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Monday, November 10, 2014

Claiming Conditions for VA Disability

Last week, I received a really good question that I think deserves some further discussion.

When filling out the VA Disability Claim form, should I list every condition I have, even if multiple conditions affect the same body part?

Yes! Definitely list every single DIAGNOSED condition that you have. If you are unsure whether or not the condition is officially diagnosed, you might as well list it.

It is true that for many body parts, only one VA Disability Rating will be given for the overall functioning of that body part. So even if you have multiple diagnosed conditions affecting that body part, they may only give you a single rating for it. It’s better, though, for them to decide this after considering all of your conditions than for them to only give one rating since only one condition was listed on the claim.

There may be a VARSD Principle or other obscure regulation somewhere that you’re unaware of that makes an exception in your case and allows multiple conditions to be rated. If you don’t list all the conditions, then you won’t get the full disability compensation you deserve.

For example, a muscle condition and a nerve condition in the foot can both be rated if they affect different functions in the foot. Let’s say a veteran has a muscle condition that affects muscle Group XII in the foot. This group controls the ability of the foot to flex upward. The veteran also has damage to the Tibial Nerve which affects the ability of the toes to spread and close. Both conditions affect the foot, but since one affects the toes only and the other affects the flexion of the foot only, then both can be rated separately. But if the veteran does not list both conditions on the form, he won’t get ratings for both eligible conditions.


Regardless of the conditions, it is always the best option to list every condition separately on the VA Disability Claim form.

7 comments:

  1. Sir,

    Is there a supplemental form I can fill out when I have used up all of the space in section 9, page 7, of the VA Form 21-526 EZ? I am retiring from the Marines in about 10 months, and I still have conditions I would like to list, but I have ran out of space on the 21-526EZ. Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eric -

      Are you doing a paper application or an electronic one? If paper, just add an attachment with all the remaining conditions. At the end of section 9, just state "see attachment for remaining conditions" or something along those lines.

      If you're applying online, there should be a place somewhere on the application that allows you to add any additional information. In that box, simply put "Additional conditions to claim" and list the conditions.

      Hope this helps!

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  2. Sir,

    Thank you very much. Your time and assistance are much appreciated. I am submitting a paper copy through my VSO in my local area.

    Thanks Again!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sir,

    I was at the TBI clinic about 18 months ago for some memory loss and organizational issues I was having. They put me through about 4 days straight of testing with mostly cognitive/memorization type stuff. They said my issues might stem from a history of minor concussions that I have had. They never told me that I had a TBI, but they listed my condition as "cognitive disorder". On my VA claim, should I list TBI, cognitive disorder, or memory loss, or all 3?

    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recommend only listing conditions that were actually diagnosed. If you put TBI, they are going to want to see evidence of a TBI diagnosis. Without one, they won't give you a rating for it. If you can get a TBI diagnosis from a VA physician, then you can list it, but without one, I wouldn't include it. You could, but they almost definitely wouldn't give you a rating for it. I would list cognitive disorder and memory loss. They will probably group the two together, but go ahead and list them separately.

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  4. I joined the Army reserves in 1986 and injured my knee during basic training. I was discharged from reserve duty in 1992. As I age my knee has continuously gotten worse and I recently had to have a partial knee replacement. I was told by a vet that I should be entitled to to some military disability since the initial injury happened during basic. hat do you think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as you can provide proof that your current condition is directly a result of that injury during basic, then yes, you can probably qualify. The key is proving service-connection. If you can submit the medical records from the time and a medical opinion from your current physician stating that your current condition is "more likely than not" the result of that initial injury, then you'll have a fairly strong case.

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