The Department of Veterans Affairs gives disabled veterans a monthly stipend, dubbed disability compensation, for injuries or illnesses linked to their military service. The amount of money that a veteran can receive in disability benefits is determined by their disability rating, which can range from zero to 100 percent depending on factors like the severity of the illness and the number of dependents they are responsible for.
When a medical condition incapacitates a veteran so much as to leave them with no prospect of being able to work, that condition is given a 100% VA disability rating. If a veteran has a spouse, no children, and a disability with a 100% rating, he or she will be eligible for a tax-free monthly benefit of $3,321.85.
Even a medical condition with a 40% disability rating would lead to a monthly entitlement of $696.61 while that condition persists. This means that, with the right disability lawyers, service-related VA disability compensation is worthwhile to pursue. While it can be difficult to establish the connection of some disabilities to military service, there are others that are diagnosed more easily and make sufferers more eligible for benefits. Let’s look at five disabilities that are the easiest to get disability claims approval for according to a Veterans Administration report to Congress.
“Ringing in the ear” syndrome or tinnitus is a condition in which sufferers hear ringing, roaring, hissing, humming, or clicking sounds when nothing is actually producing those sounds. What they hear may persist over long periods of time and are usually bothersome or distracting.
Tinnitus is caused by overexposure to extremely loud sounds like gunfire and explosions during training or in the field, making servicemen prone to acquiring it. The condition has a low disability rating of 10%, and there’s no definitive way to prove that one has it. However, it’s also difficult to disprove from a medical standpoint, which is why Tinnitus is among other conditions that are on the honor system. That is, if you claim to have it, then VA will believe you and grant you disability benefits for it.
Conditions that could aggravate tinnitus include hypertension and traumatic brain injuries. Therefore, if you’re already receiving benefits for such aggravators but not for tinnitus, then you can make an additional claim for tinnitus. This secondary claim will likely be approved since primary claims were already proven to be service-connected and disabling.
Knee and ankle injuries, strains, sprains, arthritis, decreased flexion, and reduced functionality are among the most commonly-accepted claims. To qualify for disability payments for a musculoskeletal disease or injury, you must be able to demonstrate some continuing and recurring symptoms, such as:
- reduced range of motion (ROM) or limited flexion
- loss of coordination or movement control
- general loss of power or fatigue or weakness in an extremity
- painful movement
To accomplish this, seek the guidance of disability lawyers.
The VA will unlikely doubt the connection of scars to military service since scarring is normally documented in service records. However, scarring has to be significantly disabling for claims to be rated, such as when it leads to musculoskeletal issues like the ones mentioned above.
Mental Health Conditions
Fighting in wars, killing other human beings, seeing your comrades die, and being in survival mode for prolonged periods of time often lead to acute mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Like tinnitus, mental health disability claims are easy to assert because they are very subjective, have no definitive tests for them, and are very difficult for the VA to disprove with medical evidence alone. Unlike tinnitus, mental health conditions could be given disability ratings of 30% or higher, and that the probability of being rated that much is even higher than for most skin, brain, and musculoskeletal conditions.
VA Disability Percentages for Presumptive Disorders
Given specific contexts, the VA presumes certain disabling health conditions to be service-connected and does not require claimants to submit evidence to prove these to be so. These health conditions are called presumptive disorders.
To illustrate, if you fought in the Vietnam war between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 and you suffer respiratory cancer, that cancer is considered presumptive, i.e., undoubtedly due to your military service then. This is because the US military sprayed vast quantities of a herbicide mixture called Agent Orange to defoliate areas that may be hiding enemies and destroy crops that may be feeding them. Since it became so common for Vietnam War veterans to claim to suffer from medical conditions resulting from inhaling Agent Orange, those conditions were later recognized as presumptive.
Check out this Veterans Affairs document to learn more about presumptive disorders.
If you’re suffering from disabilities acquired during the time you served your country, your country is obligated to compensate you with disability benefits. To ensure the approval of your VA disability claims, seek help from disability lawyers.