Social Security Disability Benefits And Knee Problems
We often take for granted the ability to get from place to place by walking. However, when suddenly faced with difficulty ambulating due to an injury or condition, we quickly realize how important our legs truly are.
From acute injuries such as torn ligaments to more chronic conditions such as arthritis, knee pain affects millions of Americans every single day. While most knee conditions are short-lived, some individuals face longer recoveries. For those individuals, Social Security Disability Insurance may be a financial life-saver.
Of 10 Most Common Va Disability Claims: Limitation Of Motion Of The Ankle
Based on the latest 2018-2019 VA data, Limitation of Motion of the Ankle was the #8 most common VA disability claims for all Veterans, across all demographics.
Musculoskeletal system conditions include issues with joints and muscles and must involve limitation of range of motion and/or painful motion.
VA ratings for the ankle are usually at 0 percent and 10 percent. Some go as high as 20 percent.
Symptoms associated with musculoskeletal system conditions include limitation of range of motion , painful motion, arthritis, weakness, easily fatigued, loss of power, lack of coordination and decreased movement control.
Musculoskeletal disabilities can also be filed as secondary VA disability claims, and can be caused or made worse any of the following conditions: medication side effects, depression and anxiety, PTSD, TBI, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder , right side of body injuries affect left side of body and spine, neck, back, hips, arms, legs, and feet, among others.
Va Disability Ratings For Knee Pain
Once your knee condition is service connected, VA will assign a disability rating ranging between 0 and 100 percent. More serious and disabling knee injuries are assigned higher ratings.
Overall, VA ratings for knee pain depend on various factors, such as:
- The type of knee injury
- The severity of the diagnosed knee condition
- The knees range of motion
- The pain it causes
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Rating Arthritis For Military Disability
military disability ratingVASRDdisabled American veteranmustDegenerative ArthritisRheumatoid ArthritisanalogouslyRheumatoid Arthritisrated as Rheumatoid ArthritisDegenerative Arthritisrated as Degenerative Arthritiscode 5260bendingstraighteningSideNote: Because limited motion is so vital to rating arthritis, it is essentialthat your physicians record the exact range of motion measurements for youraffected joints. If these measurements arent properly recorded, you will notreceive the correct ratings you deserve. Physicians often don’t know howthings are rated, and so they may not realize this. Be proactive to make surethis is done. It is vital for both your DoD Disability and your VA Disability. Degenerative ArthritisDegenerative Arthritisconditions that are rated as Degenerative Arthritislimited motion of the wristlimited motion of the kneeDegenerative ArthritisDegenerative ArthritisRheumatoid Arthritis
Evidence For Ankle Disability Claims And Appealing Under The Ama System
When you receive an unfavorable disability rating, you have a number of options available to you to appeal the claim. In these cases you may need to put together a number of details to appeal. These details can include information from your medical doctor as well as laypersons who have details about your injury. You may obtain evidence from fellow military service members, as well as others who can provide evidence that you have suffered from ongoing ankle instability and that it affects you in your day to day life. If the ankle injury prevents you from working, details from your employer may be helpful too.
After submitting this evidence to the VA, you may be able to fill out a notice of disagreement to request an appeal. If the appeal process moves forward, you will have the chance to provide additional evidence supporting your claim.
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Hospitalization For Knee Pain And Temporary Ratings
The only time a temporary rating for knee pain is given is when a total knee replacement is performed. After total knee replacement surgery, there is an automatic 100% disability rating for one year. After that year has lapsed, veterans will require additional tests for knee flexion, extension, and instability. The results of these tests will determine the ongoing rating. If there are any additional problems, it is possible to receive a disability rating of up to 60%.
Va Disability Rating For Knee Pain
by Chris Attig
In this Pop-up Video, I talk about several topics, including how to figure out if you got an adequate VA disability rating for knee pain. Whats a pop up video?
I will randomly pop up LIVE on You Tube or Facebook and talk to whoevers listening for 5 or 10 minutes about VA claims and appeals.
In this Facebook LIVE Popup, we talked about:
* 3 most important factors in achieving a VA disability rating for knee pain
And a couple more topics, too.
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Va Rating For Knee Conditions That May Lead To A Knee Replacement
The rating needed for a VA disability for knee replacement can be a little confusing due to the fact that a Veteran may be able to receive multiple ratings for the same knee, depending on the severity of his or her condition. You can receive different ratings depending on the movement involved in the knee.
For example, a Veteran may have trouble bending and straightening their knee. In this case, they would receive a rating for both Limited Flexion of the Knee and Limited Extension of the Knee. Any of the below conditions may lead to a knee replacement.
Limited Flexion of the Knee: One of the most common knee conditions among Veterans, this refers to the motion of the knee moving in toward the body. It is important to note that the VA measures the motion for the knee, not pain, to determine the rating.
Limited flexion of the knee is most commonly assigned a 10 percent rating, although the highest rating a Veteran can receive is 30 percent. It is rated under diagnostic code 5260.
Limited Extension of the Knee: This motion refers to how the knee moves outward, away from the body, unable to completely straighten. It is rated under diagnostic code 5261 and ranges from 0 to 50 percent rating according to how much the knee can or cannot straighten.
Instability of the Knee: Too much side-to-side motion or frequent dislocation of the joint can indicate weakness in the affected knee.
Va Disability For Flare Ups And Va Musculoskeletal Ratings
As anyone with a trick knee or a troublesome shoulder knows, musculoskeletal injuries dont always heal completely. The pain might fade for a while, only to return in spades. In VA disability terms, this is commonly known as a flare-up. The precise cause of flare-ups might not be easy to ascertain. Many injuries flare predictably with repetitive use. Others might be caused by stress or changes in the weather. Often, though, the cause is a mystery. One day, an arthritic knee might be a little creaky and the next it can be agonizing.
The existence of flare-ups often causes musculoskeletal injuries to be underrated by the VA. The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has said flare-ups must be accounted for in rating these types of injuries, yet VA examiners rarely follow their guidance. However, it is important to note that you can receive VA disability for flare-ups.
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Did Va Deny Your Claim For Knee Pain Cck Is Here To Help
If VA denied your disability claim for knee pain, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help.
The experienced veterans advocates at CCK have worked extensively on behalf of veteran clients for years. We know what it takes to put together a winning appeal, and we may be able to put our tools, resources, and successful history to work for you.
Reach out today for a free consultation.
How Does The Va Rate Knee Pain
The VA will rate knee pain and conditions under many different diagnostic codes, depending on the specific problem, or problems, caused by a knee condition. For example, there are ratings available for instability of the knee, limitation of extension, knee replacements, etc. It is important to be aware of all the different ratings, and whether you are entitled to compensation for multiple ratings. This way, you can make sure the VA is giving you the proper percent rating and all of the compensation youre entitled to for your knee disability.
Below is a list of ratings that can potentially be assigned to the same underlying disability:
Rating decisions for one disability can be complicated. The general rule regarding multiple ratings for the same disability is, the evaluation of the same disability under various diagnoses is to be avoided. However, VA regulations specifically provide that the knee joint can be evaluated under multiple diagnostic codes where there are different manifestations of the same disability. So, as long as the knee disability affects you in separate and distinct ways, you can receive multiple ratings.
Remember that instability of the knee is a rating that is often overlooked. However, if you have problems with your knee dislocating or giving out because of a service-connected disability, instability of the knee can be rated in addition to other ratings for the same knee.
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Total Knee Replacements Diagnostic Code 5055
If the entire knee joint has been replaced by a prosthesis, then the total knee replacement is rated 100 percent for the first year following surgery.
After this one-year period, veterans will attend a Compensation and Pension examination to determine the severity of their knee pain condition. Following the exam, veterans will be assigned a new rating based on the rating criteria outlined below.
If there is weakness and severe pain with motion, then the veterans knee condition is rated at 60 percent. If the pain is not severe but limits their range of motion, then it is rated under Diagnostic Code 5256, 5261, or 5262 based on the residual symptomology.
Importantly, the minimum rating for a total knee replacement is 30 percent regardless of how much motion it has.
Confused About How The Va Rates Knee Arthritis
Dont worry. The VA probably is, too. In fact, sometimes talking to the VA about your claim can be like this:
I have seen raters evaluate pain related to service-connected arthritis of the knee in the most unusual ways.
One recent case we looked at rated the arthritis as sciatica a condition related to the nerves in the spinal cord.
When it comes to arthritis of the knee, it is crucial that you have someone experienced in handling VA Disability Benefits claims take a look at the VA Rating Decision especially the code sheet.
These documents are in your C-File if you dont have a copy of your C-File, then you are shooting blind in your VA Claim.
To do so, consider contacting an accredited VA Disability attorney you can use the FREE Veterans Law Blog eBook to help you choose the one that is right for your claim.
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Indicators That You May Benefit From Knee Replacement Survey Include:
- Your knees are swollen and stiff
- Painful motion or weakness in your knees most of the day, even when you are resting
- Climbing stairs, walking, and getting out of a chair can be consisting of severe painful results
- Physical therapy and medicine are not providing enough relief
- Your knee cartilage is damaged to the point that your bones are rubbing together in your knee
Knee Replacement Surgeryhas been perfected through the years and is now one of the most common procedures performed in the United States.
There are two types of surgeries partial knee replacement and full knee replacement. Knee replacements last around 25 years, but if youre especially hard on your knees it could be more like 15 or 20 years.
If youre a Veteran in your forties and contemplating knee replacements surgery, consider that if youre hard on your knees, you may need a second procedure in your sixties, which is sometimes harder to recover from.
During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the diseased compartments in the knee and replace them with a metal implant. You can anticipate spending a few days in the hospital following the surgery, where youll be recovering and working with physical therapy.
Within a few weeks, patients usually experience more mobility and less pain in their knees.
Knee Pain Is Common Among Veterans
Many Veterans suffer from aches and pains in the years and decades after their military service. The physical stress and strain of active military duty can have long-term effects on a soldiers body. Sometimes, this strain can end up leading to severely disabling conditions. However, in many cases, the aches and pains that Veterans suffer from in the years after they serve in the military may be less severe. Depending on a Veterans experiences, injuries, and the environment that they served in, they may retire from the military with milder or more severe disabilities, including knee pain.
Veterans with chronic knee pain have often had to carry heavy loads, walk long distances, or work in uncomfortable conditions for long periods. These factors can all lead to joint problems, persistent swelling, and other issues that can be chronically painful for many Veterans. Most Veterans who suffer from service-connected knee pain are still able to walk, albeit with some discomfort.
However, for some, service-related knee problems are much more severe, requiring intensive medical treatment and, at times, the use of a wheelchair. If a Veteran is suffering from knee pain that is severely disabling, they may qualify for disability benefits from the VA.
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How To Use Lay Evidence For Knee Pain
Lay evidence includes statements from veterans, veterans friends and family members, and fellow service members.
Veterans can use lay statements to outline the onset and progression of their knee condition. They can also describe its severity and how it affects daily life. Lay evidence can be very helpful when a veteran lacks certain medical evidence.
Can Veterans Receive Multiple Disability Ratings For Knee Pain
Veterans can receive more than one disability rating for knee conditions as long as each condition involves different movements.
For example, if a veteran experiences difficulty in both bending and straightening their knee, they may be able to receive service-connected compensation for both limitation of flexion and extension.
However, in these cases it is important to avoid pyramiding VAs term for rating the same disability or same manifestation of a disability twice.
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How Is Functional Assessment Of Joints Conducted
Because the CAVC found that the traditional VA method of assessing disabilities for rating purposes one-time measurement of active and passive ROM was inadequate under VA regulations, as functional impairment may be underestimated, additional factors must be considered for each joint examined. See Deluca v. Brown, 6 Vet. App. 321, 324 .
1) pain with joint movement
2) weakened movement against varying resistance
3) lack of endurance following repetitive use
4) effects of episodic exacerbations on functional ability.
b. Each of these issues should be assessed and the amount the joint is additionally limited resulting from one or more of these factors should if possible be reported in degrees of additional loss of motion. The absence of any of these factors should also be noted. You must be specific as to where any additional losses should be subtracted. For example, if knee pain on ROM testing prevents full flexion and an additional ROM loss for pain of 20 degrees is warranted, you must specifically state the additional limitation of flexion due to pain . At present there are no guidelines as to which tests should be used to determine the strength and endurance for the various joints. These tests should be individualized, keeping in mind patient safety.
c. Describe the patients functional disability as to effects on daily activities and employment.
Combined knee injury disability rating and the rule against pyramiding
Esteban v. Brown, 6 Vet.App. 259, 261-262
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What Do I Need To Qualify For Disability Benefits For Knee Pain
To start the process of applying for VA disability benefits, you will need to fill out a claim and submit it to your local VA office. You can submit a claim online, in person, or by mail. Once the VA has your claim, they will start reviewing the information and medical evidence that you submitted. After evaluating your condition with an in-house Compensation and Pension Examination, the VA will determine whether you should be approved for benefits. If your claim is approved, you will receive a specific disability rating that corresponds to the amount of monthly compensation you can receive.
In order to receive disability benefits from the VA for knee pain, you will need to receive at least a 10 percent disability rating after filing your claim. A 0 percent rating indicates that the VA did not find your condition to be severely disabling enough to warrant monthly compensation. In some cases, a Veteran might suffer from mild flare-ups or brief struggles with walking due to knee pain, but these symptoms may still not be enough to convince the VA to grant approval for benefits.
Veterans can find their disability claims for knee pain denied for several reasons. If the VA has rejected your claim, it most likely means one of two things either the VA was unable to establish a verifiable connection between your knee pain and your time in the military, or your disability was not assessed as being severe enough to qualify you for benefits.