Is it possible to get Social Security disability benefits for migraines?

Yes, it is. However, it’s not easy. Migraine headaches are not included in the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book listing of impairments, but you can get Social Security (SS) disability for migraines if you can provide documentation that your migraines are severe and frequent enough to prevent you from holding a job and are diagnosed as primary headache disorder.

Evidence Needed for Migraine Disability

The SSA wants proof that you need disability for your migraines. This proof comes in many forms, including a doctor’s medical report diagnosing the condition, lab test results, and exams that exclude other conditions that could cause the headaches.

At a minimum, the SSA needs:

  • Documentation from your doctor verifying your diagnosis of primary headache disorder.
  • Notes from your doctor detailing the frequency and severity of your migraines.
  • Medical records showing you've tried treatment and still suffer disabling effects from your migraines.
  • A headache journal with specific details about your migraine attacks.

Information to Include in Your Headache Journal

Getting Social Security disability benefits for migrainesA headache journal supplements your medical records and gives the SSA information about how migraines affect your ability to function. Making notes about your symptoms, the duration of the migraine, the intensity of the pain, the medication you take, and if you made a trip to the doctor or emergency room for medical attention supports the diagnosis that your migraines are a medically determinable impairment of a primary headache disorder.

Every time you get a migraine, you should write down the following details:

  • The date the migraine occurred and the duration.
  • What you believe triggered the migraine.
  • Any medications you took and how they affected you.
  • The severity of the pain.
  • Any symptoms other than a headache.
  • What you did during the headache.
  • What you were not able to do because of the migraine.
  • Any effects before or after the headache.
  • How long it took to recover from the episode.

The more detail you can give about symptoms—including if you were nauseous, dizzy, or couldn’t get out of bed—the more information you give your doctor to support the diagnosis. Bring the journal with you to each appointment, and make sure the doctor enters the information into your medical records.

Cuddigan Law for Your Migraine Disability Claim

If you suffer from migraine headaches that make it difficult to work, you may want to apply for SS disability benefits. However, submitting a successful claim can be a difficult and frustrating process. Hiring a disability attorney can be the best way to help ensure a successful outcome for your claim.

The trusted attorneys at Cuddigan Law are skilled and experienced in SS disability law and have handled disability claims for over 25 years. If you need help with your application or a denied claim, contact Cuddigan Law by filling out the form on our website or by calling our Omaha or Lincoln office to speak with an intake specialist for free.

For more tips, request a free copy of our booklet, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case.