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Severe Headache Sufferers May Qualify for Disability Benefits

Published on March 23rd, 2012

Headache sufferers in Chicago know how unbearable the pain can be. Severe headaches can make it almost impossible to do anything, and people may be unable to work. A new study suggests that headache sufferers may even be more prone to suicide. In fact, people who suffer migraines and severe headaches are four to six times more likely to commit suicide.

The study was completed at Michigan State University at East Lansing. The study consisted of 1,200 people. Of those 1,200 people, 500 were migraine sufferers, 151 suffered severe headaches and the rest of the group suffered no debilitating headaches.

Over a two-year period, researchers found that about ten percent of both migraine and severe headache sufferers had attempted suicide. Only about one percent of non-headache sufferers attempted suicide.

So why are headache sufferers more likely to attempt suicide? Researchers say brain chemicals play a role in headaches and increase the risk of depression.

In addition to seeking medical help, severe headache sufferers may wish to consult with an attorney who has experience working with Social Security disability applicants. Chronic headaches are not included on the Social Security Administration’s list of medical conditions that automatically qualify an individual for disability benefits. However, a person may be able to prove that their headaches are so debilitating that it prevents them from working.

In many cases, SSDI or SSI applications for chronic headaches are first denied. However, a person can appeal that decision which allows the case to go before an Administrative Law Judge.

Source: Reuters, “Severe headaches tied to suicide attempts: study,” Mar. 22, 2012

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