Can I Receive VA Disability Benefits for Headaches?

Almost everyone gets a headache from time to time, but if they happen often enough, they can prevent you from keeping a job or enjoying your leisure time. Migraine headaches can be completely immobilizing, as the only reliable relief is lying down in a darkened room. Veterans might not be aware that they may receive VA disability benefits for headaches caused by something that happened during military service.

Whether it is a symptom that stems from a mental health condition (like PTSD), or a product of sinus problems that developed during service, veterans may file for service connection for headaches. The highest rating a veteran can receive for headaches is 50%. This is only assigned if service-connected headaches cause attacks that produce physical weakness, require long periods of lying down, and occur at least two times a month. If these migraines prevent full-time employment, the VA should generally grant the maximum rating.

When your disability claim is looked over by a VA ratings specialist, existing evidence that your migraine is “prostrating” (causing both weakness and the need to lie down) will jump off the page. To make sure that your migraine will be rated accurately, you need to provide documentation showing that your headache qualifies as a migraine. You should obtain a diagnosis from a medical specialist and provide records and statements from family and friends about instances when your migraines disrupted your life.

When you visit your doctor, it is important to tell them exactly how your migraines make you feel. Are you unable to remain productive when you have one? Do they cause weakness? Are you often reduced to lying down for hours or days because your head won’t stop hurting? The more descriptive you can be, the more likely it is that your medical statements will convince the VA to rate you higher.

If you have suffered from intense headaches ever since returning from service, you may qualify for additional benefits. Please contact us to discuss your situation.