August 5, 2019
Updated January 12, 2023
What is Migraine?
Migraine is a type of headache characterized bysevere painwhich may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise, dizziness and blurred vision. Migraines can last for hours or days, and the pain can be so intense and debilitating that it interferes with a person's daily activities.
Migraines usually occur in four stages:
While it's not clear what causes migraines, there may be triggers.hormonal imbalance,Alcohol, stress, sensory stimulation, certain foods, and changes in the environment.
After a migraine, people may feel exhausted, tired, or confused. A combination of medication and lifestyle changes can help treat migraines.
How to Get a Service Connection for Migraines
In general, to obtain a migraine service connection, veterans must demonstrate the following three things:
- An event, injury or illness while on duty;
- A recent diagnosis from a doctor; AND
- A medical context or connection between the service event, injury or illness and the current diagnosis.
Even if a veteran does not have an official migraine diagnosis, chronic headaches or headaches can still result in loss of function or affect their ability to earn wages. In other words, if a veteran does not have a migraine diagnosis, he can still receive compensation if any.Evidence that the condition affects your functionality. However, this path to compensation is often more difficult.
To submit a service connection claim, veterans can complete and submit a claimVA-Form 21-526EZ. This form can be submitted online, by mail, in person at your local RO or with the help of a representative.
Secondary service connection for migraines
If a veteran is associated with a disability that causes migraines, he may applyRight to auxiliary services. VA awards Secondary Service Connections to Veterans who demonstrate:
- A migraine diagnosis; AND
- Medical evidence supporting the link between the service-related condition and migraines.
Some common connected servicesConditions that can cause migraines include:
- depression angst
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- A condition of the cervical spine
How are migraines classified?
VA rates migraine headaches under 38 CFR §4.124a Scoreboard: neurological disorders and seizure disorders, diagnostic code 8100. Diagnostic code includes disability ratings from 0 to 50 percent disability, withCriteria based on migraine severity and frequency:
- 50% -swindlervery frequent bouts of complete exhaustion andproductive of serious economic maladjustments
- 30% –with characteristic attacks of exhaustionoccur on averageOnce a month for the last few months
- 10% -swindlercharacteristic bouts of exhaustionaverageone in two monthsus last months
- 0% -swindlerless oftenattacks
The term "prostrate' usually means that the migraine is so severe and debilitating that the veteran must stop all activities/lie down for an extended period of time due to utter exhaustion and physical weakness. Veterans may also be required to take medication or seek medical assistance.
How does the VA interpret severe economic mismatches?
In many cases, the VA denies veterans the 50% disability rating on the grounds that their migraine headaches do not cause serious economic hardship. However, VA often uses the wrong standard.
In particular, the VA erroneously requires the veteran to prove that his migraines did in fact result in serious financial hardship, rather than assessing whether the migraines could have resulted in serious financial hardship. In that case, veterans have the right to appeal the VA denial.
CCK has won several cases in the Veterans Claims Court of Appeals (CAVC) on this same issue:
- Board erred in denying a higher starting rating for a veteran's headache condition
- The Board's refusal to increase the headache score contained an error of law
- Elevated ratings for headache and cervical spine disorders were rejected by the board, and CCK successfully appealed
Migraine Compensation and Pension Checks
VA will likely schedule veterans for a Compensation and Pension (C&P) review to determine if there is a connection. A C&P reviewer gathers information about the condition during the review to decide if this is the case."at least as likely as not"that migraines are related to veteran service.
C&P exams are also used for this.assess the severitya veteran's migraines (and determine if they are bedridden).
- Veterans must make sureExplain in detail the severity of your symptomsto the examiner.
- Is importantdetails all the symptoms and limitations that occur during a migraine episodeso that the C&P examiner can accurately assess its impact.
If the outcome of a C&P review is unfavorable, there are ways to appeal. veterans mustreceive a copy of your examto see if any information discussed during the appointment is missing or entered incorrectly. Veterans can toorequest a second opinionby a private physician or naturopath.
Use evidence to prove your migraine headache claim
There are several ways that veterans can demonstrate that their migraine meets the 50% eligibility criteria.
- Laienausägen –make statementsThey can be helpful as they allow veterans to detail their symptoms and the impact they are having on their daily lives or ability to work. Veterans may want to explain what happens when they have a migraine and emphasize what activities they can and cannot do when one occurs. When writing a lay statement, veterans can consider the following questions:
- Do migraines happen weekly? fortnightly? Just a few times a month?
- Do you have to miss work because of your migraines? (If so, submitting relevant working documents could also be an advantage)
- Do you take medicine for your migraines?
Friends, family, co-workers, or military personnel of a veteran can also submit non-professional statements detailing the impact of the veteran's migraines from their perspective.
- Medical reports -medical reportsAn examination by a healthcare professional can also determine that the migraine is prolonged and prolonged. In particular, the healthcare professional can confirm the severity, frequency and duration of the illness. Veterans can also ask their doctor to fill out aDBQfor migraine and submit it as part of your application.
- vocational reports -Veterans may benefit from obtaining an occupational specialist's opinion to demonstrate that their migraines are the result of a serious economic mismatch. An occupational specialist can explain how the veteran's condition is affecting his ability to work.
TDIU for enxaqueca
If a service-related migraine prevents a veteran from finding and keeping substantially paying employment, he or she may be eligible for Total Disability Due to Individual Lack of Employment (TDIU). TDIUallows veterans to receive compensation equal to 100 percent of the VA classification for migraine headaches, even if your combined disability level is lower.
be awardedTDIU-FahrplanVeterans must have:
- A condition qualifying as at least 60 percent disability; ANY
- Two conditions that can be combined to reach at least 70%, with one condition reaching at least 40%.
Veterans who do not meet these requirements may be eligibleTDIU Overtimeif they can demonstrate that their migraines uniquely affect their ability to hold substantial employment.
Need help with your migraine headache appeal?
Winning your VA migraine disability claim can be challenging as the eligibility criteria are somewhat vague. If you need help appealing a denial or requesting a higher rating, it may be beneficial to enlist the help of an accredited agent. Accredited representatives are recognized by the VA as qualified to represent veterans before the VA. A licensed representative can help you gather evidence, make intelligent arguments, or file documents on your behalf. Call CCK today for a free case assessment and see if we can help.
Can you get 50% VA rating for migraines? ›
A migraine headache diagnosis has a maximum VA rating of 50%, which means that a veteran suffering from migraines may be eligible for up to 50% disability benefits because of the condition.How do I prove migraine disability in VA? ›
The key to getting VA disability compensation is proving service connection. That means you must prove that (1) your migraines are caused by your time in service, (2) your migraines were worsened by your time in service, or (3) your migraines are caused by another service-connected injury or illness.Can the VA disprove migraines? ›
There's no way to prove or disprove the presence of service connected migraines. This means the benefits you receive will depend on how limiting your condition is and how often your migraines occur. Keep a journal that describes your symptoms like pain, nausea, and vomiting and their frequency.Can you prove migraines? ›
There's no specific test to diagnose migraines. For an accurate diagnosis to be made, a GP must identify a pattern of recurring headaches along with the associated symptoms. Migraines can be unpredictable, sometimes occurring without the other symptoms. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis can sometimes take time.How hard is it to get disability for migraines? ›
To qualify for disability benefits, the SSA must be convinced that: your migraine is severe enough to prevent you from doing your job. you can't do other work based on your age, education, and skills. your condition has lasted or is expected to last at least 1 year or is expected to result in death.What is the average VA rating for migraines? ›
Breakdown of the 30% for Migraine Headaches Rating Criteria
Specifically, the 30 percent disability rating for migraine headaches can be broken down into three main components: (1) characteristic; (2) prostrating; and (3) average of once a month over the last several months.
A Compensation & Pension (C&P) exam will be scheduled when the VA receives your application for disability benefits. This is a medical exam performed by a VA healthcare provider or a VA contracted provider.
For C&P exams for migraines, the examiner will evaluate whether your migraines are prostrating, so it is important to detail any symptoms or limitations you experience during a migraine episode to ensure the examiner can accurately assess your condition. It is extremely important to attend any exams that VA requests.How many migraines a month is considered chronic? ›
What is chronic migraine? Chronic migraine is defined as having at least 15 headache days a month, with at least 8 days of having headaches with migraine features, for more than 3 months.Do migraines show on MRI? ›
Migraine headaches are a common and significant cause of disability in our society. White matter abnormalities (WMAs) on magnetic resonance images (MRIs) can be seen with migraine, but they are also incidental findings in normal control populations.
Do MRI scans show migraines? ›
It's important to understand that you can't use an MRI scan to diagnose migraines or any type of headaches. However, with these scans, your doctor can see if you have any other medical conditions including: A brain tumor. An abscess (an infection in your brain)How does a neurologist test for migraines? ›
An electroencephalogram measures your brain waves. Your neurologist will put electrodes, which are small metal discs, on your scalp. This will help your doctor look at your brain activity to see if your pain is from a brain disorder, brain damage, brain dysfunction, or sleep issues.What are secondary conditions to migraines? ›
There can also be other secondary issues from the migraines such as sleep disorders, sleep apnea, chronic mental health issues such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Detailed information on how migraines are rated can be found here.Can you get VA migraine secondary to tinnitus? ›
Entitlement to service connection for migraine headaches to include as secondary to tinnitus is granted. There is at least an equal balance of competent and credible evidence that the Veteran's current migraine headache disability was caused or aggravated by service connected tinnitus.Is chronic migraine a permanent disability? ›
Chronic migraine (defined as 15+ migraine days a month) is an absolutely acceptable reason to apply for disability. Why? Because some people's migraine attacks are so frequent and incapacitating that they're either completely unable to hold down a full-time job or they need some accommodations in order to do so.What is reasonable accommodation for migraine? ›
Examples of workplace accommodations for migraine include flexible scheduling, teleworking capabilities, and measures to help reduce excessive sound and light.Is migraine a long term disability? ›
The effects of a migraine can last for days, and when you find that the symptoms of a migraine are causing you to miss work or are keeping you from performing your job to standard, you may be qualified for long-term disability insurance.Why do veterans get migraines? ›
Veterans may be more likely to experience migraine attacks and headaches than civilians. Military veterans can face health challenges unique to their experiences, including migraine and headache disorders that stem from brain injury and other trauma experienced during combat.Can migraines cause sleep apnea VA disability? ›
The examiner further noted that migraine headaches have no effect on the muscles of the airway which cause sleep apnea, and opined that the Veteran's sleep apnea is less likely than not caused by his service connected migraine headaches.What is the VA rating for erectile dysfunction? ›
Erectile dysfunction is rated under 38 C.F.R. § 4.115b, Diagnostic Code 7522. Under DC 7522 a 20 percent rating is warranted for deformity of the penis with loss of erectile power. This is the sole disability rating provided under this diagnostic code provision.
What should you not say at C&P exam? ›
Don't Lie or Stretch the Truth. This is a big one. Don't ever lie or stretch the truth when it comes to your VA disability claim. At your C&P exam, you should think, look, act, and speak as you would on a normal day.What are prostrating attacks for migraines? ›
The Significance of the Term “Prostrating” When Rating Migraines. In general, the term “prostrating” means that a person experiences extreme weakness due to his migraines and must lie down for a long period of time. The VA uses this word to characterize how severe the headache needs to be.What are the 3 types of migraines? ›
Acephalgic/silent migraine. Migraine with brainstem aura (basilar-type migraine) Hemiplegic migraine.How do I know if my migraines are chronic? ›
The International Headache Society defines chronic migraine as headache occurring on 15 or more days per month for more than three months, where at least 8 of those headache days have migraine features: The pain is moderate or severe and often intense. The pain may be on one side or the head or both.What is the name of the migraine test? ›
Computerized tomography (CT) scan.
A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to create detailed cross-sectional images of the brain. This helps doctors diagnose tumors, infections, brain damage, bleeding in the brain and other possible medical problems that may be causing headaches.
Neurologists specialize in disorders of the nervous system, including the brain. Migraine is a neurological disorder. A neurologist can help make an accurate diagnosis of migraine, as well as rule out any other potential neurological condition that may cause similar symptoms.Do I need to see a neurologist for migraines? ›
If you have severe headaches or accompanying symptoms that are disrupting your life, it might be a good idea to see a neurologist. Consider making an appointment with a neurologist if: Your headache is continuous for more than a day or two. Your headaches tend to come on suddenly.What part of the brain does a migraine affect? ›
The most prominent among these are the visual changes associated with migraine aura that arise from altered function in the occipital lobe. Migraine patients may also experience cortical sensory, motor, language, or other cognitive dysfunction.
Caffeine can provide relief for a headache.
Caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties, meaning that blood vessels narrow to restrict blood flow, thereby alleviating the pain.
People with migraines have differences in an area of the brain that helps process sensory information, including pain, according to a new study. The study found that part of the cortex area of the brain is thicker in people with migraine than in people who do not have the neurological disorder.
What are white spots on brain from migraines? ›
White matter hyperintensities (WMH): These lesions appear bright white on certain sequences of MRI scans. These abnormalities can also be seen in elderly people and patients with stroke and dementia. In migraineurs, they're typically found in the frontal lobe, limbic system, and parietal lobe of the brain.How does the VA test for migraines? ›
If you submit a claim to receive benefits for migraines, a VA ratings specialist will rate your headaches based on their severity and frequency using a ratings chart with four possible percentages: 0 percent, 10 percent, 30 percent, and 50 percent. A 50 percent rating is the highest rating given for migraines.What does 50 VA disability get? ›
50% Disability Rating: VA Compensation
As of December 1, 2022, veterans with a 50 percent VA disability rating receive $1,041.82 per month in tax-free compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs.