The Critical Role of “Prostrating Migraines” for VA Benefits

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Migraines are more than just headaches – they can be a battle on their own.

For many veterans, this battle doesn’t end with their service.

It’s a struggle that often goes unnoticed, yet it deeply affects their daily lives.

In this article, we dive into a specific type of migraine that’s crucial for veterans when filing for VA disability benefits: the prostrating migraine.

We’ll explore what it is and why it’s so important in your VA claim, helping you understand and navigate this complex process.

What is a Prostrating Migraine?

A prostrating migraine is a severe migraine attack that forces you to stop all activity and rest, often lying down for a significant period.

It’s not just about pain; it’s about how this pain knocks you off your feet.


  • Debilitating level symptoms that force you to seek rest
  • Throbbing pain (typically on one side of the head)
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Auras

Understanding the term ‘prostrating’ is key here. It’s not just a medical term; it’s a word that carries a lot of weight in your VA disability claim.

It describes the severity and the debilitating impact of the migraine.

Why does this term matter so much?

Migraines are known to be notoriously difficult to claim for VA benefits.

When you say your migraine is ‘prostrating,’ you’re telling the VA that your condition is severe enough to disrupt your normal life and work.

It’s not just a headache; it’s a barrier that stands in the way of your daily activities.

Prostrating Migraines and VA Disability Claims

The VA assesses migraines based on their severity and how often they happen.

A prostrating migraine is not just any headache; it’s a severe condition that can significantly impact your life.

This severity is what the VA looks at when determining your disability rating.

Understanding How Ratings Work for Prostrating Attacks

  • 0% Rating: If your migraines are infrequent and don’t force you to rest, you might receive a 0% rating. This means the VA acknowledges your migraines but doesn’t see them as a severe disability.
  • 10% – 50% Ratings: If your migraines are prostrating, the rating can be 10%, 30%, or even 50%. The percentage depends on how often these migraines happen and how much they affect your life. A 50% rating, the highest for migraines, is given when your migraines are very frequent and severely impact your ability to work.

Remember, the more clearly you can demonstrate the frequency and severity of your prostrating migraines, the stronger your claim will be.

If you want to learn more about VA ratings for migraines, check out or detailed post.

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Click here to read our VA Rating Guide for Migraines

Navigating the Claims Process with Prostrating Migraines

Filing a VA disability claim for prostrating migraines can be challenging, but understanding what evidence you need and how to present it can make all the difference.

Here’s a guide to help you through this process:

Tips for Documenting Your Migraines

  • Medical Records: Gather all your medical records related to your migraines. This includes doctor’s visits, treatments, and any hospitalizations.
  • Headache Diary: Keep a detailed diary of your migraines. Note down the dates, duration, symptoms, and how they impacted your activities. This diary can be a powerful tool in showing the frequency and severity of your attacks.
  • Doctor’s Statements: Ask your doctor to provide a statement about your condition, especially focusing on the prostrating nature of your migraines. The more detailed, the better.

Tips for Building Your Case

  • Link to Military Service: Clearly demonstrate how your migraines are related to your military service. This can be direct (caused by an injury or event during service) or indirect (a pre-existing condition worsened by your service).
  • Consistent Treatment: Show that you have been consistently seeking treatment for your migraines. This demonstrates the ongoing impact they have on your life.

Tips for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

  • VA Examination: Prepare for the VA C&P examination by reviewing your medical history and being ready to discuss your migraines in detail.
  • Misclassification: Sometimes, the severity of migraines might be underestimated. Ensure your diary and doctor’s statements clearly describe the prostrating nature of your migraines.

Tips for Proving Economic Impact (Applying for TDIU Benefits)

  • Employment Challenges: If your migraines have affected your ability to work, gather evidence such as employment records or statements from your employer.
  • Personal Testimony: Your personal account of how migraines have affected your life and work is also valuable. Write a clear and concise statement about this.

Remember, the key to a successful claim is detailed and consistent documentation that clearly demonstrates the impact of your prostrating migraines.

Prostrating Migraines and TDIU Benefits

For many veterans, prostrating migraines are not just a health issue; they significantly impact their ability to work.

This is where Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits come into the picture.

TDIU is a VA benefit that supports veterans who can’t maintain gainful employment due to service-connected disabilities.

If prostrating migraines prevent you from working, you might be eligible for TDIU, even if your overall disability rating is less than 100%.

For everything you need to know about TDIU benefits, check out our comprehensive guide below.

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Click here to read our IU Guide!

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