You missed work again because you were fighting through the symptoms of another migraine. When you returned to work, your co-workers may have sympathized, complaining of their own headaches, or they may have dismissed your pain as another excuse for a day off work. However, spending a day at home in a dark, silent room is not your idea of a fun day off, and you know it is just a matter of time before the next migraine knocks you on your back again.
If you are a victim of chronic migraines, you may be realizing you will not be able to continue working much longer. You may be less able to focus on your tasks, or you are falling behind on important projects. However, leaving work and applying for Social Security Disability Income for migraines is a risky decision.
The challenge of getting the help you need
The Social Security Administration denies as many as 75 percent of first-time applications for SSDI benefits and 80 percent of appeals. It is even more difficult to gain approval for benefits for difficult to diagnose illnesses like chronic migraines. Because of these frightening statistics, you want to be certain you have every advantage the first time you apply, providing as much detail and documentation about the way your migraines impact your life, including:
- Medical records from every doctor, specialist and therapist you have visited about your migraines
- Test results, including all MRIs, CT scans, spinal taps, blood work and psychological profiles
- Evidence that you have exhausted as many avenues as possible through medication, physical therapy, hospital stays, acupuncture, massage therapy and other alternative methods of treatment
- Logs of your personal experiences, including a journal of how your migraines interfere with your daily life, both professionally and personally
- Documentation from co-workers about missed work days, hours late or poor work quality stemming from migraine episodes
- Statements from your family about the effect your migraines have on your relationships with them
Testimony and documentation from your doctor is crucial to the success of your claim. Your doctor will have special forms to complete that are part of your application packet. If your doctor is unfamiliar with the requirements for applying for SSDI or does not support your efforts to seek disability, you may improve your chances by finding another doctor.
Another way to improve your chances of obtaining acceptance of SSDI benefits is to enlist the advocacy of a West Virginia attorney who has experience with the process of applying for assistance from the SSA. Your attorney can help you gather the supporting evidence you need and advocate for you in the event your case requires the filing of an appeal.