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Help With Migraine Headache Claim?


BlastDaddy
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Question

I need some assistance on filing a claim for Migraine Headaches.

I don't have any record of headaches while in service but I had them and had it noted during my out-processing physical.

After getting out I signed up at the VA and begun treatment for them. I am on Topamax twice a day and sumatriptin at the onset of the headache.

Here is what I would like to know. I have Fibromyalgia and receive 40% for it. I was told to keep a log of the headaches. For the last month I have done so and can say that when my Fibro is acting up I have some of my more intense headaches. But I also have headaches when my Fibro is not acting up.

Should I file my migraine headaches as a secondary issue to my Fibromyalgia?

or

Under the Claims for Gulf War Illness a presumptive diagnosed condition under section cfr 38. 3.317?

This way I would be filing with a diagnosis and I would state they are a result of my service while actively serving in South West Asia.

The illness then would not have to be shown in service records but have manifested and be debilitating at least 10%. The window for filing under the GWI presumptive illnesses with or without a diagnosis is open until Dec 2016.

Anyone have advise on this?

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That isn't an easy question.,it is a unique one ...because at first I thought you could file under all theories you mentioned but
the Gulf War reg state this:

(you do seem to fit this criteria ..)

it would be an undiagnosed disability but
the regulation states:
"Eligibility Requirements

Diagnosed or undiagnosed conditions that appeared either during a qualifying period of active service or prior to December 31, 2016, to a degree of 10 percent or more must meet the following conditions:
There must be no other cause for your disability or illness than service in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations.
your disability existed for 6 months or more, AND
If your disability or illness did not appear during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations, then it must have appeared prior to December 31, 2016, to a degree that is at least 10-percent disabling (for VA rating purposes).

The disability must have existed for 6 months or more, AND

The disability must be one or more of the following": etc....
.
http://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/claims-postservice-gulfwar.asp

"There must be no other cause for your disability or illness than service in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations" ????
.: I assume that the fibro is Sced due to the Gulf war so I assume the migraines (headaches ) could be secondary to that and fall into this statement....

I am anxious to see what others think here......

It would be awful to get locked into secondary to the Fibro and then VA can use the fact that they dont always seem to be triggered by the fibro....

It certainly will be a valid claim...I just am not sure how to claim the migraines.

Has any doc documented these headaches are due to the fibro whether only under flare up periods or not?

Do you have a copy of your SMRs?

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No doctor has documented them or associated them with Fibro. I do have it on my log I'm keeping. But I haven't turned it in to the doctor for review yet.

Yes I have a copy of my SMR but I never had time to go to sick call for the issue and they have seemed to only worsen over the years. They are far more than 10% debilitating. So far this month I have documented 14 headaches ranging from 1 hour to 12 going to sleep and waking up just to continue with a headache.

They are of multiple types. Some start behind my eyes and cause my forehead to pound. Another will be on the backside that pounds with any movement. Even pulsating headaches. They really suck.

But during my retirement physical I discussed it with the examiner and they marked that I had headaches as a problem. Unfortunately that is the limits of the documentation until I registered at the VA a year later.

It is tricky because they could show the headaches are worsen as a result of my fibro. But now I see they could argue they are a result of Fibro. If that is the case they could deny them under the GWI presumptive condition.

Anyone else have information.

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I would file them as separate. You have the log, use of medication, etc. You need the nexus. If you are SWA vet, this could be the nexus you need. I don't know if migraine is presumptive under the Gulf War syndrome. If so, it shouldn't be an issue. Your discharge order and DD-214 should show SWA service. Combined with an out-processing exam, should still be straight forward. If not, use that last record as part of your claim. Any documentation is better than none at all. See where it gets you. Even if they rate you 0%, continue to document and appeal or request an increase if you're not satisfied with the rating.

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justrluk,

Thanks, I am scheduled to go to neurology in a couple weeks for a brain scan and I will be talking to the neurologist for his opinion. Migraines and headaches can be claimed under presumptive illnesses from service in SWA. I believe I have a good claim just don't want to be shot down by filing the wrong way.

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Got it - and good luck!

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For what it's worth I was denied headaches due to 3.17. This was based on the fact there were no records in my SMR. When I read my C&P I saw where I indicated that I "thought" it was a migraine. The examiner DX my headaches as migraine. Then the examiner opined it was not likely related to military service and listed a bunch of causes of migraines via a study from the Mayo clinic.

The only reason I can think is that they accepted my self diagnosis. It may have been overlooked by the examiner, but I was SC'd for Fibro. I'm going to try to get it rated as secondary to the Fibro.

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