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Migraines and VA Disability: What You Need to Know

Updated: Jul 25


For some people, migraines are a debilitating medical condition that can impact a person’s ability to work or engage in day-to-day tasks. If you are a veteran and your migraines were the result of the time you spent on active duty in the military, it may be possible to receive VA disability benefits. Here are a few things that you need to know about this condition and whether you may qualify for these benefits.


How Do Migraines Impact a Person?

Migraines are often described as extremely painful headaches. However, they usually have more symptoms than just pain in your head. For many people, migraines also cause:

· Sensitivity to sound or light

· Intense pulsing or throbbing in one part of the head

· Vomiting

· Nausea


The length of time a migraine lasts depends. It also varies from one person to another. For some, the migraine and associated symptoms may only last for a few hours, but for others, it can last for several days. It’s estimated that over 37 million Americans currently suffer from migraines.


Understanding Migraines and VA Benefits

When it comes to the maximum VA rating for cases of migraine headaches, it is 50% based on the 38 C.F.R.4.124a Schedule used to rate disabilities. The VA has also rated migraines at 0%, 10%, and 30% for any veteran who suffers from them because of some type of in-service accident or incident. While this is true, the max that a veteran can receive for any migraine rating is 50%.


To receive the proper rating, it’s necessary to show there is a service connection and to gather medical evidence. By doing this, a former service member can take the needed steps to receive VA disability benefits by showing that they are eligible based on the migraine ratings mentioned above.


Even though migraines can be extremely disabling, they only account for a small part of the VA diagnostic code for ratings. Also, the rating is assigned based on the frequency someone experiences migraines and how long they last.


Understanding the Common Ratings from the VA for Migraines

According to information from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA ratings for migraines are:

· 50%: Frequent, debilitating migraines and prolonged attacks that result in economic hardship.

· 30%: Severe attacks that occur around once a month over the last few months.

· 10%: Attacks that occur every two months for a period of several months.

· 0%: Less frequent migraine attacks.


Common Causes of Migraines

There are more than a few things that can trigger a migraine. This includes things like medications, depression, stress, and sleep problems. Also, many disabled veterans who experience migraines do so because of eye injuries, tinnitus, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal problems.


If you are dealing with this condition, you should know your rights. If you are unsure if you can recover VA benefits, discuss your options, and needs with a legal representative like a VA accredited Claims Agent or an attorney. Additionally, if you are looking for assistance with medical evidence, we may be able to assist.

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