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Do Chronic Migraines Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

July 16, 2021

woman suffering from chronic migranes

Most headaches are not severe or frequent enough to prevent an individual from working or performing everyday activities. However, certain migraines can be quite debilitating. Severe migraines can cause nausea and sensitivity to light and sound that can last for hours or days. Individuals who suffer from frequent migraine headaches may often miss work, which can make it difficult to maintain employment.

If you suffer from chronic migraines that keep you from working, it may be difficult, but not impossible to obtain Social Security Disability benefits. You will need to provide sufficient medical evidence showing that your persistent, severe migraines significantly interfere with your daily life.

Dayes Law Firm is here to help with your disability claim. Applicants who retain the services of a lawyer are often more successful in getting the benefits they need than those who do not. A consultation with a member of our legal team costs nothing and there is no obligation after this meeting to hire our firm.

Have Questions? Call: 1-800-503-2000

Impact of Migraines on Work and Home Life

Migraines are considered a neurological condition. These recurrent, intense headaches are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and perceptual disturbances – otherwise known as an aura.

An aura usually proceeds a migraine headache by 15 to 20 minutes and can cause individuals to see flashing lights, blurred or colored vision. As a result, migraine sufferers become sensitive to any light or sound. The throbbing pain associated with migraines can be so debilitating that individuals often have no option but to lie down in a dark, quiet room and wait for the headache to subside.

Some migraine symptoms may actually worsen when trying to do physical or routine activities. Chronic, severe migraines can also hinder an individual’s ability to perform substantial work.

Are Migraines Listed in the SSA Blue Book?

The SSA Blue Book contains hundreds of medical conditions that may qualify individuals for disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not have a specific listing for chronic migraines. However, this does not make you ineligible for disability. The SSA will review your medical evidence to determine if your migraines are serious enough to be considered disabling. It is important to provide sufficient documentation that shows the side effects of your migraines to increase your chances of approval.

In some cases, chronic migraines may be an underlying symptom of another serious condition. Conditions that may cause chronic migraines include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Inflammation or other issues with blood vessels in the brain, including stroke
  • Brain tumor
  • Low or high intracranial pressure
  • Infections, such as meningitis

Migraine sufferers may be able to equal a listing if it can be shown that their symptoms are of equal severity to a listing found for a similar condition in the SSA Blue Book.  

How Do I Prove My Migraines Are Disabling?

The SSA will rely on your doctor’s reports for documentation of your symptoms. To determine the severity and frequency of your chronic migraines, the SSA will want to see the following documentation:

Doctor’s Opinions  

Any observations and opinions from your treating doctor could be used to help the SSA better understand the nature of your condition. A neurologist, psychoanalyst, pain management specialist, or headache specialist could offer a unique perspective to the other medical evidence submitted. A letter of support from your doctor can also go a long way toward qualifying you for disability benefits.

Medical Records

It is important to provide all relevant medical records in order to help the SSA get a complete and accurate picture of your condition. This may include specific details related to your daily symptoms, such as the frequency, intensity and duration of your migraines, as well as the effects your chronic migraines have on your daily living activities.

Prescription Records

Keeping documentation of the medications you are currently taking or any treatment you have sought – regardless of its success – can help the SSA better understand how you are dealing with your symptoms.

We also recommended keeping a journal notating your symptoms and conditions during your migraine episodes to help increase your chances of being approved for benefits.

Get Help Applying for Social Security Disability

A Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyer is ready to help gather this documentation for you. At Dayes Law Firm, we know how difficult it can be to qualify for disability benefits, especially for migraines.

Our firm offers free consultations without any risk or obligation. We do not get paid upfront for our services, nor do we get paid unless we help you obtain benefits.

Experienced Lawyers. Ph: 1-800-503-2000

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