Is Social Security Disability an Option for People With Cluster Headaches?

Man Holding His Head During a Cluster HeadacheYou know the pain that occurs during a cluster period. While you may have periods of remission, the pain during one of your cluster periods is intense and may last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months at a time.

During a cluster period, you may experience significant pain on one side of your head. Typically, this pain occurs behind or around one of your eyes, and it is often so bad that it interferes with your ability to work.

Social Security Disability Eligibility for Cluster Headaches

You must be permanently disabled to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Generally, this means that you are or that you are expected to be disabled for at least 12 consecutive months or that your condition is fatal.

Cluster headache periods are usually shorter than 12 months and they are not fatal. The Social Security Administration does not include cluster headaches in its Listing of Impairments. For these reasons, disability applicants often have a challenging time convincing the Social Security Administration that they qualify for benefits because of cluster headaches.

However, it may be possible to recover disability benefits for headaches in some cases. To get benefits, you will need to prove that your condition is equal in severity to a listing in the Listing of Impairments or that you are unable to work because of a permanent disability. For example, epilepsy is included in the Listing of Impairments, even though seizures are not continuous. If your cluster headaches are equal in severity to epilepsy or any other listing, or if your headaches prevent you from working, then you may qualify for disability benefits. Additionally, you may qualify for disability benefits if your headaches are due to an underlying medical condition that qualifies you for benefits.

Appealing a Denied Social Security Disability Application

You face an uphill battle getting disability benefits even if your cluster headaches keep you out of work for months at a time. If your initial application for benefits was denied, then our experienced New England Social Security disability lawyers can review your claim and let you know whether you have an appeal worth filing. Call us or complete our online contact form today for a free case evaluation.

 

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
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