Can You Receive Disability Benefits If You Have Migraine Disease?

Question: Can I really qualify for disability benefits for migraines?

In the US there are certain health conditions that make one automatically qualified for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration has a manual called the Blue Book that lists all the physical and mental impairments that automatically qualify someone for disability benefits.

Unfortunately, migraine is not one of these conditions since it can be completely different in every person all the way from a couple attacks a year to daily migraine. Chronic migraine and episodic migraine are considered different spectrums of migraine disease rather than their own individual conditions. For conditions like migraine you must file a detailed, lengthy application and have your situation reviewed on a case-by-case basis. This does not mean that you cannot receive disability benefits. It simply means the process is harder, more complicated and takes longer.

First Social Security will make an initial determination of the non-medical aspects of your claim to determine your eligibility. Either you must have a certain number of work credits, which means you must have worked a certain length of time within the past few years to qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance program, or your assets must be low enough to qualify for the Supplemental Security Income program. Otherwise Social Security won't even get to the question of whether your health condition is bad enough to warrant awarding you benefits.

Next Social Security will look at the evidence you and your doctors provide to determine whether or not your condition limits your functioning to the extent that it is impossible for you to work at any kind of job. They will look at the impact of migraine disease and any comorbid conditions on your ability to carry out day to day, routine tasks and work to make this determination.

Social Security may make a positive decision based on your initial application or you may need to appeal their decision multiple times to try to be awarded disability benefits.

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