Migraine headaches can qualify veterans for a 30% or even a 50% VA rating if they are severe enough and occur frequently enough. But, many veterans who suffer from service-connected migraine headaches do not currently qualify for a 30% or 50% rating.
Veterans who do not meet the criteria for a 30% VA rating may still qualify for a 10% rating. The 10% VA rating is quite similar to the 30% VA rating level. But, the frequency of migraine headaches is less at the 10% level.
For migraine headaches, VA uses diagnostic code 8100. VA’s ratings for migraine headaches focus on a couple of different factors. These factors are:
- The frequency of the migraines
- The severity of the headaches
VA states the 10% rating as, “With characteristic prostrating attacks averaging one in 2 months over last several months”. This rating level is almost identical to the 30% migraine headache rating level. The only difference is the frequency of the headaches.
To prove a 30% rating, you need to show that your “characteristic prostrating attacks” average once a month over the last several months. At the 10% rating level, you only have to prove one every two months over the last several months.
If you are having a characteristic migraine on average every 60 days or so for the last three to six months, you would probably qualify for the 10% level. If they are occurring more frequently than that, then you should consider whether you could meet the criteria for the 30% or 50% rating level.
What about the “prostrating attacks” requirement?
A prostrating attack means one that requires you to lie down. Most people I know who have migraines need to lie down when they have one.
At the 10% level, the attacks just need to be prostrating. At the 50% level they must be completely prostrating. It is important to note the difference
What does VA mean by this? Migraines that qualify you at the 10% or 30% level may just require you to lie down for a short period before getting back up. They only need to be “characteristic prostrating attacks”. They do not need to be completely prostrating at the 10% level.
Why is there a 0% VA rating level for migraine headaches?
The 0% migraine headache rating is fairly basic. Specifically, it is only four words long: “With less frequent attacks”. If you have service connected migraine headaches but cannot meet the requirement for the 10% level, then you should reach service connection with a 0% rating.
Qualifying for a 0% VA rating does have some benefits. For one, you can get medical treatment for that condition through VA for free.
Another potential benefit is the ability to qualify for a higher VA rating level later. By establishing your migraine headaches are service connected, you do not have to worry about proving that later. If your headaches become more frequent, you can apply for an increased rating at that point. You may then qualify for a 10%, 30% or 50% VA rating for your migraines.
What should I do if I have questions or need help?
I hope you found this information helpful. But, don’t worry if you still have some questions.
VA’s rule are confusing. Many veterans have questions or want help navigating VA’s claims process. Usually, the best way to get help or answers to your questions is a free veterans disability consultation.
If you have questions about how a free consultation would work, we put together an article that explains how long it will take and what you can learn. Setting one up is easy if you would like to do so. Just call our office at (770) 214-8885 or complete and submit the consultation request form on this page.