Can a veteran get VA disability benefits for migraine headaches?

Many veterans experience severe headaches but don’t realize they may be suffering from migraines. A migraine differs from a regular headache because it’s often accompanied by debilitating symptoms, including intense pounding in one area of the head, nausea, vomiting and severe sensitivity to sound or light. Not all doctors have the skill or expertise to accurately identify migraines and sometimes they’re misdiagnosed as tension and sinus headaches.

Migraines are a serious issue for military personnel and studies suggest that they are especially common among those who were deployed in Iraq. The VA recognizes migraine headaches as a disability that may be service connected. If you can prove that your migraines started when you were in the service, were caused by a situation or an event while serving, or are related to other service connected illnesses or disabilities, you may be eligible for VA disability benefits. However, it isn’t always easy to make a connection between your headaches and your military service. But there are ways to help prove this connection.

You can provide medical evidence that you have been diagnosed with migraines. This evidence should detail the symptoms of your migraines.  You can provide medical evidence or other evidence that your migraines began during your military service after a specific incident or event. And you can provide a medical opinion that shows a connection between a service event and your migraines. 

The medical opinion is especially important for showing a direct service connection. A doctor usually does this through a “nexus letter.” This letter is specific to the veteran’s claim and states the likelihood that the military event caused the condition.

If you’re a veteran who suffers from debilitating migraines and you believe they were caused by your military service, you may qualify for disability benefits from the VA. Contact us at Cuddigan Law to discuss your situation. We can help determine if you’re eligible for VA disability benefits. At Cuddigan Law you have a team of professionals in your corner who will fight for your rights.


Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska