We do not handle Social Security Disability (SSDI) claims.

Are chronic migraines a disability?

Shawn E. McDermott

Migraines are more than just “bad headaches.” They are a complex and debilitating neurological condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

While there are numerous migraine subtypes, chronic migraines go well beyond an occasional inconvenience. In fact, they can be profoundly disabling.

What are chronic migraines?

Chronic migraines can be diagnosed with someone has a migraine or headache at least 15 days out of every month for at least three months. In addition, the sufferer must have migraine symptoms (such as processing difficulties, visual auras, photosensitivity, nausea, vomiting and so on) on at least eight of those days.

Chronic migraines can wreak havoc on someone’s personal and professional lives alike. The hallmark of chronic migraine is persistent, unrelenting pain, so sufferers can find it almost impossible to establish or maintain routines. Living with constant pain can also cause anxiety, depression and constant fatigue. That can make it difficult for sufferers to concentrate and affect their interpersonal relationships both inside and outside the workplace.

Migraines can also be triggered by everything from excessive computer use and fluorescent lighting to certain scents and a lot of noise. Avoiding triggers in the workplace, where patients cannot closely control their environments, can be very difficult.

In the not-so-distant past, migraines were poorly understood. Instead of being regarded as a true medical condition, “sick headaches” were largely regarded with skepticism. Unfortunately, that attitude still persists in some circles. If your short-term disability (STD) or long-term disability (LTD) claim related to your chronic migraines has been denied, it may be time to seek legal guidance on your appeal.

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