Va Claims For 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 occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or pinched.
Common symptoms of sciatica include numbness, tingling, burning sensation, and muscle weakness.
Paralysis of the sciatic nerve, the most severe form of sciatica, is very common amongst veterans, primarily because it is linked to back and neck issues.
VA rates sciatica under 38 CFR § 4.124a, Schedule of Ratings, Neurological Conditions and Convulsive Disorders. Specifically, paralysis of the sciatic nerve is rated under Diagnostic Code 8520 at 10, 20, 40, 60, or 80 percent.
Making The Case For A Rating Increase
There may come a point after youve received VA benefits for a period of time that your disability begins to worsen. You may experience greater pain, suffer broader or more challenging symptoms, or find that your day-to-day functioning has decreased. You may even find that its getting harder to work and sustain gainful employment. If this happens, you may feel that the percentage rating you were assigned when your claim was first approved is no longer high enough to represent the deterioration and regression in your health due to your disability. Ultimately, you may want to ask the VA for a rating increase.
The process for making this request isnt difficult. However, the outcome of this request may not be exactly what you expect or intend. Its possible that making a request for this change can actually lower your disability rating. Thus, its helpful to hire a lawyer who can explain why a request for an increase can mean a higher rating without an increase in financial compensation and why it can ultimately decrease your percentage rating.
About The Va Disability Rating System
Veterans with a disability that developed or worsened while serving in the military or due to military service may be eligible for Service-Connected disability pay.
Conditions covered by these benefits typically include:
- Physical disabilities including hearing loss, chronic back pain, asthma and cancers caused by contact with toxic chemicals.
- Mental disabilities including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder , depression and traumatic brain injury .
Find a complete list of covered conditions here.
For every disability claim, the Department of Veterans Affairs assigns a severity rating ranging from 0-100%. This rating moves in 10% increments, is based on service treatment records, VA medical records, and private medical records directly relating to the disability.
For Veterans with more than one disability, the VA uses the combined rating table to calculate your disability percentage.
You May Like: How To Get Disability In Ga
Help With Va Claims For Skin Conditions
If you suffer from skin conditions related to your active-duty service, you deserve compensation for your disabilities. Because these VA claims for skin conditions can be tricky due to overlapping symptoms and the difficulty of proving causation, we recommend you get support in building your claim. Weve helped thousands of veterans get a VA disability rating for skin conditions. Learn more with a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call.
NEED MORE ASSISTANCE?
Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and therefore not getting the compensation theyre due. At VA Claims Insider, we help you understand and take control of the claims process, so you can get the rating and compensation youre owed by law.
Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you every step of the way in building a fully-developed claim so you can increase your rating fast!
If youve filed your VA disability claim and have been denied or have received a low ratingor youre unsure how to get startedreach out to us! Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call. Learn what youve been missingso you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you deserve!
Weve supported more than 15,000 veterans to win their claims and increase their ratings. NOW ITS YOUR TURN.
How Do You Increase Your Va Disability Rating
Once your claim for disability benefits has been approved, you can request an increase in your VA rating whenever you need one. The VA is well aware that a veterans condition can grow worse over time, and that as you age this is more likely to happen. All you need to do to seek an increase in your VA disability rating is to request the VA review your rating and provide evidence that your condition is worsening.
You May Like: Negatives Of Getting Social Security Disability
Are 100% Va Ratings Permanent
VA disability ratings at 100 percent are notautomatically permanent however, they can be granted permanent status in certain situations.
For example, if a 100 percent rating is in place for 20 years or more, VA is not going to reduce that ratingunless there is evidence of fraud in the initial rating assignment.
If it is less than 20 years, VA can pursue a rating reduction, but there needs to be both material improvement and improvement under ordinary conditions. Importantly, VA cannot rely on a simple examination showing improvement when issuing a rating reduction.
Having a rating for 20 years does not mean it automatically becomes permanent but, if VA determines your rating cannot be subject to reduction after 20 years, your 100 percent rating will remain the same .
Honorable Mention: Degenerative Arthritis Of The Spine
Degenerative arthritis of the spine is also a common disability and was included in this list in years past. There are two main types of arthritis of the back: degenerative arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Degenerative arthritis occurs when cartilage between joints erodes over time resulting in joint stiffness, limited mobility, and pain. This type of arthritis usually takes place in weight-bearing joints . Arthritis of the spine is a breakdown of the cartilage of the joints and discs in the neck and back.
Degenerative arthritis of the spine is the final common condition for which veterans receive VA disability benefits. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons states that degenerative arthritis of the spine is the primary reason for disability discharge among service members.
Over 395,000 veterans are currently receiving disability benefits for degenerative arthritis of the spine. The rating criteria is based on the joint involved and whether it is major or minor. However, veterans are often not rated under the arthritis diagnostic code as it usually results in such a low rating. If veterans also have limited range of motion or incapacitating episodes, it could result in a higher rating.
VA should acknowledge both diagnostic codes involved . Veterans are sometimes confused as to why VA is not rating them under the arthritis diagnostic code. Ultimately, it is because has to defer to the rating code that gives veterans the most compensation.
Va Disability Claims: List Of Conditions
The events during military service often result in veterans experiencing certain medical conditions at a higher rate than their civilian counterparts due to certain events that occurred during that service. The Department of Veterans Affairs publishes an Annual Benefits Report each year, describing the most common disabilities among veterans attributed to the military during that fiscal year.
Achieving Service Connection For Va Disability Benefits
In order to be awarded service connection for a VA disability benefits claim, the veteran will need to submit three things to the VA:
- A current medical diagnosis
- An in-service event, injury, or illness which caused or worsened the veterans condition and
- A medical nexus that links the veterans condition to the in-service event, injury, or illness.
Veterans who wish to file a claim for VA benefits may use VA Form 21-526EZ. The form has sections for the veteran to provide information regarding their identity, condition, and military service.
Read Also: Mortgage Assistance For Disabled Homeowners
Ssi/ssdi And Va Disability Benefits
Veterans may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance , in conjunction with, or as an alternative to VA disability payments. They may also use the Medicaid and Medicare health benefits that come with SSI/SSDI to supplement VA health services.
The definition of disability and application process is different for SSA and VA disability benefits, and Veterans may begin receiving SSA benefits while they are waiting on a VA benefit decision.
The Connection Between Mental And Physical Conditions
Many physical conditions leave veterans with excruciating pain that may lead to mental conditions. For example, suppose John Q. Veteran has a service-connected back problem that causes him lots of pain. The back pain and loss of mobility can lead to depression in veterans and that mental condition may now also be considered service-connected. Many mental impairments are caused by physical impairments. Unfortunately, many veterans dont understand the connection between mental and physical conditions and never apply for benefits they are entitled to receive.
Recommended Reading: This Device Is Disabled Code 22
Top 10 Most Common Va Disability Percentages For Conditions
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.
If you want to learn how to implement these strategies to get the VA benefits you deserve, to speak with a VA claim expert for free.
Veterans, how would you like to learn about the new 2022 VA disability percentages for conditions, using actual Veteran Benefits Administration data as your north star?
Brian Reese here, USAF & OEF Veteran, Veteran Benefits Expert, and founder of VA Claims Insider.
Part of the reason we call ourselves VA Claims INSIDER is because we get access to and make sense of data and information that nobody else does.
And in this high-value blog post, youll learn the 10 most common VA disability percentages for individual conditions as well as how increase your VA rating in 2022, regardless of how stuck and frustrated you feel right now.
So, VA Claims Insider has data-mined the Top 10 VA Disability Percentages for Conditions in 2022 based on the Veteran Benefits Administration Fiscal Year 2020-2021 report to Congress regarding VA disability compensation.
With A Dependent Spouse Or Parent But No Children
Find the dependent status in the left column that best describes you. Then look for your disability rating in the top row. Your basic monthly rate is where your dependent status and disability rating meet.
If your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits, be sure to also look at the Added amounts table, and add it to your amount from the Basic monthly rates table.
|Dependent status||30% disability rating||40% disability rating||50% disability rating||60% disability rating|
|Dependent status||30% disability rating||467.39||40% disability rating||673.28||50% disability rating||958.44||60% disability rating||1,214.03|
|With spouse||30% disability rating||522.39||40% disability rating||747.28||50% disability rating||1,050.44||60% disability rating||1,325.03|
|With spouse and 1 parent||30% disability rating||566.39||40% disability rating||806.28||50% disability rating||1,124.44||60% disability rating||1,414.03|
|With spouse and 2 parents||30% disability rating||610.39||40% disability rating||865.28||50% disability rating||1,198.44||60% disability rating||1,503.03|
|With 1 parent||30% disability rating||511.39||40% disability rating||732.28||50% disability rating||1,032.44||60% disability rating||1,303.03|
|With 2 parents||30% disability rating||555.39||40% disability rating||791.28||50% disability rating||1,106.44||60% disability rating||1,392.03|
You May Like: Working Part Time On Disability
Limitation Of Flexion Of The Knee
Veterans with limited flexion of their knees have a limited range of motion as they move their knees or curl them inward.
As a general rule, the VA rated this condition as a musculoskeletal condition based on how the veteran’s knee moves in that direction when they move their knee in that direction. Rather than the pain, the movement causes, VA looks at the degree of range of motion of a patient.
The imitation of knee flexion gets a rating of 0, 10, 20, or 30% under 38 CFR 4.71a, Diagnostic Code 5260. Generally, VA assigns a 10 percent rating to this condition as the most common rating.
As a mental health issue, post-traumatic stress disorder refers to a reaction that occurs after a distressing, shocking, or otherwise traumatic event. People with PTSD can experience the following symptoms varyingly based on severity and symptoms.
- A recurring recollection of the trauma, flashbacks, and nightmares recalling the trauma in an intrusive, distressing manner
- The feeling of emotional numbness and the avoidance of places, situations, and activities that remind one of the traumas and their aftermath
- A greater degree of arousal, such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated or angry
Veterans who believe a service-connected stressor causes their PTSD must verify a service-connected stressor. There must also be evidence to support this claim, such as lay statements that provide specific details.
Total Disability Based On Individual Unemployability : Compensated At 100% Rate
By demonstrating TDIU, you can receive monthly disability compensation at the 100 percent rate, even if your combined disability rating is less than 100 percent. TDIU is awarded when veterans are unable to obtain and maintain substantially gainful employment due to their service-connected conditions. Importantly, TDIU can be due to any service-connected conditions that contribute to their unemployability .
Furthermore, such service-connected conditions can be taken in combination when considering TDIU. That is, veterans do not have to show that their depression alone prevents them from working. Instead, veterans can argue that their depression combined with their knee and back conditions make them unable to work. In order to qualify for TDIU on a schedular basis, veterans must demonstrate the following:
- They have one service-connected condition rated at 60 percent or higher or
- They have multiple service-connected conditions, one of which is rated at least 40 percent disabling, with a combined disability rating of at least 70 percent
You May Like: Short Term Disability For Mental Health
Va Disability Rates For Conditions Pay Chart Summary
|VA Disability Rating|
*These rates assume Veteran Alone for simplicity. Higher rates are paid based upon dependent status.
In 2022, VA disability pay rates for conditions rose by 5.9%, which means veterans received a relatively large increase versus their 2021 VA pay due to high inflation and the COVID-19 supply constraints impact on the economy.
Va Disability Rates For Conditions Are Scaled From 0% To 100%
Each impairment is given a disability rating as a percentage. Ratings are scaled from 0%100% in terms of severity. VA disability percentages climb in 10% increments to represent how much each condition affects your overall health and ability to function. The degrees of disability are considered proportionate to your loss of working capacity.
For example, you suffer service-connected ulcerative colitis. The VARSD lists this condition under the main category The Digestive System, and subcategory Colitis, ulcerative which uses Diagnostic Code 7323.
Diagnostic Code 7323 rating rules are as follows:
|7323 Colitis, ulcerative||Rating|
|Moderate with infrequent exacerbations||10%|
As you can see, there is a wide percentage difference in VA disability rates for this one condition.
Even the difference between a 10% and 30% rating can be crucial. A veteran who is rated below 30% for all conditions may only collect benefits as a single veteran with no dependents . Only at the 30% disability rating does a veteran get additional compensation with dependents.
Another example is tinnitus, one of several conditions where VA disability rates are limited, in this case only up to 10 percent. Tinnitus is one of the most claimed disabilities by veterans.
The VASRD lists this impairment under the main category Diseases of the Ear, and subcategory Tinnitus, recurrent which uses Diagnostic Code 6260. Note the VA examiner is instructed to take both ears into account in the rating.
Also Check: Aflac Short Term Disability Forms
Va Claims For Respiratory Conditions
Respiratory conditions asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory cancers, and more are common among veterans due to in-service exposure to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other airborne hazards.
VA presumptive service connection does exist for some respiratory conditions if the veteran meets certain qualifying criteria.
Va Disability Ratings For Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition in which skin cells grow too quickly. The cells build up and form thick scales and silvery or white patches. It can sometimes involve the nails or joints.
Like eczema, psoriasis is believed to stem from a malfunctioning immune system and can be triggered by illness or stress. Treatments range from topical ointments to immunosuppressive medication.
VA disability ratings for psoriasis are connected to diagnostic code 7816, which is specific to this condition. Its evaluated under the general rating formula for the skin, but any related complications, such as psoriatic arthritis, are dealt with under separate diagnostic codes.
Read Also: Edd Disability Phone Number Live Person
Tenth Most Common Va Disability: Limitation Of Motion Of The Arm
As of 2019, the tenth most common VA disability is limitation of motion of the arm. This condition replaced degenerative arthritis of the spine as the final spot on the list from last year. Limitation of motion of the arm is much like the limitation of motion of the ankle, as described above.
Typically, this condition results when an injury in the arm or shoulder has not healed fully or not been rehabilitated adequately. Like ankle injuries, an unhealed shoulder or arm injury can increase the likelihood of an injury occurring again. Repeated injuries can further increase instability in the shoulder or arm and limit the range of motion.
Injuries to the shoulder or arm which affect the range of motion of the arm can occur commonly during military training and service. Lifting heavy objects, transporting heavy supplies, or other forms of physical training can strain the muscles in the arm or shoulder and cause injury. Additionally, wounds that become infected can create scar tissue in the muscles and affect range of motion. Injuries to the arm or shoulder from a fall, forceful impact, or accident, are also common in veterans.
Diagnostic Code 5201 is used to rate limitation of the arm. To issue a rating, VA will take into consideration whether the veterans dominant or non-dominant arm is affected and how severely it is limited. Below are the criteria for each rating percentage based on how much the veterans range of motion in the arm is limited.