Are migraines considered a disabling condition?

by Jul 9, 2016

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Sufferers of certain illnesses can find it very upsetting when people downplay or misinterpret their condition. For instance, if you are a person who has long struggled with debilitating migraine headaches, it can be very frustrating when people refer to all headaches as migraines or make the assumption that they are just bad headaches that can be treated with some aspirin. 

Not only does this reflect a misunderstanding of the condition itself, it can also perpetuate the assumption that they are not serious. In reality, sufferers of migraines know that this condition has the potential to completely disrupt a person’s life and make it all but impossible to do things like work, take care of the kids or complete routine tasks.

The truth is that migraines can be disabling. According to Mayo Clinic, they can make a person feel pain, nausea and an intense sensitivity to light and sound. Vision problems can also be experienced and some people faint. Migraines can also be a sign of a far more serious health problem including brain trauma. 

When people are experiencing a migraine, they often just want to lie down in a dark and quiet room until their symptoms subside. The last thing that a person with a migraine probably wants to do is sit in a room with fluorescent lights, talk to customers, work on the computer or exert any amount of physical energy to complete a task. Needless to say, the idea of going to work can only make matters worse.

Unfortunately, migraines in and of themselves may not necessarily prove to be “disabling,” at least from the Social Security Administration’s perspective. This means that if you suffer from chronic migraines and have suffered for quite some time, you will find it challenging to pursue disability benefits that are available to people with severe illnesses.

However, there are ways to improve your chances of qualifying for benefits. Documenting your medical history with migraines including treatments you have pursued is one way; linking the migraines to other conditions covered by SSDI is another. In order to understand the options available to you, it can be wise to speak with an attorney.