Most veterans seeking disability benefits must prove to the VA that their current medical condition is related to their military service. This is done through evidence like medical records.
Once a claim has been filed, the VA creates a C-File (Claims File). This is where all of the documentation related to your claim is located.
Musculoskeletal System Conditions
Navigating the world of types of VA disability claims can be both overwhelming and crucial for veterans seeking the benefits they deserve. Musculoskeletal conditions generally include injuries and diseases affecting the muscles, bones, joints, and adjacent connective tissues that cause pain and impair movement. These ailments can also affect people’s ability to work and participate in society.
Back pain, arthritis of the hip, knee, and wrist/hand, and inflammatory arthropathies make up most of these disabilities. These four conditions account for most of 100% of VA disability ratings awarded each year.
To determine the severity of a musculoskeletal condition, veterans typically attend a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam. An examiner will measure how far the veteran bends forward, backward, and side-to-side during this exam using a goniometer tool. The examiner will then rate the severity of the condition based on the results. This rating is then added to a veteran’s total disability percentage. The higher the disability percentage, the more money a veteran receives.
Mental Health Conditions
People with mental health conditions may be able to apply for disability compensation related to these conditions. These conditions, such as depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia, can have an impact on a person’s ability to work or engage in regular family activities. They can also impact relationships and social life.
The prevalence of mental health conditions varies according to several factors, including gender and socioeconomic status. For example, in a recent survey on mental health, females were nearly four times more likely than males to have had a depressive disorder in the previous week. Other risk factors include childhood experiences, genetic family history, poverty, and a lack of social support.
It is important to remember that most symptoms of mental illnesses are treatable. Effective treatment, often a combination of medication and psychotherapy, can help improve the symptoms.
The VA recognizes some medical conditions as presumptive disabilities, meaning they are assumed to be connected with a vet’s military service. It makes it easier for veterans to qualify for disability benefits if they have these illnesses or diseases, especially if they can’t work and need help paying their bills.
For example, former POWs can qualify for presumptive disabilities such as cirrhosis of the liver, osteoporosis, peripheral neuropathy, irritable bowel syndrome, beriberi heart disease, pellagra, chronic dysentery, and other nutritional deficiencies. Similarly, veterans who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange during military service can receive advance payments from Social Security until their VA disability rating is rated or six months (whichever comes first).
However, veterans with other presumptive conditions still need to provide evidence that the health condition is connected to their military service to be awarded benefits. It can be done by submitting current medical records, test results, diagnosis reports, and other documentation of their condition.
The VA defines many different disabilities. Some are service-connected on a direct or presumptive basis. Others may be aggravated or made worse by service, qualifying for an individual unemployability (TDIU) rating.
In some cases, a neurological condition can qualify for a disability award alone or with other conditions that make the claimant unemployable. For example, a neurological disorder that leads to permanent and significant limitations, such as paralysis of the sciatic nerve, can qualify on its own or in combination with other disabilities like PTSD or depression.
Veterans dissatisfied with a decision on their disability claim can request a review.