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Headaches And Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability Lawyer in Illinois

What Are Headaches?

A headache in general is head or neck pain. When someone has head pain it is very common to say he or she has a headache. Almost every person has had at least one headache in his or her lifetime. However, it should be noted that there are well over 200 different kinds of headaches. Knowing what kind of headache you have can be challenging and they range from a harmless pain lasting 15 minutes to a life-threatening serious headache. A description of the headache along with a neurological exam can usually pinpoint what type of headache it is. The Social Security Administration requires a condition to last at least 12 months in order to be disabling. Below is a list of some of the different kinds of chronic headaches:

  • Abdominal Migraines
  • Basilar Artery Migraines
  • Chronic Cluster Headaches
  • Chronic Progressive Headaches
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Tension Headaches

For more on disability due to headaches, a wealth of information can be found on the International Headache Society website. The organization is the leading member organization for people suffering from headaches.

Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits If I Suffer From Headaches?

If you suffer from disabling headaches, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration does not have a specific listing for headaches. In other words, because there is no listing the majority of claimants applying for disability benefits with headaches as their chief condition will be denied. Despite the high percentage of headache claims that are denied, if your headaches are preventing you from holding down a job and your doctor says that it is a disabling condition, you should be able to make a case for Social Security disability benefits.

Just like any other medical condition, if your headaches are preventing you from working for at least 12 months, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits (whether SSDI or SSI). When you apply for disability benefits with headaches, the Social Security Administration will first determine whether your condition is severe enough to medically equal an existing listing for a different impairment. Because there is no listing for headaches, the Social Security Administration will then evaluate your residual functional capacity (the most work that you can do despite your medical condition(s)).

Is There A Specific Listing For Headaches?

Social Security does not recognize a specific listing under the Listing of Impairments for headaches. Rather, when evaluating a headache case the Administration reviews whether it is severe enough to to prevent the claimant from holding a full-time job (SGA).

Since there is no specific listing for headaches, it can be quite difficult to know whether you will be able to win your case. If you or a family member suffers from disabling headaches and cannot work and want to know more about whether you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits (either SSDI or SSI), you should contact Pearson Disability Law, LLC at 312-999-0999.

If I Do Not Meet The Listing, Is There Another Way To Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Yes! If you do not meet a listing and your headaches are preventing you from working, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration will proceed with your case by evaluating your Residual Functional Capacity. To do this, the Administration will determine the most amount of work that you can do despite your limitations. They do this by dividing “work” into four different categories: heavy, medium, light, and sedentary. It is worth noting that there is sometimes a fifth category that is recognized for very heavy work; however, very heavy work is scarcely used. Whether a claimant wins his or her disability claim is greatly affected by which category he or she is ultimately put into. Being put into a lower category increases the likelihood that a claim is approved for Social Security disability benefits.

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