Are migraines disabling?

Jun 20, 2022 | Social Security Disability

Not everyone understands how serious migraines can be – often confusing them for mild, treatable headaches. Migraines, however, can last for hours to days with no end in sight.

A small pinch in the front or back of the head can lead to a black-out migraine in seconds. It can send your world spiraling in a mix of bright lights and harsh sounds.  You may be experiencing migraine symptoms this very instant. 

Migraines can become so extreme that they prevent you from working normally. So if migraines are so debilitating, can you apply for disability? Here’s what you should know:

Migraines are disabling neurological conditions 

In short, yes, migraines can be disabling – but you can’t walk into the closest Social Security Administration (SSA) office and simply obtain the disability benefits you need.

SSA will evaluate your records and determine if you are qualified for disability benefits. They’ll judge whether your migraines prevent you from working. They’ll also need your medical history to further consider how disabling your migraines can get.

Your doctor must provide medical records that can prove the severity of your migraine to the SSA. You’ll have to provide an explanation of how a migraine attack affects you and any medication needed to control them, as well as your treatment history. An active treatment history can prove the veracity of your claims since that shows SSA that you’ve taken steps to try to minimize your condition. 

Your claim for benefits may initially be denied

It’s not always easy to convince others that migraines are disabling. Some people believe that if you can’t see the disability then you aren’t considered disabled. People are frequently denied benefits for migraines. 

In many cases, a denied benefits application was due to a minor error during the tenuous paperwork phase. You might have also been denied because there was not enough evidence for your condition or your medical history is very recent.

You may need to seek legal guidance if you were denied disability benefits for your migraines.