A migraine is more than just a headache. It’s a true disability for many. But can you get disability for migraines? We answer this question below.
The Reality of Living With Migraines
It’s a neurological condition that affects the daily life of everyone who experiences one. Its impact is noticeable to those around you. And it can sometimes affect your performance at work and other areas of your life.
Migraine is also a common condition that affects 39 million people in our country alone. In fact, about 90 percent of people who experience migraines are not able to function properly at work during an attack.
Out of those 39 million people, 4 million suffer from chronic migraines. Chronic migraines are recurring migraines that happen 15 or more days a month. Because of this, migraines are the most common cause of disability. And that’s not just in the United States. They affect people all over the world.
Can You Get Disability For Migraines?
This means that, yes, you can apply for disability for migraines. There are two options for disability:
- Short-term disability where the benefits may last for a few months. To apply, you’ll need to speak with your HR manager to learn how to apply for short-term disability under your employer’s policy.
- Long-term disability – you can apply for this through the Social Security Administration. You can also apply if you have a long-term disability policy at work, or on your own. The Social Security Administration will only approve your disability claim if you have:
- Chronic migraines that are expected to last at least a year
- Have paid enough Social Security taxes
- Can’t perform well at your work because of chronic migraine
- Can’t adjust to a different work because of chronic migraine
When applying for disability for your chronic migraine, remember that it will take some time for the SSA to review your application. After they review your application, you will receive a functional report questionnaire. This is usually sent by email.
Once you receive the questionnaire, you must fill it out and send it back to the SSA as soon as possible. If you need help filling out the questionnaire, ask a family member, a friend or an SSA representative to assist you.
It can help your application if you include a journal about the daily challenges and struggles you face during a chronic migraine attack. Here are some more things you need to include for your application:
- Medical diagnosis by your doctor
- MRI and CT scan results (if you have them)
- Prescriptions from your doctor
- A list of your symptoms
- Note from your primary care doctor about the effects of your condition
- The frequency and duration of your migraines
If the SSA finds you meet all the requirements, then you should be approved to get disability benefits for your migraine. This should help you rest a little easier knowing that you’ll have steady income coming in if migraines prevent you from working.
Guide to Migraines
This article is part of our Guide to Migraine Treatments and Causes.
Check out the next topic in this series: How Does Botox Work For Migraines?