I have helped many people who suffer from chronic headaches to get Social Security disability. In the past, Social Security would generally evaluate these claims on the basis of how much time a person would miss from
work due to her headaches. No more.
A New Ruling Means Big Changes
Social Security issued a ruling that went into effect at the end of August 2019. This ruling rather dramatically changes the requirements for Social Security to find a person disabled due to chronic headaches.
Among the changes:
* Social Security will not consider headaches that are caused by other conditions, such as trauma to the neck or head or because of an infection. Social Security considers headaches caused by these conditions to be part of the injury or infection.
* Social Security will not accept a doctor's diagnosis alone when determining the severity of chronic headaches. A doctor has to conduct a specific physical examination and explicitly rule out such other causes for the headaches, including mental causes.
* The doctor has to personally observe a person having a headache and document such symptoms as sweating, crying, and trembling.
Clearly, these new requirements are going to make getting Social Security disability for chronic headaches very hard to do. How many people, for example, are going to go to the doctor in the midst of a severe headache so that the doctor can watch them sweat, cry, or tremble? Many people having a severe headache are nauseated and dizzy and hypersensitive to light and other stimuli. Are they really going to get in the car and drive to a doctor's office?
Not An Honest Approach
It seems to me that Social Security's new regulations are disingenuous at best. They plainly want do not find
people with chronic headaches disabled. Rather than being honest about this, they have trotted out a load of medical-sounding nonsense that makes it appear they are being fair.
Don't Give Up
If you suffer from chronic migraines and want to get Social Security disability, you have a steep climb ahead. It can still be done, but you are likely going to need help from both a doctor and a lawyer.
Do you have chronic headaches? Do you go to your doctor in the middle of one? Let me know.