A migraine is more than a headache. A migraine is a chronic neurological disorder that is caused by a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. The headaches that characterize migraines are usually accompanied by additional symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to sound and light. It is possible to have a mild migraine, but many people find migraines debilitating. These people may suffer intense, throbbing pain, severe nausea, and other symptoms for up to 72 hours, and sometimes even longer.
There are several migraine medications on the market, but they are not always effective. Many of these medications have serious side effects, such as dizziness or drowsiness. Other migraine medications should not be taken by women who may become pregnant.
An occasional migraine, even an occasional severe migraine, is an inconvenience. Those who suffer painful migraines once or twice a week, or even daily, can find their lives severely disrupted; spending hours in bed in a dark room can make it hard to stay employed.
If you are unable to work because of chronic migraines, you may consider applying for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI). The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not have a qualifying listing for migraines; however, it is still possible to be approved for SSDI based on a migraine diagnosis.
The SSA will need medical records that show the frequency and severity of your migraines. You will have to prove through medical documentation that your migraines limit your ability to stand, walk, lift, concentrate, deal with others, and understand and follow instructions. You will also need documentation showing how many days of work you have missed due to migraines. If you have any other medical conditions, those conditions will also be taken into account.
You will also have to show that you are following all your doctor’s instructions. If your doctor has prescribed a medicine to prevent migraines, you must be taking that medication. If you are not taking it because you don’t like to take pills, your claim will be denied. If you’re not taking it because the side effects are as bad as the migraine, let your doctor know.
If your SSDI claim is denied, don’t give up. If your migraines make it impossible for you to keep a job, you can appeal the SSA’s decision. You have 60 days to file an appeal and provide additional information to support your claim. Our Boston SSDI attorneys can help.
A Massachusetts disability benefits lawyer can help you get the documentation you need to receive SSDI for migraines. To learn more, request your free copy of our book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process, or call Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847. The initial consultation is always free.