Welfare Benefits Advisers at The Brain Charity have become increasingly aware of an issue affecting individuals with cluster headaches. Unlike migraines, cluster headaches can produce pain of such severity that they are often referred to as ‘suicide headaches’ as people have resorted to such a drastic course of action to avoid future episodes which could last for weeks, months or in some cases may never go into remission. Unlike other kinds of headaches, during which a person may prefer quiet and rest, during the extreme pain of a ‘cluster attack’ the sufferer may find it impossible to stay still. This can lead to disorientation and exhaustion, and can make ordinary life impossible following bouts.
To add to this, the lack of general awareness of the condition can often result in those affected receiving little welfare benefit or social care support.
At The Brain Charity we have recently become aware of several ESA and PIP assessments, performed on people with cluster headaches, which have seriously underestimated the effect that this neurological condition can have on an individuals life.
Our welfare benefits advisors have supported many clients whose claims have received no qualifying points during their initial assessments, only for decisions to be overturned by an independent panel once we have stepped in to help.
If you are someone who suffers from cluster headaches please don’t go it alone and get professional help from an organisation such as The Brain Charity to support you through the process.
More information about cluster headaches is available from OUCH(uk) - the national Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster Headaches: www.ouchuk.org