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, with 45,500 new cases being diagnosed each year.
We Overcome the Difficulties of Meniere’s Disease Disability Insurance Claims
Many medical conditions have the same symptoms as Meniere’s disease. For this reason, the disease is not solely diagnosed based on its symptoms. Also, there is no one definitive test for Meniere’s. Therefore, what follows is a differential diagnosis with diagnostic tests.
Our attorneys will base your appeal on the definition of disability under your policy. We will establish an accurate description of the actual job requirements your occupation entails, so you can prove that you cannot perform those job requirements due to your Meniere’s disease disability.
We may demonstrate through residual functional capacity assessment that the symptoms of Meniere’s disease significantly impair you in a way that makes it impossible for you to work.
We will develop a complete medical history and physical examination. This includes proper diagnosis, clearly presenting all essential medical testing as performed by qualified experts in this field—such as otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat), audiologist and neurologist.
Testing generally includes:
- Hearing tests (audiometry) – to verify hearing loss. The test evaluates how you hear sounds at different pitches and volumes. Patients with Meniere’s disease have problems detecting low frequencies and mingled low and high frequencies.
- Electrocochleography (ECOG) – to measure the cochlea’s (a part of the inner ear) response to sound stimulation.
- Vestibular (balance) assessment – Possibly the most devastating part of Meniere’s disease is recurring, severe vertigo. In between episodes, some patients have ongoing balance problems. A host of tests may be performed assessing inner ear function and balance issues.
- Blood work, MRI and other tests – may be performed to eliminate other disorders that present the same symptoms as Meniere’s disease.
Contact Us Today
The battle with insurance companies is a never ending one. This is especially true with Meniere’s disease disability insurance claims.
Meniere’s disease is a chronic, incurable disorder of the inner ear. Victims of this disease experience periodic episodes of severe dizziness and spinning, fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear, and feelings of pressure within the ear. Sounds at certain pitches may seem garbled and cause irritation. Over time, hearing loss can become permanent. It is essential to have a disability lawyer who understands this disorder work with you to help you get the benefits you need and deserve.
We are prepared to fight for your right to the long term disability insurance benefits you deserve. Call Mehr, Fairbanks & Peterson without delay, for a free evaluation of your claim: 800-249-3731.