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Migraine sufferers could seek Social Security benefits

There are plenty of people here in La Crosse, Wisconsin who suffer from migraines. They have little say when migraines occur; instead, the people who suffer from the debilitating condition just have to deal with it when a migraine comes knocking. In addition to the brutally painful headache, migraines can also afflict their victims with a host of other symptoms, such as blurry vision, light sensitivity, nausea, fatigue and irritability.

In other words, someone who suffers a migraine is hardly capable of doing much. They are dealing with extreme pain and sensory dysfunction -- and roughly 20 percent of Americans deal with migraines. For some of these people, the condition goes above and beyond the expected pain and frequency of "average" migraines -- about 2 percent of Americans suffer from a migraine at least 15 days a month.

Now imagine working in your office space. Say you work at a relatively small business -- maybe 25 or 30 employees. That means approximately 5 or 6 people will be dealing with migraines, and there is a chance that one person suffers from the debilitating condition at least 15 days a month. What are those people supposed to do? A migraine sufferer can't exactly "power through" a migraine. The pain is so great and the symptoms so overwhelming that working in any loud or light-intensive environment (in other words, anywhere around computers) is basically out of the question.

Chronic migraine sufferers could make a social security disability claim because of their condition. Migraines are debilitating enough that it could make it impossible for someone to retain work -- and even if they could, in some cases, employers may make unfortunate accusations such as "the employee is abusing sick time" in reference to their migraines. People who suffer from migraines should consult an attorney to discuss their social security disability options.

Source: The Free Press, "Researcher works to unlock mysteries of migraines," Tim Johnson, May 16, 2013

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