While migraines are often dismissed as a severe headache, people who suffer from migraines know that they can have a significant impact on your life. The pain can leave you exhausted, and other symptoms can make it difficult or even impossible to maintain your productivity at work. Taking sick days may relieve the burden initially, but that may not be a long-term solution for chronic migraine sufferers.
Is it possible to receive disability benefits for migraines?
Migraines are more than simply severe headaches.
Migraines are a serious neurological disorder that impact around one in twenty men and one in five women. During a migraine, symptoms can include:
- Throbbing or pulsing pain, either on one side of the head or both
- Sensitivity to sound, light and other sensory input
While migraines may only last for a few hours, some migraine sufferers experience migraines for up to three days.
Before a migraine, some sufferers may also experience other symptoms, known as aura. These include vision loss, visual or auditory phenomena including hearing noises or seeing bright spots, numbness, uncontrollable movements and even difficulty speaking.
Your disability benefits could depend on documenting your migraines.
Long-term disability benefits are usually only available for those whose migraines are severe and chronic. While the requirements may vary depending on your employer, you will generally need to show that your migraines impair your ability to work full time in order to receive disability benefits.
First, keep a record of your migraines. Document details about your migraines, including the symptoms, duration, intensity and frequency, can help show how this condition impacts your daily life. You may also want to note how the symptoms you experience directly impacted your ability to work.
A long-term disability insurance provider will also examine your medical history, including the physicians you have met with to discuss your condition, the appointments you have made to address your migraines and any medication that you take. You may want to ask your neurologist, pain management specialist or other medical professionals to offer a statement to support your application.
While proving the disabling nature of migraines may be a challenge, it is possible to get the long-term disability benefits you need with thorough documentation.