Veterans with back injuries sustained during military services could receive a VA disability rating ranging from 10% to 100%. The exact rating that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) assigns is based upon the severity of the injury, limitation of range of motion (ROM), or loss of function and disability.
A service connection should be established for your back injury, and you will receive VA disability benefits as monetary compensation. However, the veteran must prove that the back injury occurred when performing military service due to a specific event.
Factors That Affect Your VA Disability Compensation
Most of the time, veterans suffer from various back injuries brought about by extreme active military duties. They sustain back injuries during training or from lifting and carrying heavy loads on their backs most of the time.
The back injuries can lead to physical disability, resulting in unemployment and substantial medical bills. Therefore, veterans are eligible for VA disability benefits for back injuries as long as a service connection can be proved.
The following factors have an effect on how much VA disability you can get for back pain.
Magnitude of the Disability
The amount of VA disability benefits you receive monthly is largely determined by the extent of impairment caused by the back injury. The more severe the back injury is, the more benefits you could receive. VA usually determines the level of damage using a disability rating schedule. The disability rating schedule is 0% to 100%, with zero being the least severe and 100% the most severe.
Range of motion (ROM) is also used to determine the level of disability and back pain injury ratings. If the ROM is highly restricted, the higher the monetary compensation possible.
Currently, VA disability rates as of December 1st, 2021, are listed as follows:
- 0% disability ratings: $0.00 per month
- 10% disability ratings: $152.64 per month
- 20% disability ratings: $301.74 per month
- 30% disability ratings: $467.39 per month
- 40% disability ratings: $673.28 per month
- 50% disability ratings: $958.44 per month
- 60% disability rating: $1,214.03 per month
- 70% disability ratings: $1,529.95 per month
- 80% disability ratings: $1,778.43 per month
- 90% disability ratings: $1,998.52 per month
- 100% disability ratings: $3,332.06 per month
Inability to Work Due to Back Pain Injury
Veterans who lose their source of income or can’t be employed due to their back pain injuries may qualify for total disability benefits through VA’s Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) option.
If you prove a service connection for back pain resulting in loss of income, you can qualify for 100% disability ratings benefits of $3,332.06 per month.
Proof of Service Connection for a Back Pain Injury
You must provide proof of a service connection for a back pain injury to qualify for VA disability benefits. The back pain injury must result from a specific military service event. Establishing this requires:
- A medical report showing the cause and extent of the back pain injury
- The link between the diagnosed medical back condition and a military event leading to the injury (VA requires a medical expert’s opinion, indicating your injury from a military event.)
- Proof that a service event happened to cause the back injury
VA has a reputation for being strict when awarding disability benefits. Therefore, you have to provide robust evidence when presenting your claim.
Not all diagnosed back pain qualifies for VA disability benefits. A medical diagnosis that meets the VA’s set standards is required. A list of back injuries that are eligible for disability benefits is provided. For example, if your medical condition is caused by spinal stenosis and it’s service-connected, you could receive disability benefits.
VA has a right to reject your application if your medical condition fails to meet the set criteria for benefits.
Number of Dependents
The number of dependents you have can determine the amount of VA disability benefits you can receive. Veterans with a disability rating of at least 30% qualify for an additional benefit. The dependents include children, young adults between the ages of 18 and 23, spouses, and dependent parents. Therefore, if your disability rating is at least 30% and you have dependents, you could receive more from VA for your back pain.
Hire an Advocate to Get the Benefits You Deserve
If you were denied disability benefits or don’t agree with the disability rating you received, a VA disability advocate can help you request a decision review. You may need to provide additional evidence or get a second opinion on your initial claim. You do not have to do this alone—call for a free consultation.