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Thursday, November 14, 2019

SSD and Migraines

Can I receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits if I am a chronic migraine sufferer?

Migraines are severe headaches often accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, along with nausea. They may last for hours or even days. Migraines are considered the third most prevalent illness in the world, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. About one in four households in the United States are home to a migraine sufferer. Migraines range in severity and can be quite debilitating. More than four million people suffer from chronic daily migraines and 90 percent of people with migraines are unable to function normally or work when they have a migraine. Given the serious nature of some migraines, migraine sufferers may wish to seek Social Security Disability benefits to assist them financially.

The SSA’s Definition of Migraines

The Social Security Administration’s Blue Book provides descriptions of conditions that can qualify a sufferer for SSD benefits. There is not an official listing for migraines. However, this does not mean that migraines are ineligible for benefits. Migraines may qualify for benefits if they are a symptom of another condition that is listed in the Blue Book or if your migraines are equal in level of severity to conditions on the list.  

To receive SSD benefits, you will need to provide significant evidence of your severe migraines, as well as how migraines impact your ability to work and function.  You should include within your application reports by your treating physician as to your migraines as well as documentation from any specialists involved in your care, like a neurologist or pain management specialist. You will want to include a log of your symptoms, migraine severity, frequency, duration, and intensity. Include a list of treatments you have undergone and whether these treatments had an impact on your migraines.

It is important for any SSD application to demonstrate how much your condition interferes with your ability to work. It becomes all the more important for migraine sufferers to demonstrate that their condition impairs their ability to work because migraines are not included in the listing of impairments. Your SSD attorney will help you to prepare and file your thorough and well supported SSD application. Should your initial application be denied, your lawyer will assist you in continuing to pursue benefits through an appeal or reconsideration.  

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