Do You Want Relief from Health-Related Financial Stress?

Chronic headaches can shut down your day like few other illnesses. If they interfere with your ability to work, they can also sink your sense of security.

Social Security Disability benefits provide a glimmer of financial relief when you can’t work because of health problems—giving you monthly checks to pay for your essential needs.

But there’s a problem: Social Security doesn’t specifically recognize chronic headaches as a condition that qualifies for disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) acknowledges several types of headaches that can be health limitations—migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches—but you have to use special strategies to work them into your disability benefits claim.

Thankfully, you can get help from someone who deals with this process all the time. Hanley Disability has trained and experienced Social Security Disability advocates who know what to do.

For all health problems, a Social Security Disability case requires you to prove that you can’t work any significant amount, and the reason is medical impairment.

If you’re in Indianapolis, Danville, Franklin, Lebanon, Noblesville or anywhere in Indiana, talk to Hanley Disability. Our team of disability advocates is building on a half-century tradition of helping Indianans. We’ve helped thousands of people.

Social Security Disability Is All We Do.

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Once you’re denied benefits, the clock starts ticking. Don’t wait too long. You might miss the deadline to appeal.

Two Hanley Disability attorneys

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits for Chronic Headaches: Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)

Because Social Security doesn’t list chronic headaches as its own separate medical impairment for the purposes of awarding disability benefits, you can’t successfully apply for benefits by describing your diagnosis and symptoms alone.

But you have two other paths:

  • Use another health condition as your primary disorder, with headaches as a symptom.
  • Show Social Security your limitations on working, through what it calls your “residual functional capacity,” or RFC.

Headaches can be part of the fallout of many conditions that are directly covered by Social Security Disability, including:

If you have any conditions such as these, you can follow Social Security’s guidelines for that condition as you seek disability benefits.

But if debilitating headaches are the primary reason you need disability benefits, you must show Social Security your “residual functional capacity,” which is a measure of how much exertion you can handle on the job considering your problems with headaches.

Your RFC will include assessments of your everyday abilities, such as lifting, walking, sitting, understanding instructions, coping with work stress and more. When you are approved for disability benefits because of your RFC, it’s called a “medical vocational allowance.”

If you’re not sure what direction you should take in claiming Social Security Disability benefits for headaches, you can talk about it with the experienced disability advocates at Hanley Disability—at no cost to you.

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Chronic Headache Symptoms You Can Include in Your Disability Benefits Application

Any Social Security Disability application relies on medical evidence of the health disorder that rules out working.

Your medical evidence can include your diagnosis from your doctor, observations from physical and neurological exam results, MRI scans, CT scans, x-rays, blood lab work, EEG (electroencephalogram) results, eye exam reports, a lumbar puncture and more.

With migraines and other headaches, you’ll be looking to prove severe versions of symptoms like these:

  • Visual disturbances like auras
  • Sensory disturbances, including dizziness
  • Speech or language disturbances
  • Pulsing pain
  • Tightening sensations
  • Difficulty with routine physical activity like walking
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Irritated eyes
  • Congestion
  • Sweating

An overwhelming number of people get denied for disability benefits.

You can ease the pressure on yourself by getting a trained disability advocate to do the work that goes into your claim, such as gathering the medical evidence that shows the kinds of symptoms you see above.

It costs nothing up front to have a disability advocate. Your advocate gets paid only when you win disability benefits.

When severe headaches are pushing you down, this is the time to get the support you need for a more peaceful, healthy life.

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