Vertigo and Migraines: How to Maximize Your VA Disability Compensation

Vertigo is a symptom of feeling dizzy, where you feel the world around you spin or move as you lose spatial awareness. On the other hand, migraine attacks are headaches with throbbing pain, usually in one side of the head.

Many Veterans with migraines also experience symptoms of vertigo, and with multiple conditions, it can be hard to go through the disability claim process from VA.

This article will go through details on VA disability claims for migraines and vertigo. After finishing this read, you will understand how to get the best compensation rate from the VA for these disorders. Let’s get started!


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Eligibility for VA Disability Compensation for Vertigo and Migraines

To receive VA disability compensation for migraines and vertigo, you need to:

  • Prove diagnosis of both conditions
  • Provide evidence of in-service injury, condition, experience, or illness
  • Connect the conditions with the specific in-service event or a service-connected disability

Therefore, you can only receive VA disability benefits for vertigo and migraines if these conditions if they are related to your time in service or an existing disability that you have already service-connected.


Examples of Service-Related Causes of Vertigo and Migraines

Migraines and vertigo can result from many factors related to military service. Here are some of them:

  • Exposure to Loud Noises: If you worked in loud environments (near artillery fire or aircraft carriers), you are highly likely to have received ear damage, which can result in vertigo as well as tinnitus. Tinnitus causes ringing in the ears that can trigger migraine attacks.
  • Brain Injury: Brain damage or traumatic brain injuries can happen from your time in the service, especially if you have experienced impact or blast wounds. This type of injury can lead to migraines in later life as well as vertigo.
  • Vestibular Dysfunction: The vestibular system helps to maintain your body’s spatial orientation and balance. High-altitude exposure, loud noises, chemicals, and other events can lead to dysfunction of the vestibular system, causing vertigo.

How to Determine If You Are Eligible for Compensation

If you are still not sure if you are eligible for compensation for vertigo and migraines, here are the steps you can take:

  1. Get Diagnosed: If you have been feeling the symptoms of vertigo and migraines lately and haven’t been diagnosed yet, make it your first step. We recommend you get the diagnosis from a neurologist as it can prove more valuable when coming from a specialist in a specific field.
  2. Find Out the VA Disability Rating: After getting diagnosed, check out the disability rating VA assigns for migraines and vertigo. You will find the rating system for these conditions later in this article!
  3. Determine Service Connection: You cannot receive compensation for migraines and vertigo if they are not derived from your time in service. So, see a doctor who can make a connection between your conditions and your service. They may find out that your migraine attacks and vertigo resulted from injuries or events during service or from an already existing disorder with service connection (such as PTSD). You are ready for VA’s compensation if you can form this connection.

Filing a VA Disability Claim for Vertigo and Migraines

If you think you are eligible to get veteran’s compensation for your migraines and vertigo, you can file a VA disability claim. Here’s everything you need to know about the claim process:

Process of Filing Your Claim

  1. Gather Your Evidence: Make sure you have your medical diagnosis, Nexus Letters, and other evidence ready for migraines and vertigo. Buddy statements, letters from friends, coworkers, family, and your journal with written down details about your migraine attacks and vertigo are some of the documents that can help your claim.
  2. File Your Claim: File your claim online, by mail, or in person by filling out a form and providing evidence. Make sure you have given accurate information to avoid getting denied.
  3. Attend a C&P Exam: After filing your claim, the VA may ask you to attend a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam through a letter or call. This exam will help the VA determine your condition’s severity and how it connects to your service. Therefore, you can expect a medical examination, a review of your evidence, and answering questions.

After going through these processes, you will receive a decision from the VA. Getting any word after filing your claim can take over three months.

You can file an appeal with or without more evidence if your claim was denied. And if this whole process sounds tough, you can seek help from VA Disability Coach to ensure your claim is successful!

VA Rating Criteria for Vertigo and Migraines

VA’s rating system is how they determine the compensation rate for veterans. The VA can rate a disability from 0% to 100%, and the more rating you receive, the higher compensation you get. You can find out how the VA rates a disorder from their Diagnostic Codes.

Migraines and vertigo have different VA ratings. Below you’ll find details on which rating you can get for both conditions:

VA Rating for Vertigo

There is no diagnostic code for vertigo. However, it is usually rated under either peripheral vestibular disorder or Meniere’s disease.

Peripheral Vestibular Disorder: With this condition, you can receive up to a 30% rating under Diagnostic Code 6204.

  • 10% – You experience dizziness occasionally.
  • 30% – Your occasional dizziness is accompanied by staggering.

Meniere’s Disease: According to Diagnostic Code 6205, you can receive up to a 100% VA rating if you are experiencing vertigo due to Meniere’s disease.

  • 30% – You experience vertigo along with hearing impairment less than once a month.
  • 60% – Along with vertigo and hearing impairments, you also suffer from cerebellar gait. These symptoms should occur one to four times a month.
  • 100% – All symptoms are similar to the 60% rating, except the frequency should be more than once a week.

VA Rating for Migraine

VA assigns up to a 50% rating for migraines, unlike their regular 100% maximum range. Therefore, you can get the following ratings for migraines:

  • 0% – Attacks are not frequent
  • 10% – Prostrating and frequent attacks that happen at least once every two months
  • 20% – Prostrating and frequent attacks that happen at least once every month
  • 30% – Prostrating, frequent and prolonged attacks that lead to economic inadaptability

Evidence for VA Disability Claims for Vertigo and Migraines

Lack of evidence is one of the primary reasons why many claims get denied. Therefore, make sure to gather as many pieces of evidence as you can to prove the severity of your migraines and vertigo as well as their service connection.

Here are the types of evidence you should get to make your claim strong and prevent denial –

Medical Records

You should get medical records such as diagnosis papers and any documents from a certified medical professional that records your symptoms and treatments. Make sure not to provide documents that can contradict each other.

Nexus Letter

A ‘nexus’ is a connection between your migraine and vertigo to your time in service. Look for medical professionals to write a Nexus Letter for you, proving service connection on these conditions. Medical records and a Nexus Letter are two of the most important documents for a claim for vertigo and migraines.

Personal Records

Any personal record that can help with the claim can be provided to the VA. For example, if you keep a journal where you write down the symptoms of migraines and vertigo, when and how frequently they occur, and other details, then submit that as evidence.

Buddy Statements

Statements from people who have served beside you can be great, especially to prove a service connection. They can give information on events that occurred in your service that have caused you to suffer from vertigo and migraines.

Other Records

Your friends, family, and coworkers who see you suffering from migraines and vertigo on a daily basis can also provide statements to strengthen your claim further. Moreover, you can submit your employment records if you have been missing work due to these conditions.

Impact of Vertigo and Migraines on Daily Life

Vertigo and migraines on their own can create difficulty in your daily activities. Together, they can be much worse. Here are some examples of the daily impacts of these disorders:

  • Maintaining regular employment can be nearly impossible, with these conditions affecting your concentration or ability to do physical tasks.
  • Migraines and vertigo attacks require you to take a break from everything, negatively impacting your social life.
  • You find it hard to do the simplest daily tasks, such as cleaning, cooking, and driving due to migraine attacks and vertigo.
  • Your mental health can deteriorate due to these conditions, as they can often cause you to have anxiety, stress, and even depression.
  • Your overall quality of life diminishes a lot when you have to deal with migraine attacks and vertigo on a regular basis.

If you are having these issues or anything similar, you can document them and provide them as evidence to the VA.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility criteria for VA Disability Compensation for Vertigo and Migraines?

To be eligible to get VA disability compensation for migraines and vertigo, you –
●     Need to be diagnosed with those conditions
●     Have a service connection

What documents are needed to file a VA Disability Claim for Vertigo and Migraines?

Your diagnosis papers and a Nexus proving service connection are the two most needed documents. On top of these records, you should also try to submit buddy statements, records from your journal, and other evidence mentioned in this article.

How is the severity of Vertigo and Migraines determined for VA rating purposes?

The severity of migraines for VA rating is determined by the term ‘prostrating,’ which means your migraine attacks make you unable to perform daily tasks, and you need to sit or lay down until the attacks stop. Moreover, the frequency of vertigo and migraines also play a significant factor in a VA rating.

What is a secondary service-connected disability?

A secondary service-connected disability is a condition that didn’t directly result from your time in the service but has derived from another service-connected disorder. For example, if someone gets diagnosed with migraines from service-connected PTSD, then their migraines are secondary to PTSD for a VA rating.


If you submit the correct documents and follow through VA’s examination process, you will likely get the correct rating for your disabilities. However, getting a lower rating or receiving a denial is not uncommon. In that case, make sure you submit your appeal within one year of the VA’s decision.