Can You Get Social Security Benefits for Having Chronic Migraines?
Many people in America experience chronic migraine headaches. In fact, about 18 percent of the women and six percent of the men in American have health problems with migraines as a disabling disorder. About 90 percent of those who have routine headaches such as migraines remain unable to work when they have an episode. This inability to work for hours or days after a migraine attack makes it difficult for a person to hold down a job. If a person has a disabling disorder like a migraine that affects their ability to work, they may be able to receive Social Security benefits.
Determining the Migraine Patient’s Eligibility for Social Security
To get SSI benefits for a migraine, the migraine patient needs to monitor the frequency, severity, and duration of their migraine episodes. Plus, the Social Security Administration has some technical and financial eligibility rules they need to observe before such payments can be made. If you meet all of the requirements necessary to qualify as disabled, you may be able to receive SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), which will enable you to have a steady source of income even though you can’t work.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 14 million people in the US have migraines daily. A headache that occurs daily can also affect a person by causing pain and fatigue that ruin a person’s social life and the chances of getting and keeping employment. Also, the World Health Organization suggests that people with frequently recurring migraines may be unable to care for themselves, their home, their children and pets.
Another consideration remains the medical treatment needed to treat a migraine. No specific test exists to determine if you have a migraine. So, in the process of identifying a diagnosis, you may have to have :
• Numerous doctor’s appointments and trips to the emergency room.
• A full neurological exam and evaluation.
• Lab work.
• Other imaging tests.
Plus, it remains crucial for you to keep a record of these expenses as well as the costs of any medications you take to treat this severe headache. Taking several migraine medications can add up to some serious money spent each month.
The MIDAS, or the Migraine Disability Assessment Test
The Migraine Disability Assessment Test (MIDAS) is a simple questionnaire that helps your health care provider determine how much impact migraines are having on your life. The survey is short, and the questions are about all of the headaches you’ve had in the last three months, not only migraines. The MIDAS test enables your primary doctor to determine the level of pain and the amount of downtime you experience. It also helps your doctor learn the right treatment plan for you, too.
How to Qualify for SSI Benefits for Migraines
While there are no specific rules for getting benefits for migraines, you may still qualify for benefits if you can prove that you can’t make a living that meets legitimate financial needs. To approve your SSI claim, Social Security will need to:
• Analyze your daily limitations.
• Take a look at the severity and frequency of your migraines.
• Determine your job options.
• Review your medical records about your migraine treatments.
If the SSA looks and all of your evidence and decides that you aren’t able to do the duties of a job for which you’d otherwise be eligible for, you may qualify for SSI benefits. The SSA evaluate the duration and frequency of your headaches as well as the severity of your other migraine symptoms such as:
• Sensitivity to light and noise.
• Balance problems.
• The length of time your migraines last.
• The number of times you’ve had to miss work for a headache.
Applying for Disability Benefits Due to Migraines
You might want to employ a Social Security disability advocate to help you with the paperwork involved in receiving disability benefits. This suggestion is especially true if you routinely have problems reading or writing due to headache symptoms. Try not to be in a hurry or anxious about receiving benefits, because the process takes time. Upon request, you’ll receive functional report questionnaires in the mail. Next, you should fill out the needed information and return the paperwork to SSA as quickly as you can. Also, the Social Security Administration may need to see your medical records for at least the last three months, such as:
- A history of the methods your doctor used to determine your migraine diagnosis.
- Image scan results.
- A list of medications prescribed for you to treat your migraine symptoms.
- Medical records regarding your symptoms from your doctor or other medical personnel who have observed you during a migraine.
- Documents that you’ve seen a doctor for your migraines and are following the physician’s orders.
To apply for SSDI, you may apply in person at the SSA office, fill out the application papers at home, or even apply over the phone. You will need to have a personal interview during the application process, so you’ll need to visit your local SSA office or call them at 1-800-772-1213.