Yes, You Can Get SSDI for Chronic Migraines

Migraines are known for being the worst of headaches, but a migraine is more than an aching head. Migraines are caused by a neurological disorder and are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, eye pain, and hypersensitivity to light, sound, and/or smell.

Migraines differ from person to person. Some people have infrequent, mild migraines that last for four or five hours. Others have debilitating pain that lasts up to 72 hours or even longer. For these people, doing anything other than staying in bed in a dark room is impossible.

There are medications that can treat or prevent migraine attacks, but they are not always effective, and many drugs have side effects, such as dizziness or drowsiness.

If you suffer from frequent and severe migraines, you may find it hard to work and to keep a job. Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) may be an option.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not have a disability listing for migraines. In order for the SSA to consider your application for SSDI, you will have to show the following:

  • Your migraines limit your ability to perform basic work tasks and engage in other life activities. You must show you have significant limitations that affect your ability to concentrate, understand instructions, interact with others, or perform physical activities such as walking, standing, or carrying.
  • You must show that you are unable to do the kind of work that you have been doing and that you cannot do another type of work.
  • You must have medical evidence of your migraines. Your medical records must contain a diagnosis, and they must show that you continue to have severe symptoms despite following your treatment plan.
  • You must show that you have tried several different types of treatments.

You can apply for SSDI online at, or we can file an application for you in our office.  It will take 3-4 months for an initial decision to be made. Social Security often denies claims that have merit, so don't give up. It is important to provide adequate evidence of your disability and the impact it has on your ability to attend work.

If your claim for SSDI for migraines is denied, don’t panic. You may still qualify. Our Omaha disability benefits lawyers can help you file an appeal. Learn how we can help you in our booklet, Why You Should Hire an Attorney to Handle Your Social Security Disability Claim. To schedule a free claim evaluation, contact Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405.