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Can I get Social Security Disability Benefits for Migraines?


Migraine headaches are a common disorder, but while many people get the occasional headache, others suffer more serious consequences of migraines. According to the Job Accommodation Network, migraine headaches cause a loss of 157 million workdays each year across the United States. Despite the crippling pain that migraines can impose on those who chronically suffer from them, the invisibility of migraines can make it difficult to show how truly disabling they can be. If you suffer from migraines and are no longer able to work as a result, read on to learn more about how to get the benefits you need from Social Security Disability.

What are migraines?

A migraine is a type of headache, often beginning to affect sufferers during puberty, and recurring at various intervals throughout their life. Migraines can be moderately to severely painful, affecting one side of the head. Migraines are triggered by the release of an inflammatory, pain-generating substance from deep in the brain that affects the nerves and blood vessels, making the sufferer feel like the headache is pulsating. Migraine sufferers sometimes experience effects on their vision, such as sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and even what is known as “visual aura,” which can include squiggly lines or loss of vision. Some migraine sufferers only experience the severe headaches once a year, but approximately 2-4% of all migraine sufferers experience a headache an average of at least 15 days of each month. Migraines can last anywhere from several hours to several days.

How do I prove the disabling effect of my migraines?

Migraines are not one of the disorders listed in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book,” which consists of a list of disorder diagnoses that will automatically qualify that person for Social Security Disability benefits. As a result, you will need to be able to prove that migraines would force you to miss two or more days of work a week, or that migraines would prevent you from focusing on your work or force you to take frequent breaks.

Since it is difficult to prove with objective, visible evidence that you suffer from crippling migraines, you will need to present detailed records of your history of experiencing migraines. Keep a detailed journal tracking when you experience a migraine, what sorts of symptoms you experience, how long the migraine lasts, the level of pain you experience, what sort of medication you take for it, and whether the medication helped. Your doctor can also provide an opinion on the severity of your migraines and the degree to which medication improves your migraines. Finally, seek the help of an attorney experienced in obtaining Social Security Disability benefits to ensure that you submit the strongest-possible application for needed disability benefits.

If you need assistance in applying for disability benefits in Alabama, contact the experienced and dedicated Montgomery Social Security Disability attorneys at the Dansby Law Firm for a consultation, at 334-834-7001.

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