The word “migraines” can encompass many different types of headache conditions within the VA schedular disability rating system. This is because under 38 CFR 4.124a, all headache conditions are rated under the same scale used for migraine headaches:
Diagnostic Code 8100: Migraine
- 50 – With very frequent completely prostrating and prolonged attacks productive of severe economic inadaptability
- 30 – With characteristic prostrating attacks occurring on an average once a month over last several months
- 10 – With characteristic prostrating attacks averaging one in 2 months over last several months
- 0 – With less frequent attacks
This rating schedule provides a maximum schedular disability rating of 50 percent, which can seem low given the severe impact some veterans’ headaches can have on their daily functioning. For veterans who are unable to work due to their migraines, receiving a total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) rating entitles them to full VA disability benefits at the 100 percent compensation rate.
Obtaining a TDIU rating for migraines can be done a couple of ways. First, if the veteran has other service connected conditions that, when combined with the schedular disability rating for their migraines, results in a total combined disability rating of more than 70 percent, he or she can qualify for TDIU on a schedular basis under 38 CFR 4.16(a). Second, if the veteran is only service connected for his or her migraines or does not have any individual disability that meets the schedular TDIU requirements, he or she can apply for TDIU on an extra-schedular basis under 38 CFR 4.16(b). Any veteran who cannot work due to his or her migraines qualifies for TDIU under 38 CFR 4.16(b), no matter what his or her schedular disability rating is.
The most important evidence veterans should include when applying for TDIU based on migraines is medical and occupational evidence demonstrating the severity of their headache condition. By presenting evidence such as a headache log or a record of treatments they have undergone for their condition, veterans can support their claim for unemployability by showing how seriously their migraines affect their daily life. Additional supporting evidence could include statements from former employers or a record of work history that shows the veteran is unemployable because of his or her condition.
It is important to remember that only those who cannot maintain a substantially gainful occupation qualify for TDIU, so even veterans who work part time may still qualify for a TDIU rating based on their migraine headaches. For more information on qualifying for TDIU and the application process, check out this article. If you are having trouble filling out your VA Form 21-8940 to apply for TDIU, find a step by step guide here.
Help With Your TDIU Due To Migraines Claim
If you are a veteran who suffers from a debilitating headache condition, please contact us at 800-448-5423 or via our free claim evaluation form today. Our veterans disability lawyers have significant experience getting veterans with migraines and other headache conditions TDIU ratings for their disability.