What Conditions Qualify For Veterans Disability Benefits
There are lots of mental and physical conditions that are compensable under Veteran Benefits law. Below are a few lists with links to some of the most common compensable conditions. Each link will take you to a guide that teaches veterans how to win their particular type of mental or physical claim against the VA.
If you have any questions about your conditions eligibility for VA disability benefits, reach out to Woods & Woods. There is never a cost for a VA claim consultation. We have successfully represented thousands of disabled veterans against the VA.
Disabilities Covered By Vabenefits
Below is a list of categories of injuries, illnesses, and disorders currently covered by VA disability benefits programs. Its important to note that applicants are required to have their conditions evaluated by VA medical professionals before benefits approval is granted.
Not all qualifying injuries and illnesses are posted here, and the VA regularly updates its list of eligible conditions.
The 2 General Types Of Evidence In A Va Claim: Lay Evidence And Medical Evidence
Lay evidence is, at its core, observations and facts that are documented by people without specialized professional knowledge.
Your buddys statement that you both were assigned to guard duty 50 yards from a burn pit in Iraq is lay evidence of an in-service event
Your spouses statement that you dont sleep more than 30 minutes at a time throughout the night and keep a loaded pistol under your pillow is lay evidence of symptomatology of your mental health conditions
Your statement that a doctor in Vietnam diagnosed you with malaria in 1971 is lay evidence of a contemporary diagnosis.
Medical evidence is the evidence provided by medical professionals: medical treatment notes, diagnoses, medical evaluations and opinions, etc.
Private/Independent Medical Exams are medical expert evidence
Service Medical Records, and post-service medical records are medical evidence.
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What Are The Most Common Va Disabilities
Veterans can develop a wide range of illnesses after their tours of duty end and they return to civilian life. Much attention is given to the veterans who are experiencing things like PTSD , but not everyone has it.
Some veterans may just find themselves with a fair amount of joint pain from jumping out of trucks while carrying a full backpack. Musculoskeletal conditions are frequently reported by veterans, due to the extremely physical nature of most jobs in the military. But while vets are currently receiving benefits for more than 21 million types of disabilities, there are some that show up the most.
The Disability Reference Guide: Its Purpose And Function
The Disability Reference Guide is a tool for identifying, clarifying and promoting policies to address issues that affect people with disabilities. While the objective of the Guide is to help ensure that federal programs , policies and services maintain or enhance the social and economic inclusion of people with disabilities , much of the Guides content may be of use to other governments, organizations or institutions.
The Guide can help to ensure that legislation, policies, programs and services:
- are inclusive of people with disabilities
- respect the rights and needs of people with disabilities and,
- promote positive attitudes and raise awareness about the needs of people with disabilities in order to prevent unintended negative outcomes.
Electing to use the Guide will help employees to:
- systematically assess and address the impacts of all initiatives on people with disabilities
- obtain a more nuanced understanding of the multi-dimensional challenges that impact people with disabilities
- build partnerships across government departments, and with NGOs and other stakeholders that work with and represent people with disabilities and,
- act as a resource in the creation of policies and programs that reflect of the rights and needs of people with disabilities.
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Hearing Loss Va Claims
Hearing loss involves muffling of speech and other sounds difficulty understanding words, trouble hearing consonants frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly, and loudly withdrawal from conversations and avoidance of some social settings. These symptoms can significantly impact a veterans quality of life and daily functioning.
Hearing loss is categorized into three main types: conductive , sensorineural , and mixed . Common causes of hearing loss include damage to the inner ear, earwax buildup, ear infection, and ruptured eardrum.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, veterans are 30 percent more likely than non-veterans to have severe hearing impairment.
Ratings for hearing loss are primarily based on two auditory tests, which VA requires to confirm a hearing loss diagnosis:
- Speech discrimination
- Pure tone threshold
Ratings can range from 0 to 100 percent however, most veterans receive between 0 and 10 percent.
% Ratings For Mental Illnesses
VA regulations provide for ratings of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100% for psychiatric conditions. While VA ratings are generally available in 10% increments from 0 to 100, the ratings schedule provides that all mental illnesses will be rated as “chronic adjustment disorders” with only the percentages listed above. While a 0% rating doesn’t provide any payments, it does allow eligibility for health care and other benefits.
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What Each Rating Means
100% rating: Completely unable to function socially or at work with symptoms such as severely inappropriate behavior, ongoing hallucinations or delusions, consistent threat of harming self or others, unable to remember basic information such as names of close relatives, severe confusion and disorientation, and/or inability to care for self.
70% rating: Unable to function in most social and work areas with symptoms such as obsessive behaviors, illogical speech, depression and panic so persistent that it interferes with ability to function, suicidal thinking, inability to control impulses , neglecting self-care such as hygiene, inability to handle stress, and/or inability to maintain relationships.
50% rating:Some impairment in ability to function socially and at work with lack of reliability and productivity, due to symptoms such as trouble understanding, memory loss , poor judgment, mood disturbances, trouble with work and social relationships, and/or having one or more panic attacks weekly.
30% rating: Some trouble functioning socially and at work, occasionally inefficient with work or unable to perform work tasks, but generally able to care of self and speak normally. Symptoms can include depression, anxiety, chronic difficulty sleeping, mild memory loss, suspiciousness, and panic attacks .
10% rating: Mild symptoms creating work and social impairment when under significant stress, or mild symptoms managed successfully with continuous medication.
Types Of Hearing Tests
There are standardized, measurable tests for hearing loss and you will have to go through at least one of them. They test different levels of hearing impairment so that the VA can rate your ability to hear accurately. You may have the hearing test multiple times, as your family doctor is qualified to test your hearing at one level, but he or she cant give you your rating.
For your VA rating, all of your testing must be done by a state-licensed audiologist and requires the controlled speech discrimination test and a pure-tone audiometry test.
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Seventh Most Common Va Disability: Paralysis Of The Sciatic Nerve
Sciatica is a nerve condition in which pain radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, traveling from the lower back down through the legs. It most often occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or pinched, usually by a herniated disk in the spine or an overgrowth of the bone on the vertebrae. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of the body. Common symptoms include numbness, tingling, burning sensation, and muscle weakness.
Paralysis of the sciatic nerve is very common amongst veterans primarily because it is linked to back and neck issues. When rating back and neck conditions, VA is required to rate any neurological residuals. Therefore, paralysis of the sciatic nerve is often granted without veterans needing to file additional claims.
This condition involves a reduction in movement and feeling of certain limbs. Nerve issues, such as sciatica, are rated in three different categories based on the degree of severity of symptoms:
Technically, the term sciatica usually refers to neuralgia of the sciatic nerve. Therefore, neuralgia is generally the most common category that veterans fall into however, it is possible that a veterans sciatica may present symptomatology consistent with a higher level of severity. Each of the three categories of nerve conditions mentioned above also have sub-categories for mild, moderate, or severe symptoms, creating many different possible ratings for a condition that affects a nerve.
According To Weta Dysgraphia Is A Writing Disorder:
- Dysgraphia can be defined as a deficiency in the ability to write, regardless of the ability to read, and is not due to intellectual impairment. Dyspgraphia is a neurological disorder and usually appears when a child first learns to write .
- The cause of dysgraphia is unknown. Early recognition of dysgraphia can help the individual by having them perform special exercises when writing to increase muscle strength and memories of what it feels like to write certain letters
- Teachers can help children with dygraphia by allowing the student to take tests by recording their answers into a voice recorder or typing out their answers on a typewriter or computer instead of writing it down on a piece of paper .
- According to Russell , there are three subtypes of dysgraphia:
- Dyslexic dysgraphia: when spontaneously written work is usually illegible while copied work is usually okay. Someone who presents dyslexic dysgraphia does not mean they also have dyslexia, although they are often found together.
- Motor dysgraphia: usually linked to deficient fine motor skills. Most written work is usually illegible, even if it has been copied. Long periods of writing may be painful and the letters will get worse as the person continues to write. Spelling is not affected with motor dysgraphia.
- Spatial dysgraphia: usually has idifficulties understanding the space available on the page. Again, written work, both spontaneous or copied is usually illegible.
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What Conditions Are Covered By These Benefits
You may be able to get VA disability benefits for conditions such as:
- Chronic back pain resulting in a current diagnosed back disability
- Breathing problems resulting from a current lung condition or lung disease
- Severe hearing loss
- Loss of range of motion
- Cancers caused by contact with toxic chemicals or other dangers
You may also be able to get VA disability benefits for:
- Traumatic brain injury
If you have signs of an illness that started within a year after you were discharged from active service, find out if you can get disability benefits.
The Permanent And Total Disability Rating
This type of rating is when the VA determines your disabilities will never get better – they are permanent. They are also total, meaning that you either have more than one disability from the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities, and those disability percentages add up to at least 100%, or you have one disability that is bad enough to rate at 100%.
You can be rated 100% temporarily, for example if you get a knee replacement you cannot walk for a certain length of time. The VA will usually give you 100% disability for 13 months, which is the normal recovery time for such surgery.
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What Are The Current Compensation Rates For Different Va Disability Ratings
The amount you can expect to receive is not only based on your disability rating, but the VA also factors in other elements. You will receive more money if you have children under age 24 , a spouse, and any dependent parents. You should also take note that the VA will make the cost of living adjustments to ensure that your purchasing power does not erode due to inflation.
Below are the current compensation rates for different VA disability ratings according to marital status, number of children, and number of dependent parents
Unmarried, No Children
If you are a veteran without a spouse or children under age the age of 24, the following monthly compensation rates correlate with your VA disability rating:
- 30%: $441.35, $483.35 , $525.35
- 40%: $635.77, $691.77 , $747.77
- 50%:$905.04, $975.04 , $1,045.04
- 60%: $1,146.39, $1,230.39 , $1,314.39
- 70%: $1,444.71, $1,542.71 , $1,640.71
- 80%: $1,679.35, $1,791.35 , $1,903.35
- 90%: $1,887.18, $2,013.18 , $2,139.18
- 100%: $3,146.42, $3,287.21 , $3,428.00
If you are a married veteran without children under the age age of 24, the following monthly compensation rates correlate with your VA disability rating:
- 10%: $144.14
- 30%: $493.35, $535.35 , $577.35
- 40%: $705.77, $761.77 , $817.77
- 50%: $992.05, $1,062.04 , $1,132.04
- 60%: $1,251.39, $1,335.39 , $1,419.39
- 70%: $1,566.71, $1,664.71 , $1,762.71
- 80%: $1,819.35, $1,931.35 , $2,043.45
- 90%: $2,044.18, $2,170.18 , $2,296.18
- 100%: $3,321.85, $3,462.64 , $3,603.43
Unmarried with Children
Of 10 Most Common Va Disability Claims: Tinnitus
The most common VA Disability Claim is tinnitus. According to 2018-2019 VA disability claims statistics, Tinnitus was the most common VA disability claim. In total, there were 57,152 compensation recipients. Tinnitus involves the sensation of hearing sound when no external sound is present.
The maximum VA rating for tinnitus is 10%. People most at risk of Tinnitus work in loud conditions.
Your VA Tinnitus claim can be filed as a secondary disability, and can be made worse by the following conditions: head and neck conditions, Menieres disease, depression and anxiety, PTSD, TBI, hearing loss, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and high blood pressure, among others.
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How Do I Prove I Have Tinnitus
Youll have a hearing test whether you are claiming tinnitus or hearing loss or both. There are standard hearing tests that can be administered by your doctor, but for the VA, youll eventually need a
Your doctor is going to ask what loud noises you were subjected to in the service. List them all! They dont just have to be from military stuff.
- Loudspeakers at boot camp
- A specific explosion that is documented
- Work on the shooting range? How long?
- How long did you spend around specific machinery or ship engines?
- Did you run sound for the U.S. Navy Band?
- Were you around F-35 jets? They are 4 times louder than an F16. Just proving you were around them could make your case.
Like everything else on your C& P exam, the more you have written out ahead of time, the better prepared youll be. List every single thing you can remember, even if you think it was no big deal. The US needed you to be a tough guy then, but your family needs you to be honest now. If it was a loud noise, write it down.
Here are some tips on your C& P Exam from one of our experienced Veterans Disability Lawyers.
Is It Possible To Increase Your Va Disability Rating For Knee Pain
If you have received your disability rating and believe it should be higher, VA allows you to submit an appeal to earn higher VA compensation for knee pain. Within one year of the VA decision, you must file a Notice of Disagreement , supplemental claim, or take the higher review lane. Each of these are viable options under the AMA legislation.
You can file for an increase if your condition worsens and you are not yet receiving maximum compensation. You can submit a new claim for a secondary condition that will result in a new VA rating. You can increase your VA rating for knee pain by combining multiple disabilities. You can also increase your VA disability knee pain rating by filing it as bilateral if it is affecting both sides of the body. It may be beneficial to hire a legal representative who understands what your condition will qualify for.
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Va Disability Appeals Lawyers
Fighting the VA for compensation is sometimes harder than it should be. Understanding what compensation you are entitled to and how to receive it are two entirely different things. Our team has experience appealing VA claims and helping Veterans receive the payments they are entitled to. As a Veteran owned and operated law firm, we are committed to helping Veterans receive disability benefits. If you or somebody you know has been denied disability benefits from the VA or was rated to low, contact Berry Law to schedule a consultation and let us fight for the benefits you deserve.
The attorneys at Berry Law Firm are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.
What You Need To Show
Getting help from VA disability compensation lawyers is the best way to get the benefits you deserve. Our lawyers will give you information on how to file for these benefits and what to expect from the process.
As a veteran, you must show:
- A current disability: Your disability must be diagnosed by a doctor or other medical professional.
- Medical nexus evidence: You need to have proof from a doctor that theres at least a 50-50 chance your disability is a result of your military service.
- An even in service: You must prove that your disease, injury or mental condition occurred during your service.
If you can prove that you meet these three criteria, the VA will pay you benefits based on the seriousness of your disability. You may receive a higher monthly amount if you have a spouse, children or a dependent parent. As most VA disability compensation lawyers will tell you, getting denied on the first filing is quite common. Staying the course and allowing our team to file an appeal is important.
Proving your disability to the VA can be complicated because it requires service and medical records. The Veterans Compensation attorneys atJackson & MacNichol can help you with your claim for benefits. Call our office today at 800-524-3339 if you need help with your Veterans Compensation claim.
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