The Application Process Part One
The application for disability can be filled out online, can be printed and mailed in, or may be filled out at your local Social Security Office. I chose to fill out my application online.
Prior to starting the application you will need the following information on hand:
- SSN and Proof of Age
- Names, addresses, phone numbers of doctors, case workers, hospitals and clinics where you were treated AND the dates of visits.
- Names and dosages of current medications note, you will want to have the information for medications youve tried as well that you are no longer taking.
- Medical records that you have in your possession they will contact any place you do not currently have records for.
- Lab and test results
- Summary of where you worked and what you did it also helps to note any accommodations you received from workplaces in addition to any changes you had to make to your schedule or type of work due to migraine.
- Most recent W-2
You will be prompted to apply for both SSI and SSDI do this.
I personally applied for both and was denied SSI because it has strict requirements for how many total assets you have in your bank and in any investments. At the time, it was $2000, which I was over by a few dollars.
It took a few hours to fill out this application and get everything submitted.
It is very important that you print a copy of everything to keep for your own records.
How Do You Apply For Disability
The SSA provides an extensive checklist online with all of the information you need to apply for disability benefits. Make sure you follow the guidelines closely for document copies versus originals. The SSA accepts copies of W-2 forms, tax returns, and medical forms, but only accepts originals of other records, such as your birth certificate.
Once you have all of the documents you need, you can start the application process online. At some point during the process, the SSA will contact you for an interview with a local representative. Then brace yourself it can take 3 to 5 months to hear back with a decision.
The Ssdi And Ssi Application Process For Chronic Headaches
Initial applications for SSDI and SSI benefits for chronic headaches are almost always denied. We recommend hiring an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer early in the application process. In our experience, the earlier an SSDI attorney becomes involved, the greater the likelihood of success. We hope to be retained as soon as someone has filed an application for benefits.
It is best to file applications for SSDI and SSI in person at a local SSA District Office. This will typically expedite the process. You will need a birth certificate, a list of physicians and medications used to diagnose and treat your chronic headaches, and a work history. If you receive a denial letter, you have 60 days to file a Request for Reconsideration.
If an appeal for SSDI or SSI benefits related to chronic headaches is denied, you have 60 days to file for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge . This is often the best chance of getting SSDI or SSI benefits for chronic headaches. However, even an ALJs decision can be appealed to an Appeals Council and U. S. District Court. However, this is not likely to be successful.
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Aug How Someone With Chronic Migraine Can Qualify For Social Security Disability
If you experience chronic migraine that makes it difficult or impossible for you to work you can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits. You will need to provide medical documentation of your illness in order for your claim to be approved. This medical documentation will help support that you are unable to work for at least 12 months, which is a requirement for applying for disability.
Medically Qualifying For Disability Benefits With Migraine
A migraine attack can incapacitate someone for days. The light and sound sensitivity, as well as the physical toll that migraine disease takes on the body, can mean that the person needs days of recovery time. But in order to be approved for disability benefits due to migraine disease, there needs to be an underlying medical condition or a person needs to ask for a Medical Vocational Allowance.
All of the conditions that qualify for Social Security disability benefits are listed in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book, and there is no official listing for migraine disease. However, migraine can be symptoms of other health problems that are listed in the Blue Book. If you experience migraine due to any of these conditions you can be approved for disability benefits based on Blue Book listing for these conditions:
- High Blood Pressure
Medical Vocation Allowance And Residual Functional Capacity
Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits
If You Are Denied
Can My Employer Refuse To Fulfill My Request For An Accommodation
Under the ADA, your employer is not required to provide you with an accommodation in two situations: 1) if the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would be an undue hardship for the company ; and 2) if the employer can demonstrate that your disability poses a direct threat to the health and safety of individuals in the workplace. Both situations are unlikely to apply to women with migraines.
1. What Is an Undue Hardship?
The ADA defines as undue hardship for employers as a situation that would be unduly costly, extensive, substantial or disruptive, or would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business. An employers size, financial resources, or the nature of the operations may be factors in determining whether an accommodation represents an undue hardship.
Employers may wrongly believe that workplace accommodations are too expensive, which is often untrue for women with migraines. In fact, 57 percent of accommodations for migraines do not cost anything, and the remaining changes typically cost $500 or less.
2. What Is a Direct Threat?
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What Does Severe Economic Inadaptability Mean
The term severe economic inadaptability is also not defined in VA law.
Whats particularly important to note is that the Courts have held that nothing in DC 8100 requires that the claimant be completely unable to work to qualify for a 50 percent rating for migraines.
In this regard, it was explained by the Court that if economic inadaptability were read to import unemployability, a claimant would be eligible for extra-scheduler TDIU claim rather than just a 50 percent rating. ;
The Court has discussed the notion that consideration must also be given as to whether the disability could produce severe economic inadaptability, regardless of whether the condition was actually causing such inadaptability.
In this regard, VA conceded that the words productive of could be read to mean either producing or capable of producing.;
Migraines And Social Security’s Blue Book
SSA’s “Blue Book” Listing of Impairments contains hundreds of medical conditions that will automatically medically qualify a person for disability benefits. There is no listing specifically for migraines in Social Security’s Blue Book, so a person who suffers only from migraines will not meet a listing. However, migraine headache sufferers may “equal” a listing if it can be shown that their symptoms are of equal severity to a listing for a similar condition.
Because the latest medical research places migraines on the seizure spectrum, it’s possible that someone with chronic migraines could equal the listings epilepsy. Merely having occasional migraines won’t equal the listing. Migraines must occur at least twice a week, despite treatment, and impair mental functioning for several hours at a time. While it’s quite difficult to equal the epilepsy listing with migraines, your chances will be improved if your doctor provides an opinion that the limitations caused by your migraines are as severe as the limitations specified in the epilepsy listings.
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Qualifying For Social Security Disability Based On Migraines
Occasional migraines may be nothing more than an inconvenience, but those who experience regular, severe migraine headaches can find it very difficult to function on a daily basis, often able to do nothing more than stay in bed in a dark room for hours or days at a time. Medications to treat migraines may not always be effective, and can sometimes have side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness.
If you’re suffering from chronic migraines, you may be considering applying for Social Security disability benefits. Here’s what the Social Security Administration will look at in determining if your migraines reach the level of a disability.
Migraine Workplace Discrimination: Challenges Women With Chronic Migraines Face In The Workplace
There is a stigma behind these kind of invisible disabilities. If there arent consistent tangible, visible signs, if a doctor cant point to a structure and say thats the cause, right there! then surely it cant be that bad
Jessica McHale, American Association of People with Disabilities, referring to her experience with migraines, December 8, 2016
One of the serious challenges for women experiencing migraines is discrimination in the workplace. Due to a pervasive awareness gap about the disabling impact migraines have on individuals, in the work environment, employers may perceive women who suffer from as weak, lazy, lacking self-discipline;and exaggerating their symptoms. Contributing to these misperceptions are common beliefs among Americans that their own mild and tolerable headaches are migraines, when they are not, and the fact that the debilitating pain of migraines is unseen and hard to measure.
Because these misperceptions are common, employers may believe that women with migraines are inconsiderate, unable to plan because they have to miss a meeting or interrupt their work temporarily to cope when a migraine occurs, and/or use migraines as an excuse to avoid their responsibilities. The result is working women with migraines often feel guilty about struggling to fulfil their obligations and often experience depression as a result. Women with migraines are 41 percent more likely to be depressed than those without a history of migraines.
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Is Disability Your Best Option
In a perfect world, migraine wouldnt be a part of your life and you would be able to do your work easily, without the threat of debilitating pain and neurological symptoms. Since this is not the case, disability can be a good option to help you maintain an income while looking into other treatment options. When applying for disability, look at your medical leave as a time to rest, recover, and find a treatment that worksif one is available. While your best option would be a treatment plan that enables you to live a normal life without migraine, if nothing is working, the time and financial assistance disability affords makes it your best option.
To learn more about how to apply for SSDI, please download the American Migraine Foundation guide to filing for disability insurance.
What Does A Severe Migraine Feel Like
A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. Its often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.
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Bipolar Disorder And Your Ability To Perform Physical Work
While bipolar disorder does not directly affect your ability to walk, sit, lift, pull, or otherwise perform physical labor, the Social Security Disability system does recognize that it can adversely affect your ability to work at repetitive tasks or to work with other people or with the general public on an ongoing basis. To determine whether your bipolar makes it impossible for you to perform physical work , the SSA will look at the severity of your symptoms. It is critical that your doctor and/or mental health professional clearly lists all of the activities that you cannot reasonably be expected to perform.
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Social Security Disability For Headaches In Detroit
Severe headaches hit you out of nowhere. Theyre so bad, you cant work.
Most people dont understand what its like to have chronic, severe headaches. Anyone can get a headache, but its usually just an annoyance that happens once in a while.
If your headaches are completely debilitating, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits to help replace your lost income.
Social Security disability benefits are designed to provide financial assistance for people whose medical conditions prevent them from working.
But getting disability for headaches is not automatic. In fact, most people get denied when they first apply.
Social Security doesnt list headaches as a named category of approved conditions for disability benefits, so winning benefits will be difficult.
But its not impossible.
An experienced Social Security disability lawyer knows how to present your recurring headache condition to claims examiners.
Check If Your Impairments Long Term
A long-term effect means something that has affected you or is likely to affect you for at least a year. For example, if you had an operation that will make walking difficult for at least a year, thats long term.
Your impairment will still be considered to be long term if the effects are likely to come and go. These are known as fluctuating or recurring effects.
For example, youve had periods of depression for a few months at a time but then months in between where it doesnt affect you. Each episode of depression lasts less than 12 months, but it can meet the definition of long term if:
- it has a substantial adverse effect when it happens, and
- it could well happen again
Your impairment will also still be considered to be long term if its likely to affect you for the rest of your life even if thats going to be less than a year.
The definition of what is long term is in Schedule 1 of the Equality Act 2010.
How To Apply For Ssdi Benefits
If a person thinks that they are eligible for SSDI benefits, they should apply for them as soon as possible, because they have a 5-month waiting period.
This means that people will not receive a benefit payment until the sixth full month of disability. This is on top of the time that it takes for the government to decide whether they will receive the benefit.
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Applying For Social Security Disability For Migraines
You can apply for Social Security disability by visiting your local Social Security office, calling the SSA at 772-1213, or online at www.ssa.gov . After your application is processed at your local SSA office, your file will be sent to your state’s Disability Determination Services , where a claims examiner will analyze your file, further investigate your case, and eventually make the determination on whether to approve your disability claim. Although this claims examiner will request copies of your medical records directly from your provider, it can help speed up the decision process if you submit any records that you may have on-hand to your local SSA office or to the DDS office directly.
The claims examiner may also call you for a phone interview, send you additional reports to complete, or ask you to go for a doctor’s exam
You will receive your disability decision in the regular mail, and in general, it takes 3-4 months for an initial Social Security disability decision to be made.
Patterns Of Depression And Mania
If you have bipolar disorder, you may have episodes of depression more regularly than episodes of mania, or vice versa.
Between episodes of depression and mania, you may sometimes have periods where you have a ânormalâ mood.
The patterns are not always the same and some people may experience:
- rapid cycling;;where a person with bipolar disorder repeatedly swings from a high to a low phase quickly without having a ânormalâ period in between
- mixed state;;where a person with bipolar disorder experiences symptoms of;depression and mania together; for example, overactivity with a depressed mood
If your mood swings last a long time but are not severe enough to be classed as bipolar disorder, you may be diagnosed with a mild form of bipolar disorder called cyclothymia.
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Real Disabilities Should Be Seen And Not Thought
One of the problems with bipolar disorder is that its an invisible illness. People often cant see how sick a person is with bipolar disorder and so people fail to realize that it exists at all. When the person standing next to you is blind, that disability is obvious thanks to a white cane. When the person standing next to you has bipolar disorder, that disability is invisible but that doesnt mean it doesnt exist.
But, of course, many invisible medical conditions can be disabilities. For example, few people would argue that constant migraines werent a disability, and yet they are completely invisible .
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