Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Migraines?

Migraines can be debilitating, and they are not something that can be cured by taking a few aspirin and getting back to work. According to the World Health Organization, migraines are considered one of the most debilitating diseases a person can suffer from. There are an estimated 28 million workers in the United States who suffer from migraines, which impacts their ability to work. Because of their severity, migraines statistically take away 157 million workdays each year. Employees who suffer from migraines due to their job – or have migraine conditions aggravated by their job – may wonder if they qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

Determining Work-Related Injury or Illness

In order for an illness to be covered by workers’ compensation, the employee must prove that it was caused by a work-related activity. Therefore, the employee must prove that their work environment or duties caused or aggravated their migraine condition – and it must be something they can medically prove. Because physicians and researchers do not know the exact cause of migraines, and there are no documented cures, this can be difficult. This is why it is best an employee hires a workers’ compensation attorney to assist them with their claim. An attorney can help prove that the work environment or duties of the job caused or aggravated a migraine condition.

Other Legal Protections

Filing for workers’ compensation for migraines is difficult, and the large majority of migraine cases are denied. However, employees still have other legal protections at their disposal, including:
  • Family and Medical Leave Act - The FMLA or Family and Medical Leave Act was passed in 1993. It allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave (unpaid vacation) due to adoption, childbirth, a serious health condition, or a family member’s serious health condition. Migraines have FMLA protection. If your migraines are too debilitating to return to work, discuss FMLA leave with your employer.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act - If your migraines do not entirely prevent you from working, you can request a special accommodation from your employer using the ADA to ensure your workplace does not aggravate your migraines further. While migraines are not specifically listed as a disability under the act, it does fall under the “mental or physical impairments that substantially limits one or more major life activities.”

Are Your Migraines Aggravated by Work? Contact Pothitakis Law Firm Today

There are instances where migraines can be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. To see if your case qualifies, contact the attorneys at Pothitakis Law Firm today. We can assist you with your claim and help you explore your legal options for finding relief from your work-related migraines. Call us at 888-459-7613 or fill out an online contact form.
Photo of Niko Pothitakis
For the past 15 years Mr. Pothitakis has focused his practice on Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Cases. The firm has two locations, one being in Burlington, Iowa and the other in Keokuk, Iowa. Mr. Pothitakis works with many area unions and employee organizations to provide advice, assistance, and guidance as it relates to employment issues. Mr. Pothitakis provides free consultations to those with legal questions in the firm's areas of practice. In this initial meeting or conference potential clients are provided advice on their need for assistance and how they need to proceed.