More than 4 million veterans currently receive VA disability benefits. Countless more are awaiting decisions about their claims for compensation. Yet many others are struggling with denials or incorrect disability ratings that prevent them from getting the benefits they deserve.
At George Sink, P.A., we understand how frustrating the disability claim process can be. It’s personal to us. Attorney George Sink, Sr. is also a disabled veteran. Our legal team knows the VA through and through. For more than 40 years, our attorneys have cut through the red tape and helped disabled veterans get the VA benefits they need to attain a better quality of life.
What Are the Most Common VA Disability Claims?
Today’s veterans are receiving compensation for more than 21 million types of disabilities. The VA uses a special formula to assign a disability rating to veterans based on their injuries or illnesses. The rating is determined after the VA examines the evidence submitted in the servicemember’s claim for benefits.
According to the most recent VA Annual Benefits Report, the top VA disability claims are:
- Tinnitus – A ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking or hissing in one or both ears. Tinnitus is usually a symptom of an underlying condition, such as hearing loss, a traumatic brain injury, neck injuries and even depression. Many veterans develop tinnitus by working near gunfire, explosives or aircrafts. Chronic or occasional tinnitus can make it difficult to hear or concentrate while working.
- Hearing loss – Auditory problems are common among servicemembers. It’s essential to establish a service connection in order to receive disability benefits for hearing problems. It’s possible to receive a separate rating if you have tinnitus as well as hearing loss.
- Limitation of flexion, knee – Over time, veterans may find that their knees develop a limited range of motion when bending, extending, or both. Disability ratings are assigned based on the severity of the symptoms.
- Lumbosacral or cervical strain – Simply put, this is disabling back and neck pain. Lumbosacral and/or cervical problems can make everyday tasks difficult, such as driving or even taking a shower. Veterans may be further limited by side effects from the painkillers needed to manage spinal conditions.
- Scars, general – Scars can be fairly superficial and still cause pain. Severe scarring or disfigurement can cause lifelong problems or require subsequent surgeries to treat related complications. Common causes of scars include chemical burns and combat-related injuries. The VA rates scars based on their size and location.
- PTSD – Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition caused by experiencing or being exposed to a traumatic event. Veterans who suffer from the disorder can find daily life very challenging. Getting quality treatment from a psychologist or psychologist can help veterans manage their symptoms, but there is no cure.
- Limitation of motion, ankle – Military service can be taxing on all parts of the body. Like the knee, the ankle is evaluated for its stability, flexion and extension before a disability rating is assigned.
- Migraines – A migraine headache can last for hours or even days. People who suffer from migraines experience nausea, pain, light and sound sensitivity, and may even have stroke-like symptoms. The VA evaluates the frequency and severity of the veteran’s migraines to determine a rating.
- Impairment of the knee, general – Knee disabilities are not limited to restrictions on movement. The VA also assigns ratings for injuries such as total and partial knee replacements.
- Paralysis of the sciatic nerve – The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. Sciatica is a condition that develops when pressure on a spinal serve causes pain to radiate from the lower back down through the buttocks and legs. The most severe cases can lead to paralysis. More than 580,000 veterans received VA disability benefits for sciatic nerve paralysis in one recent year.
Are Some VA Disability Claims More Likely To Succeed Than Others?
Many veterans ask, “What are the easiest things to claim for VA disability?” There’s no answer to that question. Every VA claim is different. Two veterans could have the same medical condition and still be assigned a different rating by the VA. Or, to make matters more confusing, one of those veterans could receive benefits while the other one is denied. Why?
A number of factors contribute to a claim’s success or failure. Proof is absolutely key. Your claim should contain evidence that demonstrates your injuries and establishes a service connection. You must show the link between your condition and how its manifestation is a result of your military service. Both medical and lay (non-professional) evidence are important components to build a strong VA disability claim. Many times, claims are denied simply because the veteran does not have sufficient evidence to support their case.
Other reasons why veterans’ disability claims sometimes fail include:
- The VA does not find a service connection.
- The VA does not agree with a treating doctor’s assessment.
- Important deadlines are missed.
- The veteran did not show up for the mandatory C&P exam.
- The VA makes a mistake.
If you’ve been denied, get a copy of your VA C-File. That’s where the VA keeps all of the documentation about your claim for disability benefits. It’s an important resource, especially if you plan to appeal.
How Our VA Disability Compensation Lawyers Can Help You
The VA receives hundreds of thousands of new disability claims every year. Getting a response can take months or longer depending on the circumstances of your case. A lawyer cannot make the process go faster. But having an experienced VA disability lawyer by your side can help make sure that your initial application is complete so that basic errors don’t bring things to a halt.
At DisabledVets.com, we can help with the VA application process from start to finish.
Our first free consultation will involve getting to know you. We want to hear about your injuries and how they affect your life. Then we can review your case and gather any independent evidence needed to support your claim for VA benefits.
Considering an appeal? The VA appeals process is fraught with complex laws and multiple deadlines. Our lawyers will strategize on the best way to win your appeal. Then we will build your case and handle all filings so that you don’t have to worry.
Our firm is available to help 24/7. To learn more, call us or contact us online to arrange your no-cost case review, check out our support and resources page, or check out how we’ve helped other veterans!