There is a strong connection between veterans who have PTSD and those who suffer from migraines. Did you know that if you currently have a VA disability claim for PTSD, you may be eligible for additional benefits for migraines?
In this post, we’ll look at what you can do to file a claim for migraines. We’ll also discuss how a VA disability lawyer can help you gather evidence and prove your case.
What Is A Migraine Headache?
A migraine is not an ordinary type of headache. Migraines are often described as intense pain that comes with nausea, light, sound and smell sensitivity, blurred vision, and feeling lightheaded. For some people, migraines can last for several hours, and for others, they last for days. Migraines can come and go and also be completely debilitating and very intense.
If you suffer from migraines, getting help is essential, and treatments are available. To file a VA disability claim, you must prove your migraines connect to your service activity. A VA-accredited attorney can help file your claim and ensure you have the proper documentation.
How to Prove Your Migraine is Connected to Your Service
Migraines are very common in the general population but even more prevalent for veterans. One study found that approximately 36% of veterans returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom suffer from migraines. This is compared to only 12% of the general population who have migraines. There are also links to PTSD leading to severe migraines.
Migraines are also one of the most common disabilities among veterans. They are currently 8th in all new claims. Migraines are also linked to common service injuries such as TBI (traumatic brain injuries), stress, chemical exposure, and neck and back injuries.
Suppose you already have an approved claim for VA disability like PTSD. In that case, you may be eligible to claim migraines as a secondary service-connected condition. For this claim, you need a diagnosis of migraine headaches from a doctor. You also need to show medical evidence that there is a link between service-connected PTSD and your migraine headaches.
Medical exams and opinions from private doctors or VA healthcare providers are helpful evidence. Medical records showing a link between your migraines and PTSD are also very important. A VA disability lawyer can advise you on the information you need to gather and the evidence you should submit with your claim.
How Does the VA Rate Migraine Headaches?
It is important to know that the VA’s maximum rating schedule for migraines is 50%. This rating goes along with what the VA believes the severity of the disability to be. A 50% rating means that a migraine only interferes with a veteran’s ability to work 50% of the time.
The ratings also correspond with the severity of your migraines. If your migraines are so severe that they leave you incapacitated for days at a time, the VA needs to rate them at an appropriate level. The VA should rate you appropriately if you cannot work due to your migraines. This could be well beyond 50%. You may need help from an experienced VA disability lawyer who understands the regulations to argue your case.
A VA disability lawyer can also help you understand the terms and how it relates to your disability. It is essential to accurately describe the frequency and intensity of your migraines to your doctor so they can note this in your medical reports. These reports are what the VA will use to rate your disability.
Here are the ratings that the compensation and pension examiners will use to assess the severity of your migraines and the level of compensation you are entitled to.
- 0% – less frequent migraine attacks
- 10% – prostrating attacks every two months over the last several months
- 30% – prostrating attacks once a month over the last several months
- 50% – frequent, completely prostrating and prolonged attacks leading to severe economic inadaptability. This means it affects your ability to work and could mean you miss several days of work a month.
“Prostrating attacks” means your migraine causes severe pain and distress. They may cause you to lay down with extreme physical weakness. Even with such a painful condition, if you have a disability rating of 50%, you are still considered able to work. Your VA-accredited attorney can help prove your case and ensure you receive the proper rating.
Filing a VA Claim for Migraines
Filing a claim with VA is very complex, and it is very common for initial claims to be denied. A VA-accredited attorney is trained in VA claims law and can access the proper documentation, file a claim, and maximize your VA benefits.
In some cases, you may be eligible for a secondary service-connection claim. Secondary service-connection claims happen when a service-connected injury or disability (such as PTSD) causes a new disability, such as migraines. It is always helpful to speak with a VA disability lawyer when filing your initial VA disability claim for PTSD. They can help you consider if other conditions or symptoms you have may be service-connected for additional benefits.
If you already have a claim for VA disability for PTSD and also suffer from migraines, talk to a VA-accredited attorney. You may be eligible for additional benefits. LegalASAP can connect you with our trusted network of VA disability lawyers in your area. They can talk through your case and help you understand your next steps. Contact us now or complete your free evaluation to see if you may qualify.