High Value Va Disability Claims


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A Few Key Rating Principles And Pointers

High Value Secondary VA Claims: What Are They and How Do I Get Started?
  • The Schedular Rating is only a START point Extra-schedular Ratings and Analogous Ratings help you to fine-tune your rating to your specific/unique and severe symptoms.
  • 100% is NOT the highest rating SMC ratings can take your total VA Disability Ratings well above $8,000 a month if your condition is extremely severe and limiting.
  • TDIU is not just for the unemployed, and it is not just for those that meet the 60/70-40 Rule. If your symptoms interfere with your ability to earn a wage above federal poverty levels, or if your symptoms are so bad that the only employment you can get is sheltered employment, you may be entitled to TDIU.
  • The VA will frequently tell you that you cannot service-connect a condition because there is no rating for it on the Schedule this is nonsense, and is the equivalent of saying that because Bobs Diner doesnt have dessert on their menu, there is no such thing as chocolate. More on that later.
  • Extra-Schedular Ratings are a hot topic in Veterans Law if you think the schedular rating, even if correctly applied, doesnt compensate you enough for a unique disability picture, learn about 38 CFR 3.321 and seek an Extra-Schedular Rating.
  • Gather All Of The Forms You Need

    At times, the 21-526 gets a bit personal, and there is a good chance you wont know all of the information they are asking ahead of time. So, get the following items first:

    • Death Certificate if youre filing for DIC or Widows/Widowers Pension
    • Income info if youre applying for Pension or Widows/Widowers Pension
    • Addresses and phone numbers of places you treat at for your conditions.

    Best Way To Get 100 Va Disability Tip #: File For Va Total Disability Individual Unemployability

    TDIU VA Requirements

    VA TDIU stands for Total Disability IndividualUnemployability, but its often referred to as Individual Unemployability.

    Did you know disabled veterans who qualify for TDIU areentitled to be paid at the 100% VA disability rate, even if they are ratedbelow 100 percent scheduler, if they can establish that one or moreservice-connected disabilities prevent them from maintaining substantiallygainful employment?

    TDIU VA Requirements Do You Qualify?

    You may be able to get individualunemployability disability benefits if you meet both requirementslisted below:

  • You have at least 1 service-connected disability rated at 60% or more disabling, or 2 or more service-connected disabilitieswith at least 1 rated at 40% or more disabling and a combined rating of 70% or more AND,
  • You cant hold down a steady job that supports you financially because of your service-connected disability. Odd jobs dont count.
  • *Note: In certain cases, for example, if you need to be in the hospital oftenveterans may qualify for 100 TDIU at a lower disability rating than listed above.

    You Served You Deserve!

    And weve got your six! Become an Elite Member and talk with one of our Veteran Coaches to begin your journey to a higher rating!

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    Secondary Service Connection For Ankle Instability

    Another way of obtaining a VA rating for ankle instability is by proving a secondary service connection. A secondary service connection occurs when you can connect your ankle instability with another service-connected injury or issue.

    For instance, you may have broken your right foot during combat . However, later on, you may have developed ankle instability on the left ankle. If your doctor can prove that the ankle instability on the left side was caused due to you favoring your right ankle because of your broken foot, that could prove secondary service connection for your ankle instability. This is one way that injuries that occur after service can still have service-connection.

    Once Im Signed In How Do I Check My Va Claim Or Appeal Status

    Va Disability Rate Table 2017
  • Go to your “My VA” dashboard. You’ll find the link for this dashboard in the top right corner of the page once you’re signed in.
  • Scroll down to the “Track Claims” section. There, you’ll see a summary of the latest status information for any open claims or appeals you may have.
  • You’ll go to a page with more details about that claim’s status and supporting evidence. Evidence may include documents like a doctor’s report or medical test results.
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    What Is Ankle Instability

    Ankle instability is a chronic condition that is often caused by an acute injury such as an ankle sprain. There are two types of ankle instability: mechanical and functional. Mechanical instability occurs when the ankle is physically unstable and unable to be weight-bearing. Functional instability refers to a feeling that the ankle may give out at any time.

    Ankle instability can cause pain and may make it hard to engage in everyday activities, especially those that involve being on your feet. Some of the symptoms of ankle instability include:

    • Inability to walk without fear of rolling the ankle
    • Loss of balance
    • Walking with a limp

    Not every incident will include all of the symptoms listed above, and there may be other issues caused by this condition. Some ankle injuries will also cause frozen ankle joints, limitation of motion, or interference with normal range of motion.

    List Of The Top 7 Best Ways To Get 100 Va Disability

    • Tip #1: Use MyHealtheVet to Get Your Current Symptoms Documented in VA Medical Records
    • Tip #3: Have a Doctor Complete DBQs for Conditions Already Service Connected

    Okay, lets explore in detail how to get a 100 percent VA disability rating, regardless of your current rating or even if youve been denied VA benefits in the past.

    Veterans, if youve ever wondered How to Get 100 VA Disabilitypay close attention because these tips are for you:

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    Diagnoses Of Special Interest

    Two diagnoses for veterans are of special interest to SSA, the VA, and policymakers: PTSD and traumatic brain injury . Both diagnoses have been associated with veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In this section, we focus on DI applicants with VA ratings for PTSD , residuals of TBI , and dementia associated with TBI .22

    As we have demonstrated, veterans with VA ratings of 100% or IU who apply for DI benefits tend to be in older age groups. The same is true of veterans diagnosed with PTSD or TBI. Chart 20 shows the age distribution of DI applicants rated for PTSD or TBI at any level from 10% to 100%. The largest proportions of VA awardees applying for DI benefits were in the oldest age group of DI applicants . The vast majority of DI applicants with a VA rating for PTSD filed after reaching age 50 those individuals are likely to be Vietnam veterans. There are few DI applicants among younger veterans with PTSD ratings. Younger veterans were more widely represented among DI applicants with TBI than they were among those with PTSD nevertheless, the oldest age group still constituted the largest proportion of DI applicants with TBI. It appears that the disabling impact of PTSD and TBI emerges at older ages, rather than at the time of separation from service.

    Applicants By Age Group

    4 secondary VA claims that YOU should seriously consider filing

    Chart 8 shows the number of DI allowances and denials and the associated allowance rates by age group and VA rating. Veterans aged 50 to full retirement age 17 filed more than two-thirds of the DI applications filed by all age groups.

    In each age group, the allowance rate for cases with a 100% rating was higher than the allowance rate for IU cases. Additionally, allowance rates for those aged 50FRA were considerably higher than the rates for those in the two younger age groups. The age-group difference is likely a function of the role that age plays in DI decisions involving medical-vocational considerations . Within each VA rating category, the two younger age groups had similar allowance rates . However, within each age group, the difference in allowance rates between the IU and 100% ratings is substantially greater for the younger groups: 12.1 percentage points for ages 1834, 9.5 percentage points for ages 3549, and 5.8 percentage points for ages 50FRA.

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    Va Disability Percentages For Presumptive Disorders

    A presumptive disorder is one that the VA presumes to be service-connected, even if theres no specific evidence or chain of causation that they normally require to form a nexus with military service. A presumptive disorder is a term that the VA uses to describe medical conditions that were so common among veterans in certain situations that they are considered undoubtedly to be due to active duty, exposure or service.

    List Of The Top 50 Va Disability Claims:

    • #3. Limitation of Flexion of the Knee
    • #4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • #5. Lumbosacral or Cervical Strain
    • #6. Scars, General
    • #7. Paralysis of the Sciatic Nerve
    • #8. Limitation of Range of Motion of the Ankle
    • #10. Limitation of Motion of the Arm
    • #11. Degenerative Arthritis of the Spine
    • #12. Sleep Apnea
    • #13. Traumatic Brain Injury
    • #14. Major Depressive Disorder
    • #19. Pes Planus
    • #20. Radiculopathy
    • #22. Somatic Symptom Disorder
    • #23. Gastroesophageal Reflex Disease
    • #24. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • #25. Erectile Dysfunction
    • #28. Hypertension
    • #29. Degenerative Disc Disease
    • #30. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • #31. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    • #32. Fibromyalgia
    • #34. Allergic Rhinitis
    • #37. Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease
    • #38. Chronic Conjunctivitis
    • #39. Limited Motion of the Jaw
    • #40. Hiatal Hernia
    • #50. Urinary Incontinence

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    How To Write A Va Lay Statement In 4 Simple Steps

    When writingor obtaining a buddy letter in support of a veterans VA disability claim, youcan simply use the VA Form 21-4138, Statement in Support of a Claim.

    Ive heardothers talk about why the VA Form 21-4138 might be hurting your claim.

    Guess what?

    They arewrong.

    The VA Form21-4138, official .pdf form is still the PREFERRED method of any personalstatements according to VA Rating Officials.

    A great VAbuddy letter is short and sweet.

    Think lessis more.

    Were notwriting a novel here guys.

    VA Ratersare very busy people, so you want to give them the exact information they need,at the moment they need it to help support a Veterans VA disability claim.

    In 3-4paragraphs, you should explain your name, information, and how you know theveteran. what you witnessed or are witnessing, the veterans currentsymptoms of the disability, and sign and date your name to the best of yourknowledge and belief.

    Listed belowis a VA buddy letter example:

    Compensation & Pension Exams For Ankle Instability


    After you file a claim through the Veterans Administration, the VA may ask you to have a compensation and pension exam . It is vitally important that you show up to your scheduled C& P exam or reschedule if you are unable to attend. This exam may be a requirement for your ankle instability rating.

    A C& P exam is a basic medical exam focused on your ankle instability. The doctor in charge of the exam will assess your injury, talk to you about your medical history as it relates to this case, and determine if its service connection applies.

    Veterans should keep in mind that they have the right to the results of their C& P exam. However, you might not receive these results if you dont ask for them. Having the details of the exam will be helpful if you receive an unfavorable result and plan to appeal your claim for higher disability compensation.

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    Va Disability Ratings For Ankle Instability

    The VA rating schedule for joint problems, including ankle instability, is based on the range of motion as well as other specific criteria that affect the joints and musculoskeletal system. The VA may require documentation that shows the range of motion of the ankle. This documentation may include medical records, notes from a medical practitioner, or physical evidence like x-ray images.

    In many cases, ankle instability itself would receive a rating of between 0 and 20% on the rating schedule. However, the ankle instability may occur in conjunction with other issues, such as knee pain, and leg pain. The VA might note the presence of other conditions and award the veteran an even higher VA disability rating. Arthritis of the ankle joint is a common condition that can occur with ankle instability. Arthritis and ankle instability together might lead to a higher disability rating.

    Have Questions About Your Va Disability Rating For Ankle Instability

    If you are experiencing an ongoing ankle injury or functional loss of the joint, it can be frustrating if your VA benefits claim is denied or awarded a low rating. If you are struggling to obtain adequate veterans benefits, contact the team at Hill & Ponton. Our team of veterans disability and social security disability attorneys will work with you to build an effective VA claim or appeal your current rating. Hit the red button above for a free case evaluation.

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    What Are Some Common Va Disability Claims

    Now that we know the top 50 VA disability claims, lets explore the list in-detail, along with symptoms and VA disability ratings by condition.

    You should consider this list of Top VA Disability Claims when you go to file a VA claim.

    Weve also added Pro Tips for each condition, so youll know the best way to get your disabilities service connected.

    Lets go!

    Service Connection For Ankle Instability

    VA Claims for Lower Back Pain? Here’s How to Win Them Every Time!

    The key to obtaining a VA disability rating for ankle instability is to prove service connection. Proving a direct service connection is the most common way to do this. There are three elements necessary for a successful direct service connection claim. These are:

  • A Current Diagnosis: You must have a recent diagnosis of ankle instability by a medical practitioner.
  • In-Service Occurrence or Incident that Caused or Aggravated Claim: You must be able to point out an incident, accident, or series of events that led to the injury or an aggravation of an existing injury. Examples of occurrences that lead to ankle instability may include a slip and fall injury rolling your ankle while marching, running, or walking in service or injuring your ankle in active combat.
  • Medical Nexus Connecting the Disability to the Occurrence: Your doctor or other medical professionals must be able to connect the stated occurrence with the resulting ankle instability.
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    How To Increase Va Disability From 80 To 100 Tip #: Focus On High Value Va Disability Claims

    How to Increase VA Disability from 80 to 100

    A High-Value VA Claim is a disability condition with a HIGH likelihood of getting rated at 30% or higher on its own.

    Focusing on High-Value VA disability claims is a great way to increase your VA disability rating.

    These include VA claims such as Mental Health Conditions, Sleep Apnea Claims, Migraines,and Respiratory Conditions , among others.

    Versus a Low-Value VA Claim, which is a disability orcondition with a LOW likelihood of getting rated at 30% or higher on its own.

    These include VA disability claims like Tinnitus, Hearing Loss, Scars, and Musculoskeletal Conditions.

    > > Read my Top 10 Most Common VA Disability Claims explainer post HERE < <

    Secondary Conditions For Service Connection

    Many veterans are service-connected on a secondary basis for conditions stemming from an already service-connected condition.

    Secondary conditions can include any number of conditions. Some common secondary conditions are:

    • Radiculopathy secondary to back pain
    • Peripheral neuropathy secondary to diabetes mellitus type 2
    • Hypertension secondary to PTSD

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    Why Gao Did This Study

    In fiscal year 2021, VBA provided over $112 billion in disability compensation to approximately 5.6 million veterans and their families. Over the past decade, VBA has taken steps aimed at improving its disability compensation program. GAO’s prior work has shown that effective agency reforms depend on following leading practices, such as establishing outcome-oriented goals. GAO was asked to review VBA’s implementation of reforms to improve its disability compensation program.

    This report identifies reforms VBA has undertaken, examines the extent to which five selected VBA reforms followed leading reform practices, and reviews how VBA has managed the overall set of reforms.

    GAO reviewed relevant documents, interviewed VA officials, and randomly selected five reforms based on criteria such as the number of VA offices involved and milestones completed. GAO compared the agency’s efforts to relevant leading practices for effective agency reforms and managing portfolios of projects, and federal standards for internal control.

    Limitation Of Range Of Motion Of The Ankle


    Limited Range of Motion of the Ankle is the #8 most common VA claim.

    Your ankle is an intricate network of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles, which is strong enough bear your body weight and enable you to move.

    This also means your ankle can be prone to injury and pain, especially due to your military service.

    Most often, the VA rates ankle conditions under CFR Title 38, Part 4, Schedule for Rating Disabilities, DC 5271, Ankle, Limited Motion.

    VA Disability Ratings for Ankle limitation of range of motion and pain fall between 10 percent and 20 percent.

    The highest schedular rating for ankle pain is 20%.

    What are the VA ratings for Ankle Pain?

    • Moderate limitation of range of motion of the ankle rate at 10%

    767,270 disabled veterans are service-connected and rated for ankle disabilities.

    Pro Tip: In accordance with the Painful Motion principle, if you have pain upon flexion or extension of your ankle, the VA is required to award the minimum compensable rating for the condition, which is 10 percent.

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