According to the Mayo Clinic, “Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling.” Nonetheless, proving that migraines are disabling enough to collect Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits is difficult. Many administrative law judges (“ALJs”) dislike finding migraines disabling because they are hard to establish objectively.
I represent a 37 year old woman, who was able to establish the chronicity of her migraine headaches through her treatment with a neurologist that specialized in headaches. Just as importantly, the claimant was able to establish the severity of her headaches by submitting records from two-dozen emergency room visits when her ongoing treatment with her headache specialist and pain management specialist was unavailing.
The claimant’s doctors stated that the headaches would result in the claimant missing more than 3 days of work a month, and being off task more 10% of the time. A vocational expert said those limitations would preclude full time work. Accordingly, the ALJ found the claimant’s migraines were disabling, and entitled to SSD benefits.
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