A look at migraine headaches and eligibility for benefits

by Apr 7, 2015

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There are a lot of people in Tennessee, as well as across the nation, who are unaware of how difficult it is to apply for and receive disability benefits. Many people believe that a person simply has to declare their condition and that this is enough to qualify an applicant for benefits. But as our more frequent readers know, this isn’t the case at all.

An applicant must prove that their condition not only meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability, they must also show how impactful their condition is on their life. From a proper diagnosis to extensive medical evidence, there are a lot of things that need to be included on a disability application before it’s considered by the Administration.

But what if you’re not sure whether or not your condition qualifies for disability benefits? Take for example a person who suffers from migraine headaches. During a migraine episode, a person may become incapacitated by pain for several hours or even a few days. To a person experiencing a migraine headache, their condition might be disabling. But would SSA rule the same way?

Depending on the extent to which a person’s life was negatively impacted, the answer could be yes. That’s because some of the symptoms associated with migraine episodes are similar to the symptoms for non-convulsive epilepsy. Because non-convulsive epilepsy is the closest listed impairment to migraine headaches, SSA might consider a migraine sufferer’s application for benefits.

Of course, just because a condition can be considered analogous to another debilitating condition does not necessarily mean a person will be eligible to receive benefits. And in some cases, it may be necessary to get help from a lawyer, especially if a claim has been denied and needs to be appealed.

Source: The Social Security Administration, “Finding Disability Based on the Listing of Impairments”, Accessed Oct. 2, 2015