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Migraine & Money Money Money

Migrane Awareness MonthHow does living with Migraine or another Headache Disorder impact your financial situation?

Like many other people who live with Chronic Migraine, my financial situation has been dramatically impacted by this disease. I was the main breadwinner in our household with a full time, good paying, professional job. Chronic Migraine turned me into an unemployable person on disability.

My work here at has allowed me some additional income, for which I’m incredibly grateful. This income and my disability benefits don’t add up to much, but it’s something. It makes a difference in helping us make ends meet and allowing me to feel a much needed sense of contribution.

Then you’ve got the enormous financial burden of living with and treating chronic illnesses. Turbo Tax informed me this year that my itemized deductions were high compared to my income, flagging our return as an audit risk. I couldn’t help but laugh because that’s the reality of our lives with Chronic Migraine. I pay so much in medical bills that I can deduct them from my taxes. It’s not as though I want to deal with an audit, but what am I supposed to do? Not take the tax breaks afforded to people like me? I think not.

Learn more about the 2013 MHAM Blog Challenge and other MHAM events by visiting: 2013 Migraine & Headache Awareness Month Information Page

June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • marydickey
    6 years ago

    I agree with just about everything I read here, the various stories all relate in one way or another to my experiences with chronic migraine. I especially want to reply here to what Diana-Lee posted about the financial burden/worry etc. that go hand in hand with this.

    I am already on public assistance and am getting ready to apply for disability due to the fact that I can’t hold a job because of my being chronically ill. I am incredibly stressed because of my lack of ability to work and therefore my anxiety level tends to go up exponentially and that in turn makes me more vulnerable to migraine and it just goes on and on and… well you know the rest.

    What struck me was what Diana mentioned about her medical bills being so high that she was flagged for a possible audit by the IRS…that is so sad but so true. I am so sorry to hear that but sadly I know exactly what that is like, and once again it just adds to the disability because of the worry and added stress. And yes, what can you do???
    I hope knowing we’re not alone in this and that we have a community to share with here is some comfort. I for one am very grateful.
    One more thing before I go, I also have the temperature issue with the migraine and I am post menopausal so I do have the hot flashes (big time!!) and so this may be related to that, I don’t know. But when my migraines are at their worst I’m usually very sick with the severe vomiting and dry heaves and so I also get severe chills as well. I live alone so don’t always have anyone to help me during those times, I can’t even get out of bed, I use the wastebasket with a liner in it to be sick and just getting up to use the bathroom or to get water is a major ordeal. So I haven’t taken my temperature but I will try to next time just to see if there’s a spike.
    The last episode I had that was that bad my sister took me to urgent care where the doctor gave me a shot for the headache and one for the nausea as well.It saved me from probably having a whole day and night of constant retching and just complete and utter exhaustion. It takes me three or four days to get back to feeling like I can really function at all like normal.
    Anyone else have anything similar I welcome any input. I honestly hope no one else goes through this, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Thanks for reading.

    Oh and BTW, I have three different forms of abortive meds for the headache, one is Zomig in regular pill form, the other is Maxalt MLT, dissolving tablet, and finally Zomig in a nasal spray. As you may have guessed these are for varying stages of the headache, and directly related to the severity of the headache and how far it has progressed to the nausea etc. If I don’t catch it in time, I will be sick it’s just that simple. And unfortunately, the nasal spray gives me nosebleeds. So there you have it. Again, thanks so much for reading and for letting me post here. I really appreciate it.:-)

  • shroomgirl
    6 years ago

    I totally agree with this article. I have been on disability for 7 years now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I cannot live on what I get on disability alone so I have to depend on my parents to supplement it. On top of the supplement, I live on their land in a cabin, rent free. Without their help I have no idea what I would do.
    Ironically, I have less migraines when I am not working (the stress from working coupled with Asperger’s brings them on big time!)So I am left feeling like I am just lazy.
    I am only 36 and I am seriously worried as to what will happen in my future… My parents have just retired and while they say that helping me out won’t financially burden them, I am worried that they will sacrifice to help me out.

  • Tim Banish
    6 years ago

    This is so true. After having migraines for 20+ years dealing with work got to be very difficult. After being let go at work I had no choice but to take early retirement. As much as Social Security pays very little, it is close to what I was earning working due to missing so many days because of migraines. Disability was an option, but financially could not wait the 2-3 years to be approved. Now off work for two months my migraines have decreased drastically, thank goodness. My only thought there is less exposure to the chemicals and odors I used to deal with at work.

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