Houston Social Security
Disability Attorney

Photo of David Dopkin
Photo of David Dopkin

Are migraines a disability?

| Oct 16, 2020 | Social Security Disability Benefits for Illness

If you suffer from migraines, you probably wish that everyone understood that they are far more than “just headaches.” They’re actually a serious neurological condition that can utterly incapacitate someone during an attack.

But are migraines really serious enough to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits? Maybe.

Migraines are the number one cause of disability for people under 50 years of age around the world — but every migraineur’s experience is somewhat different. Here’s what you need to consider when it comes to migraines as a disability:

  • What treatments have you tried for your migraines? To qualify for SSD benefits, you generally have to show that you’ve taken every reasonable step to get your condition under control. That means asking a doctor for help, seeing a neurologist and trying whatever they recommend to see if it gives you relief.
  • How frequent are your migraines? Some people can control their migraines fairly well with the right treatment. Others cannot. If your migraines aren’t in control despite treatment and you suffer from them daily or weekly, that may completely prevent you from working.
  • What side effects do you have from treatment? Maybe your migraines have lessened in frequency or duration with medication, but the medication makes it difficult for you to work. Topamax, for example, can prevent migraines in a lot of people, but its side-effects include anxiety, tiredness, dizziness, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, dulled reaction times and more. All of those can negatively affect your ability to work.
  • How limited are you during a migraine attack? It’s important to be clear on your application about what life is like when you’re having a migraine. Are you confined to a dark, quiet room? Can you read? Can you manage your own basic needs?

For migraineurs, it often feels like their condition isn’t taken seriously — and it probably isn’t. If your migraines are disabling, you may want to get help with your Social Security Disability claim for the best results.