Headaches and migraines are common VA disabilities among Veterans. Headaches, whether they first started in service or are secondary to another service-connected condition (like a traumatic brain injury), are all rated under the same diagnostic code. DC 8100 provides ratings between 0 percent and 50 percent for migraine headaches. If you have another sort of headache, like tension headaches or cluster headaches, they will be rated in essentially the same way unless they are part of another condition that is being rated. For example, if you are service-connected for chronic sinusitis, your headaches might be considered as due to that condition, and rated together. In this blog, we will cover how to VA disability ratings for migraines work. In essence, migraines are rated based on their frequency and intensity.
There are two very important aspects to the diagnostic code for headaches. The first is frequency. How often do you have headaches? The frequency of your headache plays a large role in your ability to get compensation from the VA. If you only have a headache once every three months, then you will likely receive a noncompensable evaluation for this condition. However, if you have headaches two or more times per month, then you would be rated at 50 percent, which is the highest evaluation allowed by law.
The other important aspect to a claim for headaches is that they have to be prostrating. Generally speaking, a headache is considered prostrating when it requires you to stop all activity, take medication, and either seek medical attention or seclude yourself for the rest of the day. Therefore, it is important to note the severity of your headaches when they occur. Headaches that are not considered prostrating, even if very bad, will not increase your rating.
In order to maximize your rating, make sure you keep track of the frequency of your headaches. A monthly headache diary will help with this. Write down when it started, your pain levels, and what you did to treat the condition, such as lying down in a dark room or taking medication. Be sure to report your symptoms to your doctor as well. If someone knows you well, they can write buddy statements as to the severity of your headaches to help increase your rating. Finally, if you have missed work due to your headaches, sick slips, doctors’ notes, or pay stubs can help corroborate your statements.
If you have been denied disability compensation for a migraine or headache, we can help. We have assisted thousands of clients who have been denied or rated poorly for migraines/headaches. Our attorneys understand the VA appeals system and can help you craft the most effective appeal for your rating decision. We are dedicated to helping Veterans because we are a team full of Veterans. Berry Law features attorneys from four branches of the military: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Contact our team today to schedule a confidential consultation and begin fighting for the disability benefits you are entitled to.
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