Migraines and headaches are another disability recognized by the VA. When filing for VA disability compensation for headaches or migraines, a veteran will first have to show that their migraines were caused by their military service. This can be done by showing that the veteran did not have a migraine or headache condition before they joined the military and that during their military service, something happened that caused their current migraine condition.
If the veteran did have a migraine condition before they joined the military, they might be able to receive disability compensation if their migraines have worsened because of their military service. For example, the veteran had migraines once every six months before they joined the military, but after they were in a car accident while on active duty, the veteran now has migraines once every two weeks. This shows that the veteran’s previous migraine condition has worsened and was aggravated by their military service.
Veterans must submit evidence to support their claim for migraines. This can be done by submitting medical records or buddy statements that indicate the severity of the veteran’s disability.
The VA rates migraines on the severity and frequency in which they occur. Migraine ratings start at zero percent, meaning that the veteran has less frequent attacks, and have the highest rating of fifty percent, meaning the veteran has very frequent attacks that last for a long period of time and cause severe exhaustion or weakness. In order to reach a fifty percent disability rating, the veteran must also show that their migraines or headaches limit the veteran’s ability to work.
Sometimes, when the veteran’s migraine or headache symptoms are so severe, or unusual, that none of the ratings listed could possibly be justified based on the veteran’s symptomology, the VA will grant an extraschedular rating. This means that the veteran’s migraines or headaches are so severe that it causes a substantial interference with their ability to work. The veteran would need to submit evidence that demonstrates their symptoms are so severe that they cannot hold a substantially gainful occupation. For more information on extraschedular ratings, please check out our blog post for extraschedular ratings.
Legal Assistance with Veterans’ Claims
If you need help supporting a claim for VA disability compensation for service-connected migraines or headaches, call our lawyers for veterans at (800) 953-6224 or complete our free online veterans disability case evaluation form.