Sometimes headaches are so debilitating that people actually become eligible for SSDI or Social Security Disability Insurance. Social Security does not offer any partial disability coverage, only full coverage for approved disabilities. You are considered disabled if you can no longer perform the tasks you did before, and you cannot transition to other gainful employment.
In some cases, headaches are severe enough to put you into this category.
It is important to go to read up on the claim process prior to submitting a claim. Knowing what to expect will keep you from getting discouraged and simply giving up.
There are five questions used to determine eligibility:
- Are you working? – If you make more than $940 (as of 2008) per month, you are not eligible for benefits. If you are not working, you can move on to step two.
- What is your condition? – Your condition must be considered severe enough to limit your ability to work before you move to the next step.
- Is your condition on the pre-approved list of conditions? – The Social Security Administration has a list of automatically approved disabilities. Headaches are not usually on the list.
- Can you do the work you used to do? – If you can no longer do the work you used to do, you will move to step five.
- Can you do any other type of work? – When you get here, SSDI representatives make a determination regarding whether you can do comparable work. If you cannot adjust your work, you may be eligible for coverage.
Chronic severe headaches are not on the automatically approved list of conditions in the Social Security Office, which means your initial request for coverage is likely to be denied. If your claim is denied, do not be discouraged. Approximately two-thirds of all claims are initially denied, and you should appeal immediately after denial.
The types of headaches that may be covered include:
- Tension headaches
- Hormone headaches
- Abdominal migraines
- Post-traumatic headaches
- Chronic cluster headaches
Mistakes to Avoid
- Do not exaggerate your disability. The SSA carefully examines all medical records regarding your claim and this could lead to your claim being denied.
- Do not miss appeal deadlines. If you initial claim is denied you have 60 days to file an appeal.
- Do not give up. Persistence is often the key to getting final approval.
Should you need help gathering facts and filing your claims, there are many disability attorneys in your area that will be able to assist you. If you are initially denied, they can help you put together an appeal in an effort to get your claim approved.
Neuromuscular dentist Dr. Ira L. Shapira has more than 40 years of experience helping patients with headaches, migraines, and other types of chronic pain. Call 1-800-865-6468 to schedule your comprehensive evaluation.