Migraines and VA Disability
VA disability benefits are available for those suffering from migraines, but the rating schedule and process are a little different because of the nuances of the condition.
Migraines are a common problem for veterans, and the symptoms vary greatly. Although every sufferer experiences some level of head pain, some have severe pain for hours at a time, while others have mild discomfort for only a few minutes. Also, some people feel nauseous or dizzy.
Severe migraines can completely debilitate an individual, making it impossible to function in daily life and leading to financial hardship. There is support for veterans. The VA provides disability benefits for migraines.
However, the process is a little different from usual, so you must handle your claim correctly for the best chance of securing your entitled compensation. Here’s what you need to know about filing migraine VA claims.
Proving that you have migraines
Before you can file a migraine VA claim, you’ll have to demonstrate that you suffer from migraines in the first place. However, the thing about migraines is that doctors won’t necessarily find any physical evidence to support a diagnosis, although they can rule other things out.
You’ll start the process by visiting your doctor and talking about your condition. Make sure your headaches are documented, including information on your symptoms, the frequency of your migraines, your limitations, and any precautions you’re taking. The more medical documentation you have, the easier the process becomes.
It might also help to speak with a migraine expert or neurologist because specialized doctors can make a more accurate diagnosis, which will improve your claim.
Since there’s no way to prove or disprove the presence of migraines, the benefits you receive will depend on how limiting your condition is, and how often your migraines occur.
Keeping a journal that describes your symptoms and their frequency is a good start because it shows the VA how much the condition restricts you. The more information you’re able to provide, the simpler it becomes to get the highest available disability rating.
How the VA rates migraines
The VA rating schedule for migraines is slightly different from other disabilities because you can only receive a rating of 0%, 10%, 30%, or 50%. The rating you receive also depends on your limitations, rather than a report on your physical injuries.
You won’t receive any compensation for a 0% rating. This rating means that the VA does, in fact, believe that you experience migraines, but also believes that they don’t impact your daily life.
A 10% rating means that there is evidence of a prostrating attack on an average of once every two months for a period of several months. Basically, if your migraines make it difficult for you to function every couple of months, you could receive a 10% VA disability rating.
For a 30% VA rating, your migraines will have to appear once per month, on average, for many months. If you’re dealing with one prostrating attack every 30 days or so, a 30% VA rating is likely.
Finally, a 50% disability rating comes if you suffer from persistent migraines that make it difficult for you to work. These attacks should be prostrating and prolonged for you to qualify for these benefits.
One issue with determining your disability rating is the term prostrating, meaning the attack should force you to lay down because the pain is so severe. You’ll want to document any prostrating attacks you endure and include this information in your migraine VA claim.
Can you receive a higher rating?
While the limit on the VA rating for migraines is 50%, it is possible to receive more money if you have multiple conditions.
The 50% rating means that your condition hinders your employability and takes away from your income. In some cases, however, migraines and other conditions can make it impossible to work.
If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll want to file a TDIU claim. Your TDIU rating represents your total disability based on individual unemployability.
To receive these additional benefits, you’ll require two or more service-connected disabilities with a combined rating of 70%, along with proof that you can’t hold a job. Since other possibly service-related conditions like anxiety, depression, or TBIs can cause migraines, you should speak with a doctor to see if you have a secondary disability.
Putting your claim together
A lot more goes into a VA migraine disability claim than other types because there isn’t a physical injury for a doctor to assign a value. Much of your application will rely on your documentation of your experiences relating to the frequency and severity of your attacks.
Speak with the team at Veterans Guardian VA Claim Consulting before submitting a claim for your migraines. Our experts will ensure that you present the right documentation to show the severity and frequency of your migraines, helping to maximize your compensation. Fill out the form below to get a free claim consultation.