Chronic Headaches

Chronic headaches are headaches that occur at least 15 days each month and last at least four hours. Many people who suffer from chronic headaches have daily headaches, and the pain of the condition may not be easily treated with pain medication.

Chronic headaches can involve any type of headache, and the symptoms of each type varies. For example, those who suffer from chronic migraines may experience sensitivity to light, nausea, severe pain and an inability to be active without increasing the severity of pain. People who have tension headaches on a near-daily basis may experience a tight pain in both sides of the head. Persistent headaches manifest as a throbbing pain in both sides of the head, and people who suffer from these chronic headaches often have no history of headaches prior to onset.

Researchers are uncertain of the exact cause of chronic headaches, and the nature of the condition makes it likely that each person will have a different cause. Inflammation, brain trauma, infection in the brain and high or low pressure in the cranium may all cause chronic headaches. Women are at a higher risk of developing chronic headaches, and people with a history of depression are more susceptible to the condition.

The frequent pain of chronic headaches can lead to depression or anxiety. Sleep disturbances are common for people who suffer from chronic headaches. Anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory medications, beta blockers and Botox may be used to treat chronic headaches, but it is possible for the pain to continue in spite of treatment efforts.

What is SSDI?

Social security disability insurance (SSDI) is an insurance program that is managed by the federal government. Benefits are paid out by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and funds are sourced from paycheck deductions that are remitted by employers. Because SSDI benefits are funded through paycheck deductions, people who apply for these benefits have earned them by working in the past.

SSDI is designed to help people who are unable to work due to the symptoms and complications of a disabling condition. The disability must be expected to last at least one year, and the work history of an applicant will be reviewed to determine whether it is possible for the individual to work in a different position.

Getting SSDI for Chronic Headaches

The SSA does not maintain a listing for chronic headaches, but this does not mean that people who suffer from chronic headaches will not qualify for benefits. A disability that lasts for at least 12 months and causes complications that make it impossible for a person to complete job tasks may qualify an applicant for benefits. In order to prove that a disability exists, it is important to gather evidence of the condition.

In the case of chronic headaches, applicants should maintain a headache diary that lists the time of the headache, the severity of pain and any additional symptoms that may have been felt. This diary can also be used to help medical professionals determine if the headaches are triggered by a certain situation or environmental factor, and treatment options can be targeted according to these triggers.

Medical records are typically used as evidence of a disability, so it is important to regularly schedule appointments with a licensed medical provider. Complaints of pain and the results of treatment attempts should be recorded. The SSA will administer a residual functional capacity test to determine whether the pain of chronic headaches would cause an individual to regularly miss work or perform poorly when completing job tasks.

Getting Help from an Attorney

Going through the SSDI application process can be complicated and frustrating. People who need benefits just to make ends meet may become overwhelmed with the complexity of the application process. When disabled individuals feel alone during the SSDI application process, the best solution is to contact an experienced attorney for help. SSDI attorneys closely monitor SSA regulations to ensure that they can help clients adhere to these guidelines as they apply for benefits. These legal professionals are able to provide guidance as clients gather medical records and fill out the required forms prior to applying for benefits, and they are able to file much of the required paperwork on behalf of their clients to ease some of the burden of applying. The first step to a more manageable SSDI benefits application process is to speak with a representative to schedule an appointment.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.