Disability Benefits for Migraines

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Is Migraine Pain a Disabling Condition?

Headache disorders are some of the most prevalent neurological disorders diagnosed, but they are widely underestimated, under-recognized, and under-treated worldwide. Patients who cannot work due to this kind of pain may be eligible for long-term disability benefits. 

According to the World Health Organization, a severe migraine attack is as incapacitating as being psychotic, quadriplegic, or in the final stages of cancer. Patients suffering from headaches may be unable to work due to the disease and its effects. 

Migraine is a disease that causes chronic headaches. They are more common in people between the ages of 35 and 45 and are more common in women due to hormonal effects. It is a recurrent condition that can last a lifetime, and is characterized by moderate to severe unilateral throbbing headaches aggravated by daily physical activity and lasting from several hours to several weeks. 

disability benefits for migrainesWhat can cause migraines? 

MIgraines can also cause nausea. The frequency of attacks can vary from once per week to once a year. It may also be related to other diseases or dysfunction, such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction. 

This condition may or may not be accompanied by an aura. Migraine with aura occurs when a person has neurological symptoms, such as visual, sensory, motor, or speech disorders. For example, you may feel muscle weakness or feel like someone is touching you. Most people experience this pain without aura. 

Some people can develop sensitivity to light (photophobia), sound (phonophobia), smell and touch, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, possible fainting, and blurred vision. Both genetics and environment are thought to play a role in triggering headache pain. The frequency of pain varies from person to person.

Many factors, including the following, can cause migraines. 

  • Hormonal changes, including hormonal medications like oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy
  • Food and food additives, such as aged cheese, salty foods, processed foods, aspartame, and monosodium glutamate
  • Alcoholic beverages or drinks with an excess of caffeine
  • Changes in sleep patterns, like jet lag
  • Meteorological changes or differences in atmospheric pressure
  • Physical factors such as strenuous exercise
  • Emotional factors like stress, depression, anxiety
  • Sensory stimulation: Things that stimulate your senses to the extreme, such as bright lights, intense sunlight, loud sounds, strong smells
  • Drugs

Are Migraines a Disability?

This disease is one of the 20 most disabling medical conditions globally and the 12th most disabling disorder in the United States. Over 90% of people with this ailment are unable to function correctly during a seizure. In spite of these statistics, the impact of the condition remains underestimated and overlooked for the following reasons: 

  • Stigma of disability

Disability often wrongly carries a sense of stigma, especially when the disease is something that no one can see (i.e., an invisible disease) like headaches. People who are bedridden or confined to their homes due to illnesses such as migraines, fibromyalgia, depression, or chronic fatigue syndrome are often categorized as lazy, fanciful, or simply “less than.” They can explore their chance of SSI eligibility by discussing their concerns with a legal professional.

  •  It affects all aspects of life

It can keep you from fulltime employment or performing normal activities of daily living such as cleaning the house, taking care of the kids, and attending a friend’s special event. The fear that this pain will become unbearable is reason enough to cancel previous plans due to worry that you will have another attack.

  • Being sick for an indefinite period of time

A migraine condition can often change the course of your life. This includes admitting to yourself that your career options are limited. Occasional migraines are a downside, but people who have severe pain more frequently may find it difficult to function daily. 

Many people with this condition are forced to lie in bed in a dark room for hours or even days to alleviate the pain. In addition, prescription medications available for migraine headaches do not always work right away, and the medicine itself can cause serious side effects. Short Term Disability Insurance for Migraines is a possibility for those who face chronic symptoms and limitations.

Can you get disability benefits for migraines?

Symptoms can physically and mentally limit daily activity of people who suffer from a migraine condition. It can interfere with the person’s capabilities and ability to concentrate due to aggravating lights and painful sounds. Other diseases can also aggravate chronic migraines. Anxiety and depression are much more common for people suffering with migraines.

You should be prepared for an uphill battle to be approved for benefits due to disability for migraines. Unfortunately, many claims for chronic migraines are denied, especially when they lack medical evidence demonstrating that a person’s pain severely impacts their ability to cope, work, or perform healthy activities in everyday life. 

To be approved for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must receive regular treatment for this disorder. Although the insurance company considers subjective reports of your symptoms as part of their overall evaluation, they are more interested in the objective medical evidence submitted to support a claim. There is no definitive test to diagnose this disease; however, the insurance company will want to see that your doctor has diagnosed you with recurrent migraines in your medical records. 

This disease is often diagnosed primarily based on the patient’s self-reported subjective symptoms and a family history. Your doctor may also order additional tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to rule out other causes of your headache. 

The SSA adjudicators deciding whether you are entitled to benefits will also look for the following types of evidence in your medical record: 

  • Your doctor’s notes about the frequency and severity of symptoms
  • Results of any tests done to rule out other medical conditions
  • List of drugs and other treatments tried and their results
  • Records of all emergency room visits or hospitalizations related to your pain

Why your application may be denied

Applications for benefits can be denied for several reasons. A denial may be motivated by medical or non-medical reasons such as: 

  • Medical information not submitted by your physician
  • The deadline for submitting additional medical information has passed
  • You have a pre-existing condition, and you have been experienced symptoms for less than one year
  • The SSA believes that you can receive treatment that will allow you to continue to work and the treatment will not affect your ability to work

If your claim for short-term or long-term SSDI benefits is denied at any time, be aware that you may be able to challenge the SSA’s decision. If you have appealed and you are denied, it is essential to contact a disability lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your rights.