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Can you get disability benefits for Migraines?

In some instances, individuals who experience migraines that significantly affect their productivity and work performance may qualify for disability benefits. The criteria for eligibility can vary depending on the severity and impact of the migraines on the individual’s ability to function in their work environment. It is important to consult with a medical professional and familiarize oneself with the specific requirements for disability benefits.

To qualify for disability benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income or SSDI and SSI programs, the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers various factors, including the severity of the migraines, the frequency and duration of the attacks, the effectiveness of treatment, and how the condition affects a person’s ability to perform a substantial gainful activity (SGA).

What Are Migraines?

Migraine is a type of headache known for causing a sufferer significant, throbbing pain in the head. People who suffer from migraines may be warned that a migraine will happen by experiencing a visual disturbance known as an aura. An aura can make it difficult for the sufferer to see, and migraine pain follows for most people who experience migraines. Some people only get an aura or a migraine instead of both.

People who suffer from migraines typically have a trigger that sets off their headaches. Still, individuals cannot always control these triggers. Women are more likely to suffer from migraines than men, Chronic Migraine Disability Benefitsand hormonal changes related to a woman’s menstrual cycle or pregnancy can trigger migraines. Other common triggers include caffeine, salt, medications, stress, and physical exertion.

Some disorders that people may suffer from along with migraine are;

Is Migraine a Disability?

A migraine is considered a disability if an applicant is unable to work due to their medical condition or is unable to adjust to a different job and their migraine-related disability has been lasting for at least 12 months or more. Migraines are severe headaches accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances. While many people experience occasional migraines, some may have chronic or frequent migraines that significantly impact their daily functioning and quality of life.

In some instances, if migraines are severe and frequent enough to substantially limit a person’s ability to perform major life activities, they may qualify for disability benefits under specific laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, migraine disability assessment depends on various factors, including the severity of the condition, its impact on an individual’s ability to work or perform other essential activities, and the specific laws and regulations in the US.

What are the symptoms of migraines?

The symptoms can vary among individuals, but here are some common signs and symptoms of migraines:

  • Headache: Migraine headaches are typically pulsating or throbbing, often affecting one side of the head. 
  • Aura: Some individuals experience an “aura” before or during a migraine attack. Auras are usually visual disturbances like flickering lights, blind spots, or zigzag patterns.
  • Sensitivity to light and sound: Many people with migraines are sensitive to bright lights (photophobia) and loud noises. 
  • Nausea and vomiting: Migraines commonly cause gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea and vomiting. 
  • Sensory sensitivity: Some individuals may experience heightened sensitivity to touch or smell during migraines.
  • Fatigue and dizziness: Migraine attacks can leave individuals feeling tired, weak, or exhausted. Dizziness or lightheadedness may also be present during or after a migraine.

Types of Migraines

There are several types of migraines, each with its unique characteristics. The International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-3) provides a classification system for migraines. Here are some common types:

  • Migraine without aura: This is the most common type of migraine, also known as a common migraine. It is characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches lasting from a few hours to several days. 
  • Migraine with aura: This type of migraine is characterized by neurological symptoms known as an aura, which typically precede the onset of the headache. Aura symptoms can include visual disturbances (e.g., seeing flashing lights, blind spots), sensory changes (e.g., tingling or numbness), or language difficulties. 
  • Chronic migraine: Chronic migraines are diagnosed when a person experiences headaches 15 or more days per month for at least three months, with at least eight of those headaches being migraines. 

Eligibility Criteria for Migraine Disability Benefits

If you are applying for disability benefits for migraines through the Social Security Administration, the following criteria are typically considered:

  • Severity: Your migraines must be severe enough to limit your ability to perform basic work-related activities significantly.
  • Frequency: The migraines should occur frequently, generally defined as at least once per week.
  • Duration: The migraines should last for an extended period, usually at least several hours.
  • Documentation: Comprehensive medical documentation is required, including records of diagnosis, treatment history, and the impact of migraines on your ability to work.
  • Treatment: You should demonstrate that you have pursued appropriate medical treatment for your migraines and that the treatment has been ineffective or has caused side effects that prevent you from working.

It’s crucial to provide detailed and consistent medical evidence, including medical records, test results, and statements from healthcare professionals, to support your claim for disability benefits.

I meet the criteria for migraines. Now what?

When you meet the eligibility criteria for migraines and qualify for disability benefits, the specific outcomes and processes can vary based on the disability programs an applicant has enrolled in. 

  • Benefit approval: Once your application for disability benefits is reviewed and deemed eligible based on the migraines’ severity and impact on your ability to work, you will be notified of your approval.
  • Benefit payment: After approval, you will start receiving regular benefit payments. The frequency and method of payment can differ depending on the disability program. 
  • Medical reviews: In some cases, disability programs require periodic medical reviews to assess the ongoing eligibility for benefits. 
  • Rehabilitation and support services: Depending on the disability program, you may have access to rehabilitation services, vocational training, or other support programs aimed at helping you manage your migraines.
  • Appeals and reviews: If your application for disability benefits is initially denied, you may have the option to appeal the decision. This often involves providing additional evidence or presenting your case before an administrative law judge or review board.

What if you do not meet the eligibility criteria for Migraine?

Even if you do not meet the criteria for a diagnosed migraine, consulting with an experienced lawyer can still be beneficial. They can provide valuable legal expertise and guidance, helping you understand disability laws and regulations. 

They can assist in gathering and organizing the necessary medical documentation and evidence to support your case, emphasizing the impact of your migraines on your daily life and ability to work. With their expertise, they can build a strong case, highlighting the limitations and challenges you face due to migraines, even if you don’t fit into a specific subtype. 

They can represent you in appeals or hearings if your initial application for disability benefits is denied and negotiate with relevant parties to reach a settlement or resolution that addresses your needs.

How do I get 50% VA disability for migraines?

A 50% disability rating is the maximum VA disability rating for migraines. However, an applicant may struggle with prolonged and frequent attacks, resulting in severe economic problems. All ratings are outlined in 38 CFR § 4.124a, Schedule of Ratings – Neurological Conditions and Convulsive Disorders, Diagnostic Code 8100. 

  • 30% means that a veteran may struggle with characteristic prostrating attacks that occur once every month. 
  • 10% will be accompanied by characteristic prostrating attacks that occur once in 2 months.
  • 0% signifies less frequent migraine attacks.

How much disability can you get from Migraines?

The disability benefits for migraines are typically provided through the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs. The amount of the disability check will depend on factors such as your work history, earnings, and the specific program under which you qualify.

SSDI’s monthly benefit amount is based on your average lifetime earnings before becoming disabled. On the other hand, SSI benefits are needs-based, and the payment amount can vary depending on your income, resources, and living situation. In 2023, the maximum federal monthly SSI payment for an individual is $914; for SSDI, compensation is $3,600. The average check for an applicant applying for migraine disability benefits is $1304.03 per month.

Need Legal Help? Contact an experienced attorney.

Applying for benefits requires filing an application that includes thorough medical records. The complicated nature of the SSD claim process makes it essential to consult disability lawyers in New Jersey. 

They have experience handling SSD claims and helping clients gather the information necessary to prove their disability to the SSA. Schedule a free consultation or call us at 888-774-7243 if you have more questions about your disability claim.

FAQs on Migraine

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