The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) considers hyperhidrosis a qualifying disability for veterans benefits. Unfortunately, this does not make obtaining hyperhidrosis veterans benefits easy.
If you received a denial of disability benefits for hyperhidrosis, do not lose hope. You are not alone. A veterans disability advocate can help you appeal the denial and fight for the benefits you need.
VA Compensation Claims for Hyperhidrosis—Everything You Need to Know
Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which the body overproduces sweat. Most people sweat when they get too hot or are engaged in exercise, which raises their body temperature. Sweating is a cool-off mechanism. However, with hyperhidrosis, the excessive sweating is not necessarily related to heat or physical activity. Instead, it results from overactive nerves signaling the sweat glands without the usual trigger (exercise or heat).
This type of hyperhidrosis that occurs all on its own is called primary focal hyperhidrosis. Doctors don’t know what causes the nerves to become overactive, but it could be related to heredity and worsens with nervousness and stress. It typically affects the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, underarms, and face.
Hyperhidrosis can be so severe that it disrupts your normal daily activities. Additionally, it can lead to social anxiety, embarrassment, and emotional distress. All of these issues should be discussed in detail with your doctor or mental health practitioner, who can document them for your disability application.
Providing Strong Evidence of Your Hyperhidrosis to the VA
If you are seeking VA disability for hyperhidrosis, it’s imperative that you clearly and strongly show a nexus between your in-service event and the condition. As the exact cause of primary focal hyperhidrosis is unknown, showing a correlation between the event and the onset of the condition, specifically as it relates to time, will be key.
Presenting supporting research will also make a big difference. For example, aim to provide the VA with a doctor’s well-informed opinion of the condition’s likely cause and how it affects your daily life. This information will go a long way in convincing the agency that you deserve to receive benefits.
Getting Hyperhidrosis Veterans Benefits
The criteria for obtaining disability benefits are strict, and there are three things your appeal must establish to be successful:
You Have a Current Hyperhidrosis Diagnosis
You must present proof of a current diagnosis of hyperhidrosis. This is typically as simple as providing paperwork or a statement from your doctor.
You Experienced Some Form of In-Service Event
The evidence must demonstrate an event during your service that caused your hyperhidrosis or that your condition started while you were serving.
There Is a Nexus Between Your In-Service Event/Onset and Your Diagnosis
You must have a medical nexus between your in-service event/in-service onset and your hyperhidrosis diagnosis.
You May Be Able to Establish Secondary Service Connection
Secondary hyperhidrosis is when the condition is the result of another medical condition. Though medically less common, you may have an easier time showing that your hyperhidrosis resulted from a different service-connected disability.
In fact, hyperhidrosis is a secondary condition of many different types of service-connected disabilities. For example, hyperhidrosis can stem from:
- Nervous system disorders
- Heart attack
- Certain cancers
- And more
Depending on your situation, you may have developed one of these disorders or diseases due to your military service.
In addition, certain medications can lead to hyperhidrosis. If you are taking something to treat a service-connected condition that is causing excessive sweating, that would be considered a secondary service-connected disability.
A VA Disability Advocate Can Help You Prove Your Secondary Service-Connected Disability
If you cannot establish a direct service connection for your hyperhidrosis, a secondary service connection may be an option. An example would be if you developed diabetes after suffering exposure to Agent Orange, and your diabetes causes excessive sweating. In that case, an advocate can help you establish a secondary service connection for your hyperhidrosis in your appeal.
If you believe your primary condition is service-connected but have not established a service connection with your secondary condition, an advocate can help.
A Advocate Will Fight to Get You the Highest Disability Rating Possible for Your Hyperhidrosis
The compensation you receive each month depends on the severity of your hyperhidrosis. VA uses specific criteria to rate the severity of your condition. They are as follows:
- 30%: “Unable to handle paper or tools because of moisture, and unresponsive to therapy”
- 0%: “Able to handle paper or tools after therapy”
According to VA’s 2022 veterans disability compensation rates, monthly compensation for hyperhidrosis is:
- 0%: $0 per month
- 30%: $467.39 per month
If you receive a 30% disability rating and you have dependents (spouse, dependent children, or dependent parents), you can receive higher compensation each month.
An advocate can make your appeal as strong as possible to get you the highest amount of compensation available.
Your Hyperhidrosis May Qualify You for 100% Disability Benefits
If your service-connected hyperhidrosis prevents you from being able to work at all, you may be able to receive the “Individual Unemployability” (IU) designation. Per VA, this designation would allow you to automatically receive disability benefits the same as someone with a total disability (or 100% disability rating) without actually having a 100% disability rating. This is a plausible scenario because of the way hyperhidrosis is known to disrupt a person’s normal functionality.
The criteria you will have to meet for individual unemployability include:
- You are not able to maintain a job due to the condition.
- You have a single disability rating of at least 60% OR you have multiple disability ratings with a combined rating of 70%. In the second scenario, at least one of the ratings has to be 40% or higher.
It is possible to qualify for Individual Unemployability with a lower disability rating in certain cases. The VA decides this on a case-by-case basis.
How a Veterans Disability Advocate Can Help With Your Hyperhidrosis Case
A veterans disability advocate can do the following for you:
Determine Your Reason for Denial
While your denial notice should explain why VA denied your claim, it is not always straightforward. An advocate can explain it to you in a way you can understand.
Determine the Best Route to Take to Appeal
You have different options for approaching your appeal, per the new decision review process. A VA disability advocate can help determine the best lane through which you should put your appeal (the higher-level review lane or the supplemental claim lane, or the Board of Veterans’ Appeals lane).
Help You Gather the Necessary Evidence to Prove Your Condition Is Service-Connected
A veterans disability advocate will determine what your appeal needs to be successful and assist you in gathering the information you require. For example, this might include further information from your doctor or a statement from your employer.
Fight for the Highest Disability Rating/File for an Increased Hyperhidrosis Disability Rating
If you have filed a claim for hyperhidrosis and received a grant, but you believe your disability rating is lower than you deserve, a veterans disability advocate can fight to increase it.
Alternatively, if you filed for an increased rating for your hyperhidrosis but received a decision to continue your rating, a veterans disability advocate can help you appeal. An advocate can gather medical records and evidence from your doctors and other parties to establish the severity of your condition.
Call Today to Get Help from a Veterans Disability Advocate
You served your country admirably. If you develop a disability because of it, you deserve compensation for that disability. Call today for veterans disability help. The initial consultation is free.