April 21, 2023

Important Information For Clients Who Suffer From Debilitating Headaches

Law Office of Meryl Anne Spat

SSA requires a claimant to establish through medical records that headaches occur “at least once a week for at least 3 consecutive months despite adherence to prescribed treatment.” SSR 19-4p, 2019 WL 4169635, at *7. In considering the severity and frequency of the headaches, SSA will consider:

[A] detailed description from an [acceptable medical source] of a typical headache event, including all associated phenomena (for example, premonitory symptoms, aura, duration, intensity, and accompanying symptoms); the frequency of headache events; adherence to prescribed treatment; side effects of treatment (for example, many medications used for treating a primary headache disorder can produce drowsiness, confusion, or inattention); and limitations in functioning that may be associated with the primary headache disorder or effects of its treatment, such as interference with activity during the day (for example, the need for a darkened and quiet room, having to lie down without moving, a sleep disturbance that affects daytime activities, or other related needs and limitations).

Alternatively, a claimant can establish that migraines occur less often, “at least once every 2 weeks for at least 3 consecutive months,” if the migraines result “in marked limitation in: physical functioning; understanding, remembering, or applying information; interacting with others; concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or adapting or managing oneself.”

Keep a diary or just add notes on your wall calendar each time you have a headache, noting how bad it is on a scale of 1-10, how long the headache lasts, and note whether or not you were sick to your stomach. This will become evidence in your case.

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Law Office of Meryl Anne Spat

April 21, 2023


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