Disability Benefits for Headaches

Headaches can seemingly come out of nowhere and, for most people, they’re simply an annoyance that happens every once in a while. However, headaches can be more than an occasional nuisance; they can be completely debilitating. If you suffer from chronic or recurring headaches that make it impossible for you to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits to help replace your lost income.

Social Security Disability benefits are designed to provide some financial assistance for people whose disabilities prevent them from working. Disability for headaches is not automatic, and because headaches do not fall under one of the named categories of approved conditions for SSD benefits, winning benefits will be difficult, but not impossible.

There are many types of headaches, and they are a very common ailment. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, it’s estimated that at least one-half of the adult population of the world has had at least one headache in the past year. You may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits for your severe headaches if you are unable to work because of:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Hormone headaches
  • Tension headaches
  • Chronic cluster headaches
  • Post-trauma headaches


Social Security Disability benefits are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). When you apply for benefits, you must provide detailed information about your education, work experience and qualifications. However, the most substantive part of the application has to do with your medical condition, records and treatment.


  • How long have you been unable to work because of your headaches?
  • How frequently do your headaches occur?
  • Have you sought medical treatment? If so:
    • By which provider(s) have you been seen, and in which clinics/hospitals have you been treated for your headaches?
    • What tests or other treatments have your provider ordered or prescribed?
    • When was the last time you saw your provider, and when is the next time you are scheduled to see your provider (if applicable)?

In addition to providing this information about your headaches, it’s also important to provide medical information about any and all other conditions you suffer from, as the SSA will consider whether your headaches, when combined with your other conditions, qualify you to receive benefits.


If your application for Social Security Disability benefits for headaches was initially denied, don’t give up. The majority of applications are denied at first, but many are later approved after appealing the initial determination.


Because of the nuances and steps in the application process for benefits, you should consider working with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney who can represent you throughout the application process, including assisting you with appeals if your request is denied either initially or at a later stage of the review process.

At Levine Benjamin, we understand the challenges associated with both Social Security Disability and headaches, and we want to help you get the benefits you’re entitled to receive. We’ve been helping people with disabilities obtain benefits for all sorts of physical and mental injuries since 1964. If you suffer from debilitating headaches, contact us today.


SSA’s Programs Operations Manual System

World Health Organization