Migraine headaches can be absolutely debilitating, causing an intense throbbing pain in one spot on the head that can last for hours or even days in severe cases. Migraines are typically accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound that can make lying down in a dark, quiet area necessary. Other symptoms include lightheadedness and blurred vision.
In recognition of the debilitating effects of migraine headaches, the Department of Veterans Affairs will provide veterans disability benefits for veterans who are impaired by service-connected migraine headaches, meaning that a veteran has migraine headaches that are caused by an in-service incident, caused by another service-connected impairment, or began while the veteran was still in service.
However, the highest level of rating allowed by the VA for migraine headaches is only 50%. Note that this rating is only assigned if a veteran’s migraines cause “very frequent completely prostrating and prolonged attacks productive of severe economic inadaptability.” In plain English, this means that a 50% rating is reserved for veterans whose service-connected migraine headaches 1) cause attacks that produce extreme physical weakness, requiring the veteran to lay down for a significant period of time (hours or days) and 2) occur frequently (at least an average of two times per month for the last several months) enough to prevent full-time employment. In other words, the VA will provide you with a 50% service-connected rating if your migraine headaches cause you to be totally incapacitated frequently enough to render you unemployable.
When a client of Friedman Disability has migraines that warrant a 50% rating and can no longer sustain gainful employment, we generally will file a claim for a Total Disability rating based upon Individual Unemployability (TDIU), which pays veterans at a rate equal to that of a 100% disability rating.
Firm owner and founder, Robert Friedman has won TDIU benefits for several clients whose migraine headaches prevented them from sustaining full-time employment. Because these veterans’ migraines rendered them unemployable, they deserved more than the assigned 50% schedular rating for migraines. Mr. Friedman’s winning strategy in these cases allowed for this to happen.
If you have migraine headaches that incapacitate you for hours or days and these attacks occur multiple times per month, Friedman Disability can help. We will review your medical records, your VA case file, speak with your treating physicians, and likely seek the opinion of vocational experts to assess your functional limitations.
If you or a loved one served in the military and are now suffering from migraines, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call us at 800-742-5035 or use the contact form on this site.
The full rating schedule for migraine headaches is below:
With very frequent completely prostrating and prolonged attacks
productive of severe economic inadaptability… 50
With characteristic prostrating attacks occurring on an average once
a month over last several months…………… 30
With characteristic prostrating attacks averaging one in 2 months over
last several months………………………. 10
With less frequent attacks……………………….. 0