VA Disability Rating Criteria For Migraines

VA Disability Rating Criteria For Migraines

Posted On: May 25, 2023

Among the most commonly submitted VA disability claims is when veterans suffer from migraines. If a veteran gets disabled during their military service, the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA) will compensate them with a tax-free monthly payment.

Migraines can limit veterans' ability to perform their job and significantly affect their quality of life. If you're a veteran who experienced migraines due to your active military service, you may qualify for migraines VA disability ratings and monthly compensation.

Service Connection For Migraines

A deployed veteran experiences migraines at a greater rate due to the nature of their service. Disproportionate traumatic events, exposure to extreme visual or auditory stimuli, and prolonged stress may take their toll.

Illnesses or injuries resulting from explosions, combat, falls, or concussions can also contribute to developing migraines in veterans.

Because of this overlap between the causes of migraines and military service, the VA considers migraines a military service-connected disability. It shows that as long as you can prove your migraines incurred during your service, the disability will be recognized as service-connected, unlike other VA disabilities, which might need further documentation.

Like other disability claims, to prove your service connection, you must submit the following three essential pieces of evidence:

  • Your current diagnosis from a professional doctor;
  • Documents of an incident or period that resulted in the condition;
  • A nexus letter relating your diagnosis to the incident or period in question is generally your doctor's opinion.

VA Disability Rating Criteria For Migraines

The VA rating criteria for migraines revolves around the frequency and intensity of your subsequent migraine encounters.

Although migraine headaches are quite common and may be debilitating amongst most veterans, the maximum schedular VA rating for migraine is 50%.

However, it's possible to obtain increased benefits if you qualify for Individual Unemployability benefits. It means a veteran's migraine is so severe that they cannot get or keep working.

A few terms the VA considers when deciding whether you'll receive a VA rating of 0%, 10%, 30%, or 50% include:


Prostrating occurs when a migraine causes intense exhaustion or incapacitation with an extreme inability to indulge in routine activities. A veteran often needs a long rest period to recover from prostrating headaches completely.

Completely Prostrating

Migraines lead to extreme exhaustion that develops a total inability to involve in normal activities.

Very Frequent

You have been experiencing prostrating attacks in less than a month over the past several months.

Less Frequent

On average, you are experiencing prostrating attacks in more than two months over the past several months.

Severe Economic Inadaptability

It is the degree of occupational impairment. Veteran may still perform their duty, but they often take sick leaves or unpaid absences for their medical condition.

Showing a "prostrating migraine" may significantly increase your chances of obtaining VA disability benefits for migraines.

VA Disability Ratings For Migraines

The VA rates migraine headaches depending on the frequency of the veteran's prostrating attack(s). Prostrating denotes powerlessness, extreme exhaustion, debilitation, or incapacitation with a significant inability to involve in normal activities. VA uses the following ratings Under 38 C.F.R. § 4.124a, Diagnostic Code 8100, to rate migraines:

50% Rating: The prostrating attacks are prolonged, frequent, and lead to severe economic inadaptability.

30% Rating: The prostrating attacks happen on average once every month over the past several months.

10% Rating: The prostrating attacks occur on average once every two months over the past several months.

0% Rating: The prostrating attacks occur more than two months apart.

Creating a record that includes each attack's date, time, length, and particular symptom will help ensure your medical condition is rated correctly. Buddy letters from your family, friends, or co-workers who have witnessed your symptoms can also be valuable in winning an increased VA disability rating for migraines.