How To Get A 50% VA Rating For Migraines [NEW in 2020!]


(energetic sizzling) (ethereal vocal music)
(heart beating) – So let’s dive into this, okay, how to get a 50% VA disability
rating for migraines. We really could change
the title to how to get a 50% VA rating for headaches, right? Because it doesn’t matter what
type of headache you have, what matters is the
severity of your condition. It comes down to your symptoms, that’s assuming that
you can get this thing service connected, which by the way, vets, there’s a new blog post up. If you haven’t gone to
vaclaimsinsider.com/blog, go there. Unbelievable resources
that we have for you guys that we’re pumping out on a daily basis. We have an entire blogging team of fellow disabled veterans, medical professionals, including myself, we’re posting original high-value content every single day. In fact, I just wrote a post talking about the definitive guide for VA disability ratings for migraines. It’s by far the number
one most comprehensive resource ever published. It took me at least 20 hours to research, put this thing together, because I really want
this to be an action plan, and I want all disabled
veterans to be armed with information, okay? You gotta be armed with
the right information so that you can make a decision if you wanna go forward
with your headaches via disability claim, how you’re gonna get it service connected, and then of course, rated at the appropriate level. And the shocking thing that I found as I was researching
this is how many veterans are at 0% or 10% for headaches, when the reality is
their symptoms are more like 30% or even 50%, which is the max criteria under the law. All right, so let’s talk
about this a little bit, let’s talk about headaches
in general in VA disability. Again, migraines or any
type of headache in general falls under diagnostic code 8100, under CFR 38 Part 4, the
schedule for rating disabilities. Now there’s another post out there I wrote called Top 10 Most Common
VA Disabilities Claims. Migraines are the number
nine most commonly claimed VA disability, meaning it’s pretty easy to get service connected. And migraines are also a high-value claim. A high-value VA disability claim, meaning there’s a very high likelihood that veteran can get rated at
30% or higher for headaches. So again, I told you about
all this research I did: the International Headache Society, Mayo Clinic, trusted source, WebMD. There are over 150
different types of headaches that a veteran could have. They’re divided into a bunch of categories that don’t matter. And I’m not gonna talk about
the individual headache specifically, other than a few of them. Good Lord, I’m not gonna bore you with 150 different types of headaches, but I wanna talk about a few
different types of headaches because that might pertain to you. So by far, the most
common type of headache that veterans have is something
called a tension headache, where you’ve got mild to moderate pain that can come and go overtime. Now some vets have
chronic tension headaches versus episodic tension headaches. And episodic means they just come and go without any frequency or regularity, versus chronic means they’re
happening all the time. So that’s a tension
headache, very, very common. I have tension headaches, I
also have migraine headaches. Now migraine headaches, that’s
what the law talks about. The law describes migraines
as the ratable condition. But again, any type of headache condition is ratable under the law as
long as you have the symptoms that meet the rating criteria,
which we’re gonna talk about and I’m gonna deep dive
the difference between the 30% rating and the 50% rating. Now migraine headaches,
I have them so I can describe exactly how mine feels. Mine starts at my neck and radiates up through the back of my head and leads to this pounding, throbbing pain on both sides of my head. And that’s really the way that
a lot of vets describe it, is a throbbing, pulsating, pounding pain that can really last
anywhere from a few hours to a few days. But again, the frequency and the severity, I want you to write those terms down. That’s what ultimately
dictates your final VA disability rating for migraines. The frequency and the severity along with one special word, you can write this down
as well: prostrating. P-R-O-S-T-R-A-T-I-N-G. Prostrating, write that down. Prostrating, that single word can make or break your VA
disability claim for headaches. Again, we’re gonna deep
dive that here in a second. All right, so migraine headaches, the symptoms that a lot of vets report: sensitivity, so hyper
sensitivity to lights, noises, smells, there may
be some nausea and vomiting, maybe appetite issues, upset
stomach, things like that. And then the other type of headache that I wanna talk about
specifically with my fellow vets is something called
post-traumatic headaches. Okay, I’ll say that again,
post-traumatic headaches. We’ve all heard of
post-traumatic stress disorder, right, or a post-traumatic event, something maybe like a
blast that caused a TBI, like a mild traumatic brain injury. Now post-traumatic headaches
though are very common among military veterans,
especially if you ever deployed in support of a contingency
operation overseas, and/or if you ever had
any type of head injury or trauma-type situation
that occurred in the service. Post-traumatic headaches are eligible for VA disability under the law. All right, so let’s jump in again to this secret stuff we’re sharing:
the term prostrating will make or break your VA
disability claim for migraines. Now I did a crap-ton of
research on the word prostrating because I wanted to arm
you guys with, no kidding, the best information that
you really need to know. I went through all kinds of definitions, I read a whole bunch of BVA case law. And the interesting thing I found is that neither the VA regs, okay, the VA’s regulations, nor statute, which is 38 CFR, the law, nor the courts, okay, so the claims courts or the BVA, the Board of Veterans Appeals; a judge has never ruled,
regulated, or defined what the term prostrating really means. So we have to go to the dictionary, and then we have to go to
what does prostrating mean in the context of your
claim for headaches. The best definition I could
find was from dictionary.com, and here’s what it says: to lay oneself down on the ground. It’s also a weakness, fatigue, distress, exhaustion, illness or functional loss that potentially reduces someone to extreme physical weakness. Now let me make it super easy for you. If you’re wondering if you
have a prostrating migraine or a prostrating headache, I want you to ask yourself this: do I or do I not have to lie down when I get a headache, a tension headache, a migraine headache, a
post-traumatic stress headache, a sinus headache, it doesn’t matter? Do you have to lie down because
of the severity of the pain and your symptoms associated
with your headache? That’s what prostrating means. So if you’re thinking about
writing a personal statement, or you’re talking to your doctor at the VA or a private provider about the severity of your migraines, you’re gonna wanna make sure you’re talking about your symptoms. So for example, maybe you
wanna say something like, “Hey, doc, my headaches are so severe “that when I get an
attack, which by the way, “happens about three
to four times per week, “I end up having to lie down
in a dark room by myself, “sometimes for hours on
end until the pain stops. “This impacts my work, my
life, my social functioning.” Maybe you ran out of sick leave because of how severe your headaches are. So that would be an example
of how you explain this if you truly have prostrating headaches, or prostrating migraines. Another example might be
in your personal statement or in a buddy letter that
you get from a spouse or a coworker. Somebody could say something like, “Hey, my migraines
cause extreme radiating, “pulsating, throbbing pain that start “on the left side of my
head and work their way “to the right side. “And man, when I’m having
a migraine, like, I’m down. “I gotta go be by myself in a room. “Usually I end up lying down on a bed “or a sofa. “And I’ve had to take
a bunch of sick leave. “I can’t work, I can’t
function, I can’t think “when I’m having this migraine attack.” That’s the kind of stuff that
you need to be thinking about and writing about in
your personal statements. Which, by the way, I’m
gonna get to something here very soon where I talk about getting DBQs and nexus letters for migraines. Which, by the way, if you need a DBQ, a Disability Benefit
Questionnaire for migraines, if you need a medical
diagnosis of headaches from a doctor, VA Claims
Insider can help, guys. That’s what we do. We have a medical doctor,
an MD, on our team who can diagnose you if you’ve got migraine headaches or sinus headaches or post-traumatic headaches, or whatever kinda headaches you have. Or you can go get your own diagnoses. If you go to the VA or if
you go to a private doctor. But the key here is that how
are you gonna service connect your migraines and prove your symptoms. That’s what we help you
do at VA Claims Insider. We can help you get Disability
Benefit Questionnaire reviews for migraines, and we could even help you with a nexus letter for migraines, especially medical nexus
letters to help you service connect your
headaches, your migraines secondary to something else. There’s a whole host of
secondary service connection possibilities for migraines. Again, you need help, you need a DBQ? Are you underrated for
migraines, you think you deserve 30 or 50, maybe you need
a first-time diagnosis for migraines, maybe
you need a nexus letter for secondary service connection, get inside of VA Claims Insider Elite, which is our premier medical
coaching and consulting membership program, which
by the way, you start free. It costs you this much money to start. And oh by the way, you get access to over $13,000 worth of proprietary resources that me and my team have
put together, for free. For free, guys! Again, you can get started right now at vaclaimsinsiderelite.com. If you’re watching on
YouTube or on Facebook later, open up the comments section. You’ll see a description in there for www.vaclaimsinsiderelite.com. You’ll also see the bumper sticker across this video,
especially if you’re watching the recording on YouTube. It’s a free three-step
intake to get started, and you’ll hear from a member of our team in about 96 hours. So let’s jump into the actual
criteria for migraines. And then, by the way, I
see you guys all on here. There’s 128 of you on live. Keep asking your questions right now in the comments live, and
we’re gonna try to answer as many as we can. If you’re watching the recording, please open up the description on either Facebook or YouTube in the comment section Combat Craig and I are gonna come back and answer as many as we can. So don’t worry if you missed this live. We’re still gonna try
to get to your question. All right, so let’s
talk about the VA rating for migraines criteria;
what does the law state? Again, migraines are under code 8100. CFR 38, Part 4, the schedule
for rating disabilities. Now the migraines rating scale,
there’s four possibilities. You can either be 0%, 10%, 30% or 50%. 50% for migraines is the highest rating you can have under the law. You cannot go higher than 50%. There’s no bilateral factor to say it affects this over this, bla-bla-bla; no, there’s none of that. You’re either zero, 10, 30 or 50. Now the biggest difference is the symptoms become shockingly and markedly more severe as you march towards the 50%. I’m gonna read this to you right now. I’m just gonna read the difference between the 30 and 50 here live, and then you can either go
read the blog post for yourself or go look at the law. So let’s look at the 30%
versus the 50% rating, 30% for migraines or headaches: Migraines or headaches with characteristic prostrating attacks, there’s
that word prostrating which means to lie down,
occurring on an average of once a month over
the last several months. So again, 30% rating for
migraines or any other type of headache: prostrating attacks, meaning do you have to lie down, and they occur, meaning the frequency, on average of once a month
over the last several months. Well think about it,
that’s not very often. If you’re a veteran who
had any type of trauma, side effects for medications,
especially if you’ve already got a mental health condition,
maybe you’ve got sinusitis, maybe you’ve got rhinitis, maybe you’ve got radiculopathy, TBI. Goodness, that’s a pretty low threshold. Once a month over the last several months, that’s 30%. Now let’s go up to the 50%. This is where it becomes
markedly more severe, and it introduces this
concept of economic loss, which I’ll describe in detail. All right, so here’s the 50% level: Migraines with very frequent, okay, so very frequent was not
listed in the 30% category, completely prostrating, meaning
you always have to lie down, with prolonged attacks productive of severe economic inadaptability. Now that’s a whole bunch
of BS that means this: are your migraines so frequent and severe that you always have to lie down? And because of how frequently
and severe your headaches are, it’s actually impacted
your ability to produce. Typically, it means work, economic loss: so sick leave, maybe you
were fired from a job, maybe you’re out of annual
vacation and sick leave because of how much
time away you’re taking. Because when you get
these severe migraines, you have to go lie down, you can’t work. That’s what that means. So the 50% threshold for
migraines or any type of headache introduces for the first time
this concept of economic loss. It’s very, very important. So how do you prove this
idea of economic loss? Well you could get a buddy
letter from your boss, explaining that, yeah,
he’s out of sick leave. She’s out of sick leave, she’s used it all to deal with these migraines. You could also get a
letter from your VA doctor or private doctor if they’ll help you, or somebody who knows
you well like a spouse, who can shed some light on the frequency and the severity of your migraines. But again, all rating criteria, the 10%, 30% and 50% rating for headaches all talk about prostrating. So you need to talk about,
in your personal statements, in your buddy letters, when
you’re talking with doctors, when you’re talking to
your primary care team on my health e-vad, when
you’ve talked to your mental health professional,
you need to be describing in detail what happens when
you get these headaches, and then what you have to do;
“Hey, I have to lie down.” All right, so we talked
about that 50% rating. Now I wanna read something,
this is interesting. We get to see a lot of
VA rating decisions. Veterans send them to us all the time, and some of the stuff
is just complete garbage that we see from these VA raters. Which, by the way, a lot of
times the rating decision letter has the words from the C&P
examiner copied and pasted. We all know many C&P examiners suck. All right, they absolutely suck. We have so many resources
here on our website and on YouTube to help you fight back against illegal, immoral
and unethical C&P examiners, because they’re out
there, they piss me off, they’re screwing you guys
and our fellow veterans, and it makes me so angry. I will never stop talking
about this until it’s fixed. Our C&P examiners suck, and
you’re screwing our veterans. All right, let’s get back to this letter from the VA rater. So this was an actual case. This was a BVA case. The veteran was already rated at 30%. So remember, the prostrating
headaches on average of once a month, but was
seeking an increase to 50%. Remember, prostrating with
severe economic inadaptability, meaning there’s functional
loss, there’s economic loss. I’m gonna read this word
for word from the rater on the denial, which, by the way, the board sided with the denial: Although the medical evidence shows that the frequency of the
headaches has increased, meaning how many times
the veteran gets them, there is no objective medical evidence showing that these headaches are at all prostrating in nature, which would affect economic inadaptability. However, based upon the
totality of the evidence, which includes the veteran’s
objective statements and resolving all reasonable
doubt in the favor of the veteran, we feel
that the 30% threshold has been met, justifying it this time. A higher evaluation is not warranted unless the objective medical
evidence shows very frequent, completely prostrating
and prolonged attacks productive of severe
economic inadaptability. Now I wanna point out some words here: “no objective medical evidence.” Guys, VA disability claims come down to medical evidence. Why do you think I
founded VA Claims Insider? That’s why I founded this company because that’s the problem. The reason you are stuck,
frustrated and underrated, veterans, is because
you do not have enough medical evidence in your
service treatment records to prove that you have the condition, meaning the diagnosis,
you can’t prove that it’s service connected, which
is that nexus requirement, or you can’t show that
you even have symptoms. So guess what happens? You end up stuck,
frustrated and underrated, banging your head against the wall, attempting to do the same
thing over and over again through multiple rounds of appeal. And you keep getting denied, and you think it’s just
because the VA hates you. Guys, it’s because you do not have enough objective medical evidence. That is the problem. We are the solution. That’s what we do, we connect you with qualified independent
medical professionals for disability questionnaire reviews, aka, objective medical evidence to prove diagnosis and symptoms, and to help you get competent and credible medical nexus letters, to help you prove and show service connection. That’s it, guys, that’s the secret sauce. That’s what we do. Now if you need some help, if you’re tired of banging
your head against the wall, you’re tired of perusing
worthless Facebook groups, you’re tired of being in appeal, you need more medical evidence. Again, you can start free inside of VA Claims Insider Elite today. You can claim over $13,000
worth of bonuses today. And you can get started in three steps. You’ll hear from a member of our team to get connected with the
med team in 96 hours or less. So right after you’re
done eating turkey dinner. (chuckles) All right. Again, you can get started right now at vaclaimsinsiderelite.com. It’s a free three-step intake, you can read the description,
you can watch my video on there as well. But guys, VA disability claims come down to medical evidence. The problem: most veterans
don’t have enough that works. The solution is us. All right, so again, let’s
go back to that denial. The denial saying that the veteran does not meet the higher criteria was because there was no
objective medical evidence that showed that the
headaches were prostrating, meaning the veteran had to lie down. And there was no indication
of any economic loss, in a personal statement, a buddy letter, something from a coworker, a boss. So you need to really
be thinking about that. Now the best way that I know of to get the rating and
compensation you deserve for migraine headaches or any
type of headache in general is to get a Disability Benefit
Questionnaire for migraines completed by a qualified
medical professional. Now you can ask a VA doctor
to do one; good luck. You could ask your private
doctor to do one; good luck. Or you can have one of our
doctors do that for you. Now something else that I wanna point out which I think is a crucial
piece of information here is that if you are
already service connected for migraines or tension headaches or post-traumatic headaches
or residuals of TBI headaches, whatever; if you’re
already service connected say at 0% or 10%, or even 30%, but you think you meet
that higher criteria, because you do have prostrating headaches, it is causing economic
loss and functional loss, guess what? The migraines DBQ on its own can get you the increase
without a C&P exam. Now that’s not a guarantee, but by regulation of VA rater
can accept a private DBQ on an increase alone without a C&P exam. Now let’s talk about
that DBQ for migraines. The most important section
you have to think about is section four. Why, because there’s those
keywords again: prostrating. Remember I talked about the one word that can make or break your
migraine claim: prostrating. If your headaches are so
severe that you’ve gotta lie down in a dark room for hours, you have to talk about it with
your medical professional, and you gotta make sure the
DBQ is annotated correctly. Now get ready, I got
a secret migraine hack comin’ at you right now
live from Austin, Texas. Get ready, who’s excited? Somebody say yes, somebody go,
Brian, gimme the secret hack. Somebody, I’m waiting. I’m gonna watch you live. Somebody’s gotta say
gimme the secret hack. (chuckles) Scott says, “Great work.” Oh, all right, “Hey, Brian,
gimme the secret hack.” Okay, here it is. A free app on your smartphone, we have no affiliation
with them, by the way, it’s called Migraine Buddy. You can get it on the
iPhone or for Android. It works on your smartphone. Highly, highly, highly recommend it. Again, it’s called Migraine Buddy. Hopefully a team member will
post it here in the chat. I’ll also post it in the description on YouTube and on Facebook later. Migraine Buddy, which is
an app on your smartphone. This is super important because
what it allows you to do is instantly, in a couple of clicks, document the frequency and the
severity of your headaches, all on a mobile app. And then what you can do is,
after a few weeks or months, you can actually download
your entire support of everything that’s happened. So now you’ve got medical evidence. You now have objective medical evidence that supports the
frequency and the severity of your headaches. Remember I talked about,
the number one reason why vets claims get denied. Why are you stuck,
frustrated and underrated? Why are you banging your
head against the wall? You don’t have enough medical evidence. Migraine Buddy helps you
create medical evidence, because you can document
your headaches overtime, turn that into a report, and upload it in support of your VA
disability claim for headaches. Okay, boom! Somebody gimme a boom here. Combat Craig, I know you’re on, brother. Oh, he just put Migraine Buddy. Somebody gimme a big boo here
online, I know they will. There’s 170 of you on right
now live, which is crazy. Okay, so we talked about migraines
and any type of headache, zero, 10, 30, 50. What’s the keyword? Prostrating. What’s the difference between 30 and 50? You have very frequent,
completely prostrating, meaning you always have to lie down, and there’s indication
that you’re suffering from actual economic loss. You’ve been fired from a job, you’ve used all your sick leave, you’ve missed a whole bunch of work. That’s important to remember. All right, I wanna talk about
secondary service connection. I hope now, (chuckles) I got
a whole bunch of people going boom, which, by the way, guys, if you go to the VA
Claims Insider Swag Store, vaclaimsinsiderswag.com, you can also go to the main website, go the bottom and click Store. We have got some epic stuff out there, some swag, some hoots,
some goots to get you guys part of your movement. And the newest release is
a shirt that says boom, (chuckles) which is totally awesome. I just ordered two of them, by the way. Okay, migraines and
secondary service connection. Now I did a ton of research here. I wanna thank Leah Bucholz
as well, our med team lead, Army disabled veteran certified PA, right, physicians assistant. She’s an expert at
headaches and migraines, and so she helped with some of this stuff. But I wanna talk about
secondary service connection, meaning was or is your
headaches, your migraines, are they due to another
service connected disability in your body? Because you could still get
service connected that way. So let’s talk about some
things that might help you. Actually, there’s a whole chapter here. There’s a list of VA
service connected conditions that could be secondary. So migraines, secondary to something else. I’m just gonna read a few of these. A very common one, guys, is
migraines secondary to tinnitus, the ringing of your ears, ringing in the ear syndrome. So did some medical research here, about 27% of folks who
have tinnitus documented also suffer from headaches. There’s a medical etiology. Etiology’s a fancy word
that talks about causation, a link, a cause, a root cause. Migraines can be proximately
due to or aggravated by service connected tinnitus. So maybe that’s a connection for you. Very clear medical research on migraines being secondary to TBI,
traumatic brain injury. There’s a whole bunch of research studies out there as well. Post-traumatic headaches
secondary to TBI, easy. Super easy, right? Migraines secondary to TMJ. So if you’ve got issues with your teeth, grinding, clenching teeth at night, migraines can be secondary to TMJ or TMD. Another one we see a
lot, migraines secondary to post-traumatic stress disorder. Maybe you’re already service connected for your migraines, or sorry,
already service connected for PTSD at 30, 50, 70. Well maybe you’re taking SSRIs, which are the antidepressants. Those can cause headaches and migraines. So you got an interim link
through medication side effects, but maybe your migraines or your headaches are secondary to your PTSD. There’s a bunch of
cases out there as well. And there’s BVA case
law and medical research that supports that connection. Migraines secondary to depression, migraines secondary
anxiety, migraines secondary to somatic symptom disorder, migraines secondary to
adjustment disorder. Any type of mental condition, migraines or any type of 150 headaches can be connected to mental health. There’s also medical links
to sinusitis and rhinitis. Sinus conditions, very commonly linked to headaches and migraines. Rhinitis, very commonly linked;
allergic rhinitis, okay? Neck conditions, so cervical strains and nerve conditions like radiculopathy. If you’ve got a neck condition or you’ve got nerve
conditions like radiculopathy, there’s a pretty dang strong correlation because those issues and headaches. Here’s another one: a lot of vets are service
connected for sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea. Medical research supports,
there’s BVA case law that migraines can be
proximately due to OSA, specifically due to oxygen level drops, and then the intermittent
breathing that can happening when you’re having those apneic episodes. Okay, very commonly linked. Migraines can also be secondary to asthma. And then one I wanna talk
about just for a minute, migraines secondary to
medication side effects. Guys, this is a little known
fact about VA disability claims in secondary service connection. Any disability condition
can be secondary linked through medication side
effects that you’re taking to help manage the service
connected disability, to something that’s
already service connected. So if you think about this,
and you can just google this when we’re done today, there
are literally thousands of over-the-counter medications and prescription medications,
especially SSRIs, antidepressants, that can
cause or make headaches worse. Those are side effects are medication, you can google ’em, you
can print the report or turn it into a PDF and upload it in support of your claim. Hey, I take Tylenol, and I take whatever, I take Prazosin and I take Remeron. Those are two common
SSRIs for mental health. Boom, you print out a report that says common side effects of
medications are headaches. Boom, you get a diagnosis of headaches from either our doctor or your doctor, you get a DBQ for migraines, headaches and the secondary basis,
you get a nexus letter that connects the two
with a clear medical link, ’cause there is one supported by research, and guess what’s gonna happen? Boom, you’ll be service
connected for headaches. Hopefully, at the appropriate level, depending upon your symptoms. So very common, that’s what
we call an interim link. An interim link to
service connect something on a secondary basis,
secondary service connection through the interim link
which is the medication, connected or that you’re
taking to help manage the symptoms of your current
service connected disability. Again, you need a Disability
Benefit Questionnaire for migraines. Do you need a nexus
letter to help you prove service connection, either
primary or secondary? Get inside of VA Claims
Insider Elite, guys. Get inside of Elite. You can join today right now. It’s a free three-step
intake to get started. You can go to vaclaimsinsiderelite.com. And make sure you don’t leave yet, guys, ’cause I’m gonna be
answering your questions. Some of my teammates
are already answering, so thank you, guys. But I’m gonna answer as many as I can here in the description, okay? Okay, so everybody go
ahead; hey, Combat Craig, what’s up, Frederick, Erik, Leo; good to hear from your, brother. Julia, Rigoberto, Jeff, Tom, Terry, Lisa, Theresa. “You’re saying tinnitus wrong.” Too funny. So okay, I found this
out, I’m not a doctor but I did sleep in a Holiday
Inn Express last night, and I know how to use Google, (chuckles) and WebMD. Apparently, doctors call it tinnitus. I call it, and so does every
other veteran on planet Earth, we call it tin-ay-tus. And one of our team members made a joke and started calling it tay-nay-tis. (laughs) It’s just super funny. Tay-nay-tis; let’s go, Brian. “VA Claims Insider, you guys are awesome.” Thank you, man. Stephen, “Happy Thanksgiving
to the VACI family.” Love you, brother; happy
Thanksgiving to you, man. Tactical Ted in da house. Let’s see, “Hey, Brian,” what’s up, Megan? Hey, Bill. Telehealth is being accepted. Oh my Lord. You guys are gonna get me
going on this telehealth, TeleMed rage. VA raters, you need to pull
your heads out of your, fill in the blank. Medical evidence is medical evidence. I understand M21-1 talks
about the limitations of telehealth and telemedicine on its own for rating purposes. Got it, so guess what? Order a freakin’ C&P exam and confirm. That’s it, that’s the answer. Order a C&P exam, confirm it. Telemedicine, telehealth is the future. In fact, it’s not even the future. It’s already here. You guys, the Department
of Veterans Affairs are already utilizing
telemedicine, telehealth, video teleconference; guess what else? You’re freakin’ using
telehealth and telemedicine to do C&P exams. So can you turn around and say, “Oh yeah, well I can’t
accept a private DBQ “that was done over video teleconference,” when your freakin’ examiners
are using video teleconference to do the C&P exam. Gimme a break. Somebody needs to talk
to whose ever in charge of the freakin’ Veterans
Benefits Administration and change M21-1 to get
inline with 2019-2020. Boom, I need to do a mic drop here. I don’t have a, here, I’ll
do my virtual mic drop. (softly popping lips)
(chuckles) There’s my virtual mic drop. Let’s see here, tu-du-du-du, let’s see if I’ve got some questions here. Luis says, “I just joined yesterday.” Awesome, man. Be a little patient, takes about 96 hours for you to get assigned
and to get in touch with our med team. Ba-pa-da, let’s see here, telehealth, yup. “Kidney stones are no joke,
I’m sorry you’re being denied. “Percent rate, sent you a
couple questions through IM.” Okay, Kim, I’ll make
sure to check that later. The only issue is I
don’t usually check IM, just I gut so many messages, it’s crazy. “Hey, Brian, quick shoutout,
thank you for this. “How do we get a C&P exam?” So the VA, the VSR, the
Veterans Service Rep, or the RVSR, the Rating
Veterans Service Rep, they’ll order one. They’ll order one for you,
you can also request one. If you don’t get one and you want one, I’ve never heard of that,
but if you want a C&P exam, you can call the hotline. 1-800-827-1000. Speak to a rep, tell
them you want a C&P exam. You haven’t heard from anybody. If you get denied, by the way, if you get denied service connection or anything related to your
claims or your migraine claims, but any claim, do a higher-level review. File a higher-level
review, represent yourself, advocate, speak to a DRO,
a Decision Review Officer, and tell him or her
everything going on with you. We’ve seen so many veterans
cases get overturned in the higher-level review. Let’s see here. “I got denied my increase of MDD “because of telehealth from private.” Man, here’s the deal, all right, you should, the DBQ
should at least get you in the door to get a C&P exam. If not, HLR that everyday. File a higher-level review,
get on the horn with a DRO. Tell them why it’s crap that the VA hasn’t updated their stupid regulation, and tell them you want
an in-person C&P exam. Let’s see. See-vo-rite: “I put in a
claim for an increase for MDD “and was denied without even being seen.” That’s really interesting. You may wanna go back at it again. You can do the HLR,
maybe do a supplemental. You can do a supplemental claim. And upload new evidence, a new statement, maybe you can get a new DBQ. Maybe you can get new medical
evidence from an exam, see-vor, from a doctor. That might be a good way to do it. (laughs) Oh, this makes me so sad. Sorry to hear this, Ty. So Ty wrote: “Hey, Brian, I
submitted a claim for migraines “secondary to neck, cervical strain “with degenerative arthritis. “C&P exam nurse,” makes
me so frickin’ angry, a nurse practitioner,
didn’t go to medical school, has very little medical training, they went to nursing school. “The C&P examiner nurse and NP “said it was not related
and they denied the claim.” How in the heck can that
person make that claim when they don’t even know, or they didn’t do the research? Man, HLR that all day long. High-level review the denial, fight it. If you get denied in the HLR, do a supplemental claim and get another medical nexus opinion on top of the one I hope you already have. That was a key point that
I didn’t know here, Ty. You gotta have a nexus letter. You have to be able to
talk about causation, the showing of causation,
and then you gotta be able to link the primary
disability with the secondary. That’s key for secondary
service connection. Anthony: “Thank you, Brian,
you’re always on point.” “Was that a mic drop or throwing “a lightsaber over shoulder?” (laughs) Okay here, let me do a mic drop. (softly popping lips) That’s my mic drop. Here’s the saber over my shoulder. (softly popping lips)
(chuckles) Oh man, you guys are crazy,
frickin’ love you guys. We have such an unbelievable community of veterans helping veterans
get the VA disability rating and compensation they
deserve in less time. Unbelievable, guys. It’s seriously a total
blessing to work with you guys. “Migraine and GERD can
be secondary to MDD, “major depressive disorder.” Absolutely, GERD,
gastroesophageal reflux disease, acid reflux, very severe. That can absolutely be secondary to mental health conditions, especially through
medication side effects. Medication side effects can
do all kinds of weird things to your stomach and your throat which can cause issues
with GERD, acid reflux. And migraines, right? GERD can be connected to
migraines, and migraines to GERD. Let’s see. “Can you secondary connect migraines “to hypertension and stress?” Absolutely, yeah, hypertension and stress, in fact, I did some research, Julia; thank you for that question. I did a little bit of
medical research online and found that hypertension and stress absolutely can lead to that. In fact, there’s female issues
that can lead headaches. Again, you’re gonna need a
medical nexus letter though from a qualified medical professional to try to service connect it. What’s up, Jeff, hey T! Big T, man, Terrell Morrel,
such an awesome dude. So blessed to have you on our team, man. “I got denied from migraines because mine “are ocular migraines;
no pain, but I go blind.” So Megan, it doesn’t
matter what classification the headache is, it’s
all about the symptoms. So either you were
denied service connection or the VA determined that you don’t have frequent enough symptoms, or
severe enough symptoms or both. Frequency, severity of headaches. Again, I would get more
medical documentation, Megan, and go at it again. Get Migraine Buddy,
document these headaches, get a DBQ from a private doctor, a Disability Benefit Questionnaire
for migraines completed. Make sure it has the appropriate diagnosis of the type of headache you have, documentation of the symptoms, if they’re prostrating or not. And then if they’re affecting your life. And then get a nexus letter. Go after it again, I’m
sure you’ll be successful. And that’s one quick point I wanna make. It doesn’t matter how many
times you’ve been denied. It doesn’t, we’ve had
veterans in our programs who’ve been denied 10 times for the same issue they keep fighting. Guess what, eventually
they beat the VA down, they show them the real
competent, credible medical evidence, and
the rater finally says, “This person’s right, we screwed up,” and they grant you service connection, or they grant you the higher rating. The only time you lose,
veterans hearing my voice, is if you quit. If you quit, you believe
the VA’s out to get me, they don’t care about me; if you quit, you will lose. That’s the only time. But again, at VA Claims Insider where we’re veterans helping
veterans, guess what? We’re not gonna let you quit. We ain’t gonna let you quit,
we don’t let that happen. That’s part of why we do
this live and in community in a mastermind concept
so that you’re not alone. You’re not struggling by yourself. You’re with our team and our community of fellow veterans. Danny: “If we write our own nexus letter “not from a medical professional “for a secondary condition and back it up “with medical journals and VBA cases, “would the nexus hold ground?” No, okay. Here’s why: you’re not a
trained medical professional. So even though it might be competent, here’s two things I wanna
talk about real quick: medical nexus letters, in
order for them to be relevant, in order for them to be considered, in order for them to work, to actually carry any
weight before the VA rater, the C&P examiner or the
board, if you’re in appeal, they have to be competent
and they have to be credible. Now competency, you’re gonna be competent. You’re not crazy, well maybe you are, but Danny, you’re competent. But it’s not gonna be credible, because your opinion, your
research, your thoughts are not gonna be as
credible as a nexus letter completed by a private
medical professional who has the training,
the medical credentials and the background to actually give a credible nexus opinion. So in this case, you would
really just be writing a personal statement, which can help, but it’s not the same as a nexus letter and would definitely not hold
as much weight before the VA. What’s up, Oliver? Good to see you, my man. “Do you work with vets
who haven’t been rated?” Absolutely, yeah, if you’re not rated yet but you need access to doctors, of course we can help you. No doubt about it. Let’s see here. What’s up, Bob; hey, Frederick. “Is it okay to file tinnitus and migraines “secondary on the same claim?” Of course, yeah. So secondary to secondary to secondary, let me give you an example. Maybe you file migraines
secondary to tinnitus and GERD secondary to migraines. You could absolutely do those. A secondary linked to a secondary. You can absolutely do that and you can even do it at the same time. (vocalizing tune) Yeah, that’s an important
point, so M21-1, guys, which is the VA rater’s manual, that’s the VA regulation. Regulation’s not law. It lists guidance as to how claims should be evaluated, the
process should be followed, but that’s not law, that isn’t statute. So M21 does not trump 38 CFR. It’s an important note to make. “I have headaches in my medical records “but no diagnosis of migraine headache. “Should I get a diagnose,”
absolutely, Roy. Absolutely. I would not sit by and try to point to subjective symptoms
in a medical record. Because now, you’re
relying on the C&P examiner to formally make a diagnosis, which almost never happens. You need to go get a diagnosis
of migraines or headaches if you’ve got that. “What is GERD rated at?” The highest GERD can rated
at under the law is 60%. 60% is very severe. Talks about blood regurgitation
almost constantly, symptoms can’t be controlled, medication. The highest scheduled rating for GERD under the law is 60%. Commonly it’s rated at about 20%, especially if you have to take medications to control symptoms. So maybe something like
omeprazole or Prilosec. Let’s see, du-du-du-du-du. “Never give up,” absolutely. Man, so Alex says he’s
got migraines at 0%. Man, that’s an easy increase. You’re already service connected. If you have prostrating headaches and you’ve got severe symptoms
that occur frequently, get a DBQ from a privat doctor. If you can’t get one from
yours, you can use ours. You can get increase for
migraines on that alone, ’cause that, again, competent
and credible medical evidence. It’s new medical evidence
that the VA has never seen. Oh, this makes me happy; thank you, Louis. He wrote, or Luis, he wrote: “I was at the quitting
point before I found you.” That’s awesome, man. That makes me really
happy, that’s good to hear. Neither is a nurse. Some of these freakin’ C&P examiners who are nurse practitioners
absolutely kill me. Some of their denials,
some of their terrible nexus statements and C&P exams makes me sick to my stomach. I just read one the other day done by a nurse practitioner
here in frickin’, an LHI nurse practitioner. Not knocking LHI, this
is a private provider, a nurse practitioner here in Texas, actually was being racist in her denial. Not only did she state
that the veteran’s OSA was less likely due to the secondary service connected issue, she actually talked about how there’s more prevalence in African Americans with OSA, which is total crap. Research does not support that conclusion. How can you have a racist C&P examiner writing wrong medical information that you’re then gonna consider for something as important as VA benefits that the veteran deserves by law? VA secretary, VBA leaders, you gotta change this, man. The C&P examiners are
screwing veterans over. You wanna know what the
number one reason is in my opinion, in addition to
not enough medical evidence, the number one reason
why you got so many vets calling the VA hotline, the
calling The White House hotline, committing suicide, drinking, drugs, alcohol, gambling, destroying their lives, one of the reasons is these terrible, garbage Compensation & Pension examiners, and you’re not doing anything about it. Somebody fix it. I said my peace. I’m telling you though, if
you’re a crap C&P examiner, if you’re not doing what
you’re supposed to be doing, we are arming and calling our vets to write up reviews and tell
everybody how much you suck. And I hope you end up not being able to do C&P exams ever again; makes me so angry. Oh, yup, but you keep fighting, right? So even if you get a bad C&P examiner, or a bad C&P exam, don’t quit. You can either fight it
and call 1-800-827-1000, complain, ask for a new C&P exam. You can write a memorandum and upload it and challenge the validity of the exam and ask for a new one. You’ll get a new one. You’ll get a new one, trust me, we’ve coached a lot of vets through this. “If the VA assigns me to an NP, “can we request instead a medical provider “which has more knowledge?” Absolutely, yeah. So let’s say you get one of
those packets in the mail, and they scheduled you with
some garbage nurse practitioner who isn’t trained,
doesn’t have credentials, didn’t go to med school,
they went to nursing school, call the C&P exam company. (coughs) Excuse me, or the VA, whoever they scheduled it through; whether it was through a
private contracted company or the VA, call ’em and tell ’em, “Uh, no, I want somebody else. “This examiner sucks,
they’re not credentialed “to perform this exam,
I want somebody else.” Let’s see here. “I was rated at 30% for
migraines over five years ago. “I have, on average, one
two migraines weekly. “Should I go for an increase “or is my 30% a good rating?” It’s difficult for me, Ted,
to make a recommendation based on that little of information. What I would advise you
is just to keep in mind what’s the 50% criteria versus 30. Do you have completely, so very frequently and completely prostrating
migraines; yes or no? And does it produce severe
or economic inadaptability, meaning your migraines affect your work, and it’s caused economic loss. If that’s not the case,
you’re probably good at 30%. “I have a DBQ already for migraines. “Do I still that diagnosis?” Absolutely. In fact, how did you get
a DBQ without a diagnosis? Because one of the first
sections on the DBQ, they have to diagnose you
with some type of headache, and then they have to list the ICD code, which is medical lingo for
the category of the diagnosis. Let’s see here. Yeah, man, there’s just people are ranting in here live about the C&P examiners. It’s just so ridiculous. Okay, awesome, you guys are amazing. Again, there’s 150 of you on live still, which is just crazy every
time we do one of these. I hope you guys learned something today about VA disability claims in general, but then specifically about
migraines and headaches. And remember that any type of headache can be rated as long as
you’ve got a diagnosis, as long as you can prove
service connection, either direct service connection or secondary service connection, if it was aggravated or proximately due to or caused by or aggravated by another service connected disability. And then your symptoms, you have to be able to
prove your symptoms. Now remember, all headaches
and migraines claims come down to the frequency
and the severity. What’s the key buzzword? Prostrating. Are your migraine headaches
prostrating or not? Which just means do you have to lie down. All right, guys, I love you, vets. Thank you, Brian Reese
here, the VA Claims Insider Air Force service-abled veteran. I’m out from Austin, Texas, and I can’t wait to
chat with you guys again next week live, Wednesday
at 11:00 a.m. central time. Remember to please ask your
questions in the comments below. Please like and share this video, and get your butt in
our membership program: vaclaimsinsiderelite.com. It’s a free three-step intake. Over $13,000 worth of value today. All right, we’ll talk
to you guys real soon.

About the author

Comments

  1. Yep! VA Claims Insiders passing off that very important information once again. You guys freaking rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hey Brian I have tinnitus and 70 PTSD, wondering if I can file secondary for migraines to either one of these conditions… thanks in advance

  3. I currently have a claim in for migraines secondary to my service connected tinnitus. I made sure and got a dbq and nexus letter to link my conditions. Always have the medical evidence you need to strengthen your claim!

  4. I have consistent prostrating migraines 3-4 times a week. They on average last 1 full day. It’s completely disabling. It’s horrible and the VA should recognize it!

  5. How do we KNOW this is the real Brian? There was no Boom Ball! hahaha jk, thanks for the great information. I went to the ER at my local VA when I got one of my bad migraines. Luckily the ER Dr. was great and noted that I had a history of headaches and migraines due to me having the Migraine Buddy App to show when I have these occurrences. While in the VA ER they gave me a shot of medication and almost instantly the migraine was gone. When I went I had nausea, light and sound sensitivity and the migraine was bad so I went at the right time for them to see how it happens.

  6. Im at 70% PTSD IBS Tinnitus Left Foot; currently on a six year appeal with an attorney on seven issues. Never claimed migraines or fibromyalgia (Gulf War Vet), if I join VCE can I limit it too the migraine and fibro mew claims? 90% on the appeal items with my existing likely in a few months. Or, wait till I get the 90 then proceed with VCE on the new claims?
    Note: If I’d known about VCE years earlier I would of ditched the attorney, but its at the finish line now for that 90 (fingers crossed).

  7. V.A. Claims Insider,
    Thanks for sharing this information, we be using Migraine Buddy starting now.💊
    Didn't realize how my migraine headaches were being triggered. 😥
    Thanks for Your Support. 😉

  8. I've had migraines for 37 years. Started Right- after basic in '82. I've gone to neurologists for 30 plus years but don't have the records right now. Just received my CandP notice at a QTC psychology review. I'm new to all this and feel unprepared. Any advice please. My appt is 12/6/2019 Friday! Yikes

  9. I was hit with ax during a payday robbery fracture skull rated at 80% PTIU paid at 100% I have Vertigo 30% Seizure disorder 20% Tinnitus 10% facial paralysis 10% and PTSD at 50% t was denied headaches C&P Quack said my head aches are not service connected Your hit with ax Skull fractured and headaches are not service connected DAV rep said don’t appeal it your already paid at a 100 you don’t want to anger them and they reduce you . I’m like WTF playing politics here

  10. I take medicine for migraines daily, several times week , I have to lay down in a dark room n also floressent lighting triggers mine, sometimes they last a few hrs or longer, a cool wet towel helps some on my forehead they suck

  11. I just had my C&P exam for a migraine increase from 10% to 50% yesterday 12/2/2019. They emailed me the QTC Medical Evaluation Protocol to fill out and the C&P examiner barely looked at it. When I was on my way leaving I saw her put the sheet in the shredder bin. I made a copy before I went to the exam because I know better. One question on the QTC Medical Evaluation Protocol is ""Describe the impact of the condition on your ability to perform occupational functioning and ordinary activities." That question wasn't even asked by the examiner so I suspect that I won't get the 50%. Just a heads up for anyone going to a C&P exam for migraine. KEEP A COPY OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE YOU FILLED OUT BEFORE THE EXAM!

  12. He's absolutely 100% spot on with this info. What he's describing is also something associated with neck pain or neck injury diagnosed as occipital neuralgia that absolutely makes life miserable. I currently have migraines w/aura along with this diagnosis. If you've ever had a neck injury, blown up, recieved a TBI or any combination of these and you're rated low, I absolutely urge you to sign up!

  13. I am always asked if I get migraines and my answer is no . I am never asked if I get headaches , I get them all the time. How do I get help?

  14. If I send you guys my file, Can you see what else you can do with it? I’m sure there are some Gems in my Medical Record that can be pulled up. I’m at 70%….if you can I will continue with your program.

  15. tellme this it is written in my disability migraines tied to my TBI X 2 and swelling of my brain also causing my Ptsd, i take Blood pressure meds to keep the swelling down and help treating my migraines. but only all this combine gave 50 percent. i am total disable rating is 80%

  16. I been getting treated for headaches and sinusitis since in service. I was in service diagnosed. But they keep denying

  17. A va doctor also diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, i get gabapentin. I have 179 pages of blue button report, over 100 appointments. The C&P examiner said "there is nothing medically wrong with me". Then i found you guys so lets see.

  18. I saw my primary care Doc at VA, prescribed Sumotriptan and a daily migraine preventative med. Should I file for secondary connection to my service connected rhinitis allergy or my anxiety rating

  19. Hello, Brian, I been dealing with this for 51 yrs. I have 2 concussions, so I have a Headache or a bad Migraines. But i did not tell them, so it not in the medical records. They want, CONNECT, the 2 concussions, 1969 & in 2003, Approx., to the Migraines. So the 3 people at the VA. did not Qualified, me for a BDQ OR NEXUS, LETTER. I have an update from mine, Doctor, & my Doctor, @ the V.A. Houston. They are instructed by there Supervisor Doctor, (over that Dept.), V.A. sends they to the 4 floors, to a little room, and 3 people look at what you want to be done, so these 3 people, has got to Qualified, you, and it must be in the Veteran, Military records. If it not there, in Record, they disqualified you, that they are not allowed to do a BDQ or a Nexus. Too many Veterans need their Medical attention, come 1st. So, I went to the Horse Mouth, the Supervisor Doctor, ask them, where did there Order come from. It up to, Sec. Wilks, Quote " Veteran are EXPENDABLE, THEY do not need Benefits, they need Medical, & that what they will get, orders come from him, to keep the V.A. Staff & family happy. They, LIED, say, there are there, for the Veteran. A big fat LIED. It all about Money, the Union, Protection, for the V.A. Staff, they are there only, for Money. I am trying to FIGHT BRIAN. They, Threaten, me, if I go down this Road, bucking the V.A. system, they will start Bar-ing the Veteran, come on Government, any Government Property, & have me put on a Terrorist watch list LISTEN TO BRIAN, VETERANS if you need help, TEXT, INSIDER1, youR Mobil, Put in your email, Brain will get back to you 46 to 96 hours

  20. I've met the criteria for a 50% rating over 2 yrs ago. I was rated at 0% at first then a yr later I got 30%. I've appealed the decision 3 times and was denied. The last decision came last week.

  21. I have migraines and they said ha it wasn't in my medical record. I rated it as secondary condition because I have scarring on my head. Which I have 80 for. I do have medical document for my migraines at VA since my last updated claim

  22. CERVICOGENIC HEADACHES (cgh) I had whiplash in the military (30 years ago) and the last I know my military records given to the VA still show the incident. Is this a good connection and does it rate well?

  23. They denied my original claim when I submitted 3 buddy statements, and one of the statements was even from the corpsman from my submarine! I also submitted a 6 month long migraine journal from Migraine Buddy.

    Then I got 2 DBQs done from Valor4Vet and a 3 page IMO from the Ellis Clinic. The 2 DBQs were for my OSA and Migraines. The IMO covered both of those and also added Raynaud’s of my left hand. I’m 70% connected for GAD, and everything was written as secondary to my GAD.

    They denied me again. This is what they said:

    “ The evidence does not constitute as new and relevant evidence because it does not prove or disprove a matter at issue within your claim.
    The evidence does not show that your condition resulted from, or was aggravated by, a service-connected disability.”

    So, I decided to try a Higher Level Review. The DRO called me and we had a pleasant chat. I told her that I couldn’t understand how the VA would not see my DBQs and IMO as “new and relevant evidence.” She agreed and said that they should’ve at least ordered new C&P exams based on the new evidence. After her call I was feeling pretty confident again.

    So, when I called my VSO to see if the VA had made a decision she said that the DRO had denied everything. 😡

    Idk what the hell they’re looking for.

    I’ve been trying for a long time to get my migraines connected as secondary to my GAD for awhile now. However, I’ve recently decided to change it up and get some medical evidence connecting them as secondary to both my tinnitus and SSD. Should I develop for both of those, or pick only one. I want to go ALL in on my next supplemental. Thanks!

  24. So they base the rating on how you feel now with medication or how you would feel with out meds?? I use to get bad migraines 3 times or more a month with daily headaches all the time. But now with Botox injections ever 10 weeks and Ajovy injection 1 a month. And I take excedrian when I feel one coming on every other day or so. I only get 1 bad migraine every week now. Tried twice to get from
    30 percent to 50 with no luck. I turned in buddy letters, 1 year of migraine buddy reports, years of medical records showing treatments. Sucks trying to get up to 50 percent. I think I am just going to give up since I feel a little better now with all the meds I am on.

  25. I just got rated at 0% this year for migraines. I am now on medication for it. How do I file for an increase? I know I have heard to make a log in excel for it.

  26. I have ocular migraines without the actual headache part. Meaning I get the prisms in my eyesight that many get prior to the headache sets in. It's actually debilitating as is obscures your vision making it unsafe to drive, etc. Could this be rateable?

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