Social Security disability benefits are available for number of illnesses that make it difficult or impossible to work. In some cases, even illnesses that are not directly listed can still qualify for benefits. This is the case for those who suffer from serious migraines.
What is a migraine? The medical experts with Mayo Clinic define migraines as a headache that can cause “severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.” These headaches may be preceded by an aura which can include a visual, tactile or speech disturbance. The aura can last between 20 to 60 minutes before the onset of the migraine headache.
Those who suffer from migraines often experience the headache for hours or days at a time. The definition provided by Mayo also notes that the pain can be disabling.
Are migraines a listed impairment for Social Security disability purposes? Social Security disability benefits are provided for certain illnesses or injuries. In an effort to help guide applicants through the process, the agency has provided a list of impairments that generally qualify for these benefits.
As noted above, migraine headaches are not directly listed as a qualifying impairment. However, there are instances when those who suffer from these headaches can still qualify for benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides an example of an applicant that has suffered from serious migraines. The symptoms in the example include the presence of an aura and intense pain that lasts from 4 to 72 hours. Although under medication by a treating physician, the applicant suffers from these headaches twice weekly. These symptoms are similar to an impairment that is listed, Epilepsy, Dyscognitive seizures. As such, the applicant’s impairment is considered the medical equivalent of this listing and is taken into consideration for benefits.
How can I get these benefits? If you suffer from a debilitating disease you may qualify for disability benefits. In addition to meeting the definition of an accepted impairment, additional work qualifications are also required. As such, it is wise to seek legal counsel. An experienced Social Security Disability income benefits attorney can help you navigate the process, better ensuring a favorable outcome.