Migraine Headaches and Social Security Disability

A migraine headache can be very painful.  It can cause intense throbbing or a pulsing sensation in one area of the head.  It may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and/or sensitivity to light and sound.  The question is can you get social security disability if you have migraine headaches?  That depends.

The social security administration will look at the frequency and intensity of your migraine headaches.  They will also look at the treatment that you have sought for your migraine headaches.  I once had a client that had severe neck pain and migraine headaches.  I asked her what treatment she had for her migraine headaches.  She replied that she never sought treatment for her migraine headaches.  I suggested that she seek out a migraine specialist.  She followed my suggestion and a month later called me.  The specialist prescribed medication and her neck pain as well as her migraine headaches were under control.  As a result she was able to return to work and no longer needed to apply for social security disability.  She was thrilled that she was no longer in pain and able to work.  So the first step if you have migraine headaches should be to see a doctor, preferably a specialist, to see if you can help stop the pain and symptoms of a migraine headache.

If you have seen a doctor and the pain medications have not helped the next step may be to have tests to discover the cause of your migraine headaches.  If you have sought treatment and all treatment has failed the social security administration will look at the frequency and intensity of your migraine headaches.  If you only have one headache per month, lasting a few hours, then you are still able to work a full-time job as you would only miss one day of work per month due to migraine headaches.  Some people have migraine headaches that are so painful that they have to go to the emergency room or are hospitalized.  Again, the social security administration will look at the intensity and frequency of such migraine headaches.

It is advisable to keep a diary of when you have a migraine.  Log into it the time, day and length of each headache.  Also, note the symptoms with each headache.

Often, clients have migraine headaches along with other illnesses.  The social security administration will look at the combination of symptoms and see if there is a full-time job that you can perform depending on your limitations, age, education and past work experience.   Unlike other illnesses or injuries there is not a social security disability listing for migraine headaches.

Please remember that this is just general information, and everyone’s situation is unique. This article should not be considered legal advice.