Secondary Service-Connected Conditions: VA Benefits for Migraine Sufferers
If you suffer from migraines, you know “headache” barely begins to describe the condition. In addition to severe pain, migraines often cause other symptoms such as:
● Nausea and vomiting
● Seeing halos or auras
● Visual disturbances
● Sensitivity to light and sound
In some cases, migraine sufferers also experience weakness or numbness on one side of the body, “pins and needles,” difficulty speaking, and other symptoms.
If you’ve had even a single migraine, you know these symptoms can be debilitating. One study of Operation Iraqi Freedom soldiers who suffered from migraines found that they averaged 2.4 “impaired duty” days per month due to migraines. Tens of thousands of U.S. veterans receive VA disability benefits wholly or partly due to migraines.
Depending on the circumstances, A VA claim for migraines may assert a direct service connection or a secondary service-connected condition. This article focuses on migraines as a secondary service-connected condition.
Establishing a VA Claim for Migraines as a Secondary Service Connection
To establish any secondary service-connected condition disability claim, the veteran must show that:
● They suffer from a service-connected disability, and
● Evidence that the primary condition is at least as likely as not to be the cause of the secondary condition
Migraines may be secondary to several conditions, including:
● Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Not only is there a strong correlation between PTSD and migraine, but at least one study has shown that migraine sufferers with PTSD tend to have more severe migraine symptoms.
● Tinnitus: Many studies have established a connection between tinnitus and migraine. Researchers aren’t sure exactly how the connection works. Still, the VA has frequently recognized migraines as a condition secondary to service-connected tinnitus.
● Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Migraine headaches are among the most common types of chronic headaches after a TBI.
Of course, these are just a few examples. The best source of information about whether your migraines may be connected to another service-related condition is your doctor.
A VA Disability Advocate Can Help
Proving secondary service-connected conditions can be tough. You’ll generally need to submit documentation of both your medical condition and the medical link between your primary condition and the secondary condition. An experienced veterans’ disability advocate can take the pressure off and help ensure that your claim or appeal is presented as clearly and effectively as possible.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us or call (855) 855-8992 today.
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