Disability for Combined Migraine and Fibromyalgia


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Exploring Disability for Migraines and Fibromyalgia

Published on July 7th, 2023 by Eric Slepian

Living with chronic pain and debilitating health conditions can pose significant challenges to one’s ability to work and maintain a fulfilling lifestyle. In a previous article, we discussed disability eligibility based on migraines, as well as the advocacy we provide to clients suffering from fibromyalgia.

In 2019, a Turkish study published in the journal Neurological Research shed light on the intersection of migraines and fibromyalgia, highlighting the potential implications for individuals seeking disability benefits, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Understanding the Combined Impact

Migraines and fibromyalgia often coexist, and the study suggests that the combination of these conditions can have a profound impact on an individual’s ability to perform job-related tasks. According to the law, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must consider all impairments in combination when assessing eligibility for disability benefits.

Therefore, a claim based on both migraines and fibromyalgia highlights the cumulative effects of severe pain and debilitation, further underscoring the challenges faced by individuals in the workforce.

The study also emphasizes the importance of considering the presence of both conditions when evaluating disability claims based on either disorder alone. Federal law mandates that the SSA thoroughly investigate all impairments to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the claimant’s medical record.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Increased Severity of Migraines: The study suggests that when migraines and fibromyalgia coexist, migraines tend to be more severe and occur more frequently compared to cases where only migraines are present. Part of this increase in severity may be linked to fibromyalgia scalp pain.
  • Association with Migraines with Auras: The presence of both conditions increases the likelihood of migraines with auras, which are characterized by disturbances in vision, such as seeing flashing lights or blind spots. Symptoms are often exacerbated by the external stimulus of light and sound.
  • Gender Differences: The combination of migraines and fibromyalgia is more prevalent among women with migraines than among men with migraines.
  • Impact of Chronic Migraines: The study indicates that comorbid fibromyalgia is more common in individuals with chronic migraines, as opposed to those with episodic migraines.
  • Multifaceted Impairments: People affected by both conditions are more likely to experience challenges related to energy levels, emotions, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and scalp tenderness.

Considering the profound impact of migraines and fibromyalgia on individuals’ lives, it becomes crucial for disability adjudicators to thoroughly assess the combined effects of these conditions when evaluating disability claims. This study provides valuable insights into the complex relationship between migraines and fibromyalgia, highlighting the need for comprehensive medical documentation to support disability applications. It provides insight into qualifying for disability benefits for people with fibromyalgia who suffer increased symptoms due to migraine.

To read more about the study and its findings, please refer to the article linked above. It serves as a gateway to accessing the full research study, allowing readers to delve deeper into the subject matter.

We Are Here to Help

At Slepian Ellexson, PLLC, we understand the challenges faced by individuals living with migraines, fibromyalgia, or both. Our experienced team is committed to assisting clients in navigating the disability claims process, ensuring that their cases are presented effectively and their rights are protected. If you require guidance or support in pursuing disability benefits, we encourage you to reach out to us for a consultation.

Living with chronic pain should not prevent individuals from accessing the financial support they need. By recognizing the combined impact of migraines and fibromyalgia, we can strive to secure the disability benefits that can provide stability and relief for those affected by these debilitating conditions.

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