Thousands of people in the United States suffer from debilitating migraines, making it impossible for them to get through a full day of work. As a result, many people with chronic migraines apply for Social Security Disability benefits. While migraines can qualify a person for disability benefits under Section 11 of the SSA’s Blue Book of Impairments, many people with migraines have their applications for benefits denied.

Under Section 11, Part A, Subsection G, the Blue Book specifies that there must be a marked limitation of both physical and mental functioning. Generally, you must suffer a marked limitation in physical functioning (ability to balance, breathe, etc.), as well as a marked limitation in one of four areas of mental functioning. These areas cover many cognitive abilities, including remembering, applying information, concentrating, ability to manage self, or interacting with other people.

Once you begin the application process, you will have to provide very detailed information about your work history and medical history, as well as personal information (name, age, Social Security number). Applying for both SSI and SSDI may be beneficial. SSI is generally for people who have fewer assets or have not accumulated the right number of work credits to qualify for SSDI.

Migraine sufferers may also benefit by giving the SSA a clear understanding of how your daily life is impacted by your condition. Describing how your migraines prevent you from working, and how your workplace is not able to sufficiently accommodate you can be beneficial.

For example, if you are affected by excessive natural light in the workplace or are unable to be a reliable worker due to the migraines, you should be sure to mention those things in your application. A disability attorney can help you fill out your application and give you the best chance at recovering benefits.