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Common Reasons Veterans Are Denied Headache Conditions

Veterans often face denials for headache conditions due to several common issues. Understanding these reasons can help in preparing a stronger, more comprehensive claim.

Lack of a Current Diagnosis:

One primary reason for denial is the absence of a current medical diagnosis. The VA requires a recent diagnosis from a healthcare professional indicating that the veteran currently suffers from a headache condition, such as migraines or tension headaches. Without this documentation, the claim is likely to be denied.


Insufficient Medical Evidence:

Many claims are denied due to insufficient medical evidence linking the headache condition to military service. Veterans must provide evidence of in-service events or exposures that could have caused or aggravated the headache condition. The VA may not grant a service connection without clear documentation or medical records showing this connection.


Inadequate Continuity of Care:

The VA looks for continuous medical treatment records from the time of discharge to the present. Gaps in treatment or missing follow-up records can lead the VA to conclude that the headache condition is not severe or has not been continuously problematic. This lack of continuity in care often results in denied claims.


Lack of Medical Nexus:

A medical nexus opinion is essential to link the veteran’s headache condition to their military service. Many claims are denied because the veteran fails to provide a detailed medical opinion from a healthcare professional that states it is at least as likely as not (a 50% probability or greater) that the headache condition is related to their military service. Without this nexus, the VA is less likely to approve the claim.


Incomplete Personal Statements:

Personal statements from veterans can fill in gaps in medical records, but they must be detailed and specific. Many claims are denied because the veteran’s personal statements lack necessary detail or fail to clearly articulate the connection between military service and the headache condition. A well-crafted statement should include specific incidents during service, the onset and progression of symptoms, and the impact on daily life.


Inadequate VA Examinations:

VA examinations, or Compensation & Pension (C&P) exams, are critical in the claims process. If the examination is incomplete, such as not thoroughly assessing the headaches' frequency, severity, and impact, the resulting evaluation may not fully capture the condition’s severity. This can lead to a denial based on inadequate assessment.


How to Improve Claims

To improve the likelihood of a successful claim, veterans should:


  • Ensure they have a current diagnosis from a qualified healthcare provider.

  • Gather all relevant medical records, including those from military service and post-service treatment.

  • Maintain continuity of care with regular medical appointments and documented treatments.

  • Provide detailed personal statements explaining their symptoms, the impact on daily life, and the connection to service.

  • Obtain thorough medical opinions that clearly link the headache condition to military service.

  • Ensure the VA exam includes all necessary assessments, and request a re-examination if the initial exam was inadequate.

By addressing these common issues, veterans can strengthen their claims for headache conditions, increasing the likelihood of a favorable decision from the VA.

The VA New Appeal Process AMA

The VA Disability Advocates Main Office is Located in Las Vegas, NV. We Represent Veterans throughout the United States. 702-992-4883 

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