If you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines, you know how incapacitating these afflictions can be. Most of us know someone who struggles with this illness. In fact – as reported by the Migraine Research Foundation,
- Worldwide, migraine is the 3rd most widespread infirmity
- About 1 in 4 U.S. households have a family member suffering with migraine
- Over four million people have chronic daily migraine, with a minimum of 15 “migraine days” every month.
- Over 90% of patients are unable to work or function normally during a migraine. Episodes generally last from 4 hours to 72 hours.
A disability claim for chronic headaches or migraines will be challenged.
Why would your disability insurance company, the Social Security Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs deny your legitimate claim? To win long term disability benefits for migraines, you need to be prepared.
The reality is, migraines and other severe headaches are recognized as debilitating medical conditions. When chronic, they impact your ability to function day-to-day and can prevent you from working and earning a living. Yet the condition is difficult to prove through traditional scans and imaging tests.
Chronic Headaches, Migraines – Hard to Objectively Prove
These painful headaches are neurologically based, and are characterized by intense pounding in one area of the head, with sensitivity to light, noise and smells. They are often accompanied by severe nausea, sinus-like symptoms, and facial and neck pressure and pain.
Some people experience an “aura” – a neurological symptom that precedes the pain, involving visual disturbances, confusion, trouble speaking, vertigo, and various stroke-like symptoms.
Regardless of their harsh symptoms, migraines are rarely caused by problems that will become evident on any laboratory testing, even on brain MRIs. In many ways, headaches and migraines are “subjective symptom disabilities” or “non-visible” disorders for which there are no objective tests that prove a person suffers from migraine.
In very rare cases of “familial hemiplegic migraine” the occurrence of migraines is known to be genetic. But this does not help the vast majority of patients.
Clinical Diagnosis (as opposed to laboratory diagnosis): In the medical world, since the disorder cannot be diagnosed by scan or by blood test, the diagnosis is “clinical” and must be made by qualified medical doctor.
You may Struggle with Cluster Headaches.
Cluster headaches are repeated attacks of sudden and excruciating pain on one side of the head, generally most extreme around the eye. They occur as either episodic or chronic. They might last from five minutes to three hours, and can attack the patient once every other day or as many as eight times in one day.
Chronic cluster headaches continue for more than a year without a headache-free intermission, or with pain-free breaks that last less than two weeks.
Proving Disability Claims for Headaches, Migraine
Our law firm is aware of the many reasons behind headache and migraine disability claim denial. No matter where you live in the U.S., we can help you appeal and overturn the denial so you get the compensation you deserve.
Long Term Disability Insurance Claims for Migraines and Headaches
(Group and Individual Disability Income Policies):
Insurance companies that provide Group and Individual Disability Policies often engage in unfair claims practices to deny claims. For an insurance company, the subjective nature of chronic headaches or migraines sets up the ideal scenario for the insurer to deny these disability claims on the basis of lack of objective evidence.
Insurers resort to many other tactics in order to protect their bottom line. Allow us to protect you.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for Chronic Headaches, Migraines:
The Social Security Administration does not have “migraine headache” or “headache” in their Listing of Impairments manual. Claims for SSDI must be proven on the basis of the medical diagnosis, but only if you clearly demonstrate that the disorder impacts your capacity to perform basic work.
Veterans Disability Compensation for Migraines and Headaches:
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes migraine headaches as a service connected disability if you can prove that your military service caused or aggravated your headaches. Our veterans claim attorneys will guide you through every level of the VA claims and appeals process.
Attorneys experienced with Headache and Migraine Disability Claims
Our disability law firm will help you build the strongest case possible, showing through medical and vocational documentation:
- you are officially diagnosed with migraines by a qualified medical expert;
- the severity of your condition limits your ability to do basic work activities;
- the headaches and symptoms occur at regular intervals and thus will occur for a long time, or permanently;
- clearly identify ongoing or past therapies and medications, what has been effective, what treatments have not worked;
- evidence of the frequency and severity of episodes, substantiated by a qualified doctors notes and opinions;
- employment records showing missed work caused by migraine attacks;
- supportive testimony from family and friends supporting the daily activities affected by the headaches;
- Are the headaches or migraines compounded by other injuries or diseases? The combination of impairments may render you totally disabled;
- a solid “residual functional capacity” argument that, due to frequent and disabling headache attacks, you would not be a reliable employee even at a very simple, undemanding and low-stress job;
- Veterans claims must also show the service connection; that an incident during service was the cause of the headaches or migraines; that the condition began during your active service or the condition is the effect of another service-related condition.
Don’t risk losing the disability benefits you deserve.
At Marc Whitehead & Associates, we represent claimants in their fight against insurance companies, the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Marc Whitehead is board certified in Social Security Disability law.
Our veterans’ attorneys are accredited by the VA to assist veterans in their disability claims before the VA Regional Office, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Ask Us About Your Claim Today.
If you were denied long term disability benefits, Social Security Disability or Veterans’ Disability Compensation, we are prepared to help you now. 1-800-562-9830