Anyone who’s suffered a migraine headache knows how debilitating they can be. Unfortunately, over 90% of migraine sufferers are unable to function normally for the duration of their migraines. While most sufferers experience migraine attacks once or twice a month, more than 4 million people in the United States actually suffer from chronic daily migraines.

For those who suffer in this way, qualifying for disability as a result of their chronic migraines could have a huge impact on their lives.

But are chronic migraines even considered a disability?  

Disability Defined

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a disability is “any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).”

The disability community includes a broad spectrum of people with physical and mental needs, some of which are difficult for others to perceive. 

Disabilities without obvious outward signs may be called hidden disabilities or invisible disabilities.

Are Chronic Migraines Considered a Disability? 

Although the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not include chronic migraines in their official list of impairments, it is still possible to apply for disability benefits if you are suffering from chronic migraines.  

Because 90% of people suffering from migraines cannot function (let alone work) when they have migraines, chronic migraines can have a deep impact on a person’s ability to hold a steady job and support themselves. 

This is of special note when you consider when most people begin to suffer from migraines. 

Unlike many chronic illnesses that develop later in life, migraines tend to strike during a person’s most productive years. They’re most common in people ages 25 to 55, according to the WHO, which means they take a tremendous toll on earnings ability. In fact, the Job Accommodation Network estimates that 157 million workdays are lost in the U.S. annually due to migraine headaches. (SSD)

Although the process of applying for disability benefits can be involved and time-consuming, for many who suffer from chronic migraines, it is a necessary step in the process of caring for themselves. 

Applying for Disability

When you apply for disability due to chronic migraines, officials will take several factors into account:

  • Your age
  • Your specific vocational factors
  • The limitations caused by your migraines 
  • Your medical history (including past and present treatments)

During this process, you may have to participate in a phone or in-person interview in order to answer questions and/or clarify the details of your personal experience with chronic migraines.

Through it all, we recommend working together with a doctor to document your symptoms and experiences. We also recommend that you have an honest conversation with your employer about any accommodations they can make to help you deal with your chronic migraine headaches.

Stop Migraines Can Help

Migraine headaches can be debilitating, particularly if your condition is chronic.

Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer alone. Help is available. 

For information on how you can find relief from chronic headaches and tools to reach a diagnosis and helpful treatments, please contact Stop Migraines today.

We look forward to serving you.