Without a doubt, migraine headaches are painful, reduce your quality of life and can prevent you from working.  For many years Social Security took the position that migraines were not a impairment that could be determined medically because the diagnosis was made only on reported symptoms.  This position changed in 2009.

A migraine disability case is not easy to prove but can it can be done.  Social Security requires that other conditions be ruled out and that the headache events can be described in detail by a doctor.  Social Security defines a migraine as an intense headache with more than moderate pain and has with it migraine characteristics and phenomena.

The diagnosis of migraine must be made by a physician and the description should include answers to these questions:  What are the migraine advance warning symptoms?...Are headaches accompanied by an aura? ...What are their duration, intensity and accompanying symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or abnormal pain from light or sound? And what are the effects of treatment?

There are other acceptable indicators like an untreated or unsuccessfully treated headache event which lasts from 4 to 72 hours and is accompanied by at least two of these conditions: a unilateral, pulsating quality...moderate to severe pain which gets worse...and the headache becomes more severe with routine physical activity and is accompanied by at least one symptom such as nausea, vomiting, or abnormal pain from light or sound.

Most successful cases are won because medical records show disability applicants make continuous medical efforts to seek relief...that the condition is well documented by a neurologist... and that employers will not tolerate the frequent absences that accompany chronic migraines. 

Our experience has shown that migraine headache disability cases are complex and difficult but they are winnable.  At Cuddigan Law you have a dedicated  team of professionals in your corner who understand the system and who will fight for your rights.  Call us for a free evaluation of your case.


Sean D. Cuddigan
Connect with me
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska