Can I get Social Security Disability benefits if I suffer from Migraines?

If you suffer from migraines, you know how debilitating they can be at times. Not all migraines are severe, but sometimes the headaches are so severe that they prevent work.  Migraine suffers also experience symptoms of nausea and vomiting; sensitivity to light, sound and smell, and auras. 

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability for Migraines

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to migraine headaches, your doctor must first diagnose your migraines. Based upon your medical history, this should exclude other possible causes for your headaches. You will also need to show that the migraines have lasted a year or more, or are likely to last that long. Lastly, you will need to show that due to the frequency and severity of your headaches, that you are not able to work.

Disability for Migraines with Aura

For Migraines with Aura, the diagnosis should include the aura symptoms (visual, sensory, speech or language, motor, brainstem or retinal) and must have at least 3 of the following 6 characteristics:

  • At least one aura symptom spreads gradually over at least 5 minutes;
  • Two or more aura symptoms occur in succession;
  • Each individual aura symptom lasts 5 to 60 minutes;
  • At least one aura symptom is unilateral (aphasia/dysarthria)
  • At least one aura symptom is positive (scintillations/pins and needles); or
  • Aura accompanied or followed within 60 minutes by headache 

Disability for Migraines without Aura

For Migraines without Aura, the evidence must show at least 5 headache attacks satisfying the following criteria:

  • Lasting 4 to 72 hours(untreated or unsuccessfully treated); and
  • At least two of the following four characteristics:
    • Unilateral location;
    • Pulsating quality;
    • Moderate or severe pain intensity; or
    • Aggravation by routine physical activity( for example, walking or climbing stairs); and
  • During headache, at least one of the following:
    • Nausea or vomiting, or
    • Avoidance of light or sounds

Applying for Social Security Disability for Migraines

If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits, it is also a good idea to keep a journal of your migraines, listing dates you suffer headaches, including severity, duration, what you do to try to relieve the headache, recovery period, triggers and any associated symptoms of each headache.  It is also helpful to note how your headaches affect your daily activities. 

If Considering Applying for Disability for Migraines, Get a Free Consultation with a Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you suffer from migraine headaches that not only affect your activities but your ability to work...

Contact MCVLaw for a Free Consultation

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