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Top Seven VA Disability Claims

Top Seven VA Disability Claims

Do you have a VA disability claim? The number of claims is on the rise. The sharp increase in deployments post-9/11 has pushed the number of disabled American Veterans to nearly four million. That is almost half of the Veterans who serve their country in any capacity, stateside or overseas. Most of these VA disability claims involve one of the seven conditions listed below.

The VA and the Department of Defense are the two largest cabinet departments, and the VA is chronically underfunded. Unfortunately for veterans, as the disability rate has increased, the claims denial rate has increased as well as the VA looks for ways to save money. In a bygone era, claims examiners looked for ways to approve applications, so veterans could get the benefits they need and deserve. Today, most claims examiners look for ways to deny these applications. A VA disability attorney levels the playing field, so victims have a much better chance to obtain monthly cash, free medical care, and other life-changing benefits.

These are the seven most common claims made for benefits at the VA.


Tinnitus is a constant ringing in the ears, a condition that may or may not be related to a brain injury or other service-connected injury such as hearing problems. It is the most common disability claim in the United States. By law, the maximum tinnitus disability rating is 10%. So, no matter how much and how loudly your ears ring, limited benefits are available. The good news is that nickel-and-dime disabilities, such as tinnitus, quickly add up to quarters and dollars. Tinnitus is rarely a standalone condition.

Hearing Loss

The most common work-related occupational disease in the United States is the second most common VA disability in the United States. VA benefits are available if an audiogram, which measures the level of decibel loss at various thresholds, shows an average loss of 26 or more decibels in three of the five frequency ranges. Alternatively, benefits are available if a veteran scores lower than 94% on a speech recognition test. A large percentage of veterans with hearing loss are rated at 10% due to the prevalence of advanced hearing aids, which the VA usually pays for.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The third most common VA disability is also the most common high-value claim. Many veterans with PTSD have a 30% disability, especially if they respond to treatment or medication. A 70% rating is also common for veterans with more severe symptoms. Depending on how the symptoms impact the veteran’s everyday life, they may be able to apply for a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU), which can ultimately result in 100% benefits for veterans with a less-than-100% rating. Such veterans have to prove their disability prevents them from maintaining gainful employment.

Physical Scars

Visible scars, which usually mean a 0 or 10% disability rating, are some of the only disability applications that many veterans can handle themselves. Scars are visible and easy to connect to in-service injuries. Veterans simply take a color photo of a scar and related skin condition and upload it to their claims file. Sometimes pain can be associated with scars which is one reason for a compensable rating.

Knee Flexion Limitation

Musculoskeletal system conditions, such as limited range of motion in the knee, must involve limitation of range of motion (flexion) and/or painful motion. Musculoskeletal disabilities, which are usually assigned a 20% disability rating, can also be filed as secondary VA disability claims, and can be caused or made worse any of the following conditions: medication side effects, depression and anxiety, PTSD, TBI, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), right side of body injuries affect left side of body (and vice versa) and spine, neck, back, hips, arms, legs, and feet, among others. Thus, these sorts of disabilities are often secondary to, or adjudicated together with, the primary disabilities.

Lumbosacral or Cervical Strain

Medication is available for these conditions. If the condition is so bad that it requires surgery, the disability rating could be as high as 100%. If surgery corrects or improves the condition, the rating may be decreased once the veteran recovers from surgery or otherwise improves. The same musculoskeletal rules discussed above apply in these cases.

Sciatic Nerve Paralysis

Back injuries and various musculoskeletal injuries, which can lead to sciatica, or severe radiating pain, are quite common among veterans. Sciatica, the pain that one experiences when the sciatic nerve is irritated, is not an actual diagnosis of a problem. Instead, it is an accurate way of describing the location of the pain. Sciatica develops when the pressure on the spinal nerve causes pain to develop on the lower back, buttocks, and legs.

Work With Diligent Attorneys

An attorney is a valuable partner in all phases of a disability claim. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans disability lawyer, contact Cameron Firm, P.C. at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box on our website. We are here to represent veterans nationwide.

This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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