Talk To A Disability Lawyer
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If Your Application Is Denied
Most people who apply for disability based on migraine headaches alone are initially denied benefits. But some of these cases can be won on appeal. You can file a request for reconsideration by yourself, but hiring a lawyer at this point will help your chances of getting benefits. When you’re interviewing disability lawyers, ask if they’ve been successful in winning any migraine cases on appeal.
|Take our disability quiz to help you determine whether you qualify for benefits.|
Impact Of Chronic Migraine
If you have chronic migraine it will have a huge impact on your daily life. Chronic migraine is related to greater disability and has a huge impact on your physical, social and work life. It can also have a huge impact on your relationships. Many people with chronic migraine report lower quality of life and poorer health than people with episodic migraine.
It can be challenging to find an appropriate treatment and you may have spent years trying to find a way to make your migraine manageable.
If you are struggling with chronic migraine speak to your GP, specialist or contact our Helpline.
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How Do You Prove Migraine Disability
The process of applying for disability starts with proving you have a disability. Showing proof involves gathering documents and dates. Per the SSA, prepare by collecting the following:
Names, addresses, and phone numbers for all doctors, clinics, or hospitals involved in your treatment
Documents showing all treatment dates
Names of medications and who prescribed them
Names and dates of medical tests and who sent you to get tested
You will also need to show work-related information such as the name of your current employer, your earnings, and a list of employers for the past 15 years.
Limitations And Future Directions
This study was conducted in a headache subspecialty care center, where patients with disabling and frequent migraine are likely over-represented in comparison with the general population. One third of our sample met criteria for chronic migraine, making the sample representative of tertiary care settings, but not representing the distribution of migraine in the general population. Despite limitations regarding generalizability, subspecialty care is an ideal setting for examining these relationships because resources are more likely to be available for interventions. Understanding modifiable factors associated with migraine-related disability and symptoms in this population could improve the treatment of a large cross-section of the most disabled people with migraine.
This sample consisted of predominantly White adult women with a high level of education and health insurance presenting to a tertiary care headache center. These results may not generalize to other groups of people with migraine. In particular, the high level of education represented in this tertiary care sample suggests that the participants may have had access to more resources for treatment of migraine and any psychological distress than people with migraine who have lower levels of education, and are treated in less specialized settings.
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Seeking Disability Benefits For Primary Headache Disorder
If you are living with chronic migraine headaches, have been diagnosed with primary headache disorder, and are unable to work as a result, you may qualify for disability benefits. When the Social Security Administration receives your claim, an examiner looks for evidence that shows you cannot work your present job or any other job due to the symptoms of your migraine. The evidence in your claim should include:
- A diagnosis of a primary headache disorder from a doctor
- A medical report from your doctor that cites the severity and frequency of your migraines
- Medical records from your visits to emergency departments or hospitalizations for migraine headache treatment
- A record of your treatments for your primary headache disorder and how you responded to them
- Results of an MRI or a CT scan that rule out other medical conditions that might be causing your chronic headaches
- A medical record from your doctor with details about your observable symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, issues of concentration or memory, and/or need to lie in a dark, quiet room
To help provide your doctor with the necessary evidence, it’s helpful if you keep a journal that documents the frequency and severity of the headaches and details how they interfere with your daily life.
Fill Out An Application
You can mail an application or bring it to your local SSA office. Better yet, save time and start the process online.
Be prepared to share information within the application, such as:
- alternate contact
- medical and job worksheet form SSA-3381
- bank account information for direct deposit
The SSA will contact you if they need anything else. You may have to participate in a phone or in-person interview.
In the meantime, you can log in and check your application status anytime. Your application will be confirmed by email or mail.
Your application wont be considered if you dont have enough work history. And, if youre still working, thats definitely going to affect your case.
To qualify for disability benefits, the SSA must be convinced that:
- your migraine is severe enough to prevent you from doing your job
- you cant do other work based on your age, education, and skills
For the SSA to consider migraine a disability, it must be diagnosed by an acceptable medical source who:
- shows they performed a physical exam, reviewed your medical history, and excluded other possible diagnoses
- provides a detailed description of a typical migraine attack and all accompanying symptoms
- provides evidence of response to treatment and that migraine attacks persist
A certain amount of patience is required at this point. It can take 3 to 5 months, or even longer, for a decision to be made.
There are four levels of appeal:
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Social Security Disability Benefits For Migraines
Migraines fall under the umbrella of an invisible disability because they arent physically noticeable by others. However, for migraine sufferers, they can be incredibly painful and incapacitating. Some migraines last for hours while others last for days. Either way, if you experience this type of headache frequently enough, you should consider submitting a disability claim for SSDI benefits.
One of the simplest ways to qualify for Social Security disability based on your migraines is if they result from another condition you have been diagnosed with. For example, anxiety, depression, neurological disorder, stroke, and high blood pressure can cause episodic migraine symptoms. If you have both conditions together, it could be much more straightforward to get your claim approved.
Because standalone migraine disease can be more challenging to diagnose and prove, you could have a more challenging time obtaining disability benefits. But that doesnt mean you cant get one. The SSA considers several points when evaluating your migraine symptoms, like your migraines’ frequency and severity, and how they limit your daily capabilities.
When reviewing medical evidence, the SSA disability examiner determines if your symptoms, like pain, severe headache, and vomiting, lead to functional limitations and an inability to work. The more medical evidence your doctor provides, the higher your chances of a disability insurance claim approval.
Can I Get Disability For Chronic Migraines
I applied for Social Security Disability Insurance four months ago and was not optimistic. I was not expecting to get news so quickly, and I was really not expecting to be approved. The lady from my local Social Security office told me that it would take at least 6 months for me to get an initial answer. The horror stories I came across online told me that the initial answer would most likely be a refusal. Only 30-35% of applicants are approved on the first try, and the appeals process can take years.
Getting disability for my condition, chronic migraines, is tough. Every migraine sufferer knows all too well how disabling migraines can be. On top of the severe head pain, migraines bring a lot of fun symptoms like nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, vertigo, cognitive impairment, and many, many more. Even so, the Social Security Administration does not include chronic migraines on the list of conditions automatically awarded benefits.
Why, then, was I approved so quickly?
Im sure luck had something to do it, but I also did my research and worked hard to ensure that my application included everything the Disability Determination Office requires for an approval.
Most people who apply for disability are eventually approved, even if they were initially rejected. The following tips helped me get approved on the first try, eliminating the need for a lawyer and a lengthy appeal process.
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Contact Cuddigan Law For Chronic Migraine Disability Benefits In Nebraska
If you’re looking to apply for chronic migraine disability in Nebraska, contact Cuddigan Law by filling out the form on our website or by calling our Omaha or Lincoln office to speak with an intake specialist for free. We also encourage you to read our free book, 5 Deadly Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Disability Case, to learn more about the disability application process.
Chronic Migraine Disability: The Evidence You Need For Ss Disability
For those who have never suffered from a migraine headache, it may be difficult to understand how truly debilitating these headaches can be. Victims often are unable to work or perform simple daily tasks during an attack. Theres no cure for chronic migraines and no foolproof way to prevent them. So, for frequent sufferers, this can mean significant financial instability caused by time missed from work. These migraine sufferers may seek chronic migraine disability benefits through Social Security as a way to offset some of those losses.
In order to submit a successful disability claim involving chronic migrainesalso called primary headache disorderthe Social Security Administration needs evidence that you were diagnosed with this condition and that you’ve undergone regular treatment. There are no definitive tests to diagnose migraines however, the diagnosis can be made based on the patients reported symptoms, a history of the condition, and additional tests performed to rule out other causes.
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Do Chronic Headaches Qualify Me For Disability Benefits
Chronic Headaches are not specifically listed in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book listing of disabling conditions but you may still qualify for benefits.
Because, at the end of the day, what the SSA generally cares about most is whether or not your chronic headaches meets certain requirements, including:
- That it rises to the level of a severe impairment, meaning it impacts your ability to do work
- That it, combined with any other impairments you may have, prevent you from sustaining work
- That it has affected you, or is expected to affect you, for at least one year .
If that is the case, then you may very well qualify for monthly disability benefits.
Are Migraines A Disability Under The Ada
The American Disabilities Act prevents employers from discriminating against people with disabilities. The act defines a disability as:
A mental or physical illness that keeps a person from participating in major life activities
A record or history of the illness
Other people being aware of the illness
By law, if your migraines make it difficult for you to work, your employer must provide reasonable accommodations. That means getting rid of possible triggers like noise, fragrances, high-stress situations, and fluorescent lights. It may also mean allowing you to work from home or investing in a comfortable chair and desk for your workspace. In the meantime, heres some advice from a doctor on how to cope with migraines at work.
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Exercise Or Physical Exertion
Many migraine sufferers note that their headache pain often begins after exercise or other physical exertion types, such as physical labor. One study found that 38% of people with migraines listed exercise as a trigger for their migraines, which often coexisted with neck pain.
However, other research has also suggested that regular exercise could reduce the severity of a headache disorder and its symptoms. This effect results from natural pain-reducing endorphins your body releases while you exercise, which may contribute to reduced headache pain and migraine attacks.
How Do I Know If My Migraine Is A Disability
Occasional migraines cause a lot of inconvenience, but for those who experience regular severe migraines it is difficult to function on a daily basis.
When migraine is frequent and severe, it is classed as a disability under the Equality Act .
Your GP or a Headache Specialist should be able to help you understand if your migraine condition can be classed as a disability.
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Disability For Chronic Migraines
A migraine is a severe headache that often causes debilitating pain. Although the Social Security Administration does not have a listing specific for migraine headaches, you can qualify for disability benefits if your headaches are severe and impact your level of functioning to the point you cannot work. Migraines are often accompanied or preceded by:
- Neck stiffness
- Uncontrollable yawning
As migraines are subjective and cannot be detected by standard medical tests, you should document the migraines you have, noting the frequency, severity and intensity. A good way to document your headaches is to keep a headache diary. This diary will not only assist you with your application for disability benefits or potential hearing, but may also assist your physician in treating you.
In addition, your medical records should document your condition. The records should describe your migraines and should include indicators such as premonitory symptoms, aura, duration, intensity, accompanying symptoms, and effects of treatment. Other acceptable indicators include a headache event that lasts from 4 to 72 hours if untreated or unsuccessfully treated, with two of the following: unilateral, pulsating quality moderate or severe pain intensity, worsened by routine physical activity and at least one of the following: nausea, vomiting, photophobia or phonophobia.
Being Sick Indefinitely With No Cure
It means admitting that I cant go to graduate school or law school like Id once dreamed, because I cant realistically commit to such an intense level of work on a long-term basis. It means acknowledging that my career options are limited by my environment . It means admitting that I will be like this, sick, indefinitely.
This is what I am most reluctant to admit: the continuity of my disease.
There is no cure for migraine disease, at least not yet. And, though my migraines do get better, they also get worse. Some months, I may have only a couple per week. Other months, depending on the weather, Im bedridden nearly every night. My disease changes, but it is always present.
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The Social Security Administration Doesnt List Migraines As A Disability
The SSA has a comprehensive list of disabilities, including the criteria to qualify for each one. Itâs formally titled Disability Evaluation Under Social Security but more commonly referred to as the Blue Book .
Migraine does not appear in the Blue Book. But before you stop reading and throw in the towel, know that this doesnât mean you canât get benefits. It just means you have to work harder to prove why you need them.
Can You Get Short
This depends and is worth a conversation with your employer. Many employers offer short-term disability as part of their health insurance package. Often the benefit includes 90 days of paid time off to help you recover while earning money to cover living expenses or the cost of new treatments.
Social Security only offers short-term or temporary disability benefits in five states:
If you live in one of these states, click the link to learn how to apply for benefits.
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Medically Qualifying For Benefits For Migraines
The SSA has no standard disability listing for migraines in their Blue Book, but this doesnt mean you cant get approved for benefits with chronic migraines. It simply means youll need to prove that youre unable to maintain a full-time job and earn a gainful living due to your limitations.
To determine your eligibility, the SSA will:
- Look at your daily limitations
- Consider the frequency and severity of your headaches
- Examine your employment options
- And review your medical evidence
If after taking all of these factors into account, the SSA finds youre unable to perform the essential job duties of any job for which youre otherwise qualified, then youll be deemed medically eligible for SSDI and/or SSI benefits.
The frequency and duration of your headaches and the extent of your migraine symptoms , tell the SSA how often you must miss work. The length of migraine attacks, which can average a few hours or several days at a time, inform the SSA about your ability to keep a consistent work schedule.
When it comes to evaluating daily limitations, the SSA will use your medical records and functional report forms that you and your doctor complete. Ensure you accurately reflect all of your limitations by thoroughly completing these forms and describing in detail the manner in which your headaches and other symptoms affect your ability to perform everyday tasks.