Social Security Disability benefits are available for those who suffer from chronic conditions that inhibit their ability to work. Most conditions that qualify for benefits last for at least 12 months and are included in the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Blue Book of impairment listings.
Although migraines are not listed as a condition that qualifies for benefits, it may still be possible to get the benefits you need. There are two ways in which it may be possible to qualify for benefits:
Proving the Disabling Effects of Your Migraines
Migraines are a severe form of headache that can cause nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. They can last several hours, or even several days, which can interfere with your ability to work. If you experience migraines that are frequent, long-lasting and severe that prevent you from working, it may be possible to get disability benefits.
The SSA will require detailed medical documentation that provides evidence of the disabling effects of your migraines. Because there is no laboratory test that can prove how severe a migraine is, the SSA will rely on statements and reports from your doctor.
The types of documentation the SSA will require includes:
- Reports from the primary doctor who treats your condition, such as a headache specialist, a neurologist or a pain management specialist
- Detailed documentation about how often you experience migraines as well as how severe they are, exactly when they happen, how long they last, the symptoms you experience, the intensity of the pain and how they affect your daily life
- Documentation of the treatments you are currently receiving, as well as those you have tried in the past
It is important to show how migraines affect your daily life and your ability to work. Keeping a migraine journal can help you keep track of this.
Qualifying for Another Impairment Listing
You may also be able to qualify for benefits if your migraines are severe enough and if your symptoms are equal to those of another condition.
For example, recent research has placed migraines on the seizure spectrum, which means you may be able to qualify for disability benefits for epilepsy if you can demonstrate that your symptoms are the same as those for epilepsy. You will have to experience migraines at least twice a week, despite treatment, and they must impair mental functioning for several hours at a time.
Applying for disability benefits in Arizona and gathering the correct documentation can be difficult. Our Phoenix SSD lawyers are experienced in guiding clients through this process. We can help you get the benefits you need.
Call 1-800-503-2000 today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.