Veterans who sustain an illness, injury, or condition due to their military service or who experience worsening symptoms of an existing condition due to service may be eligible for disability reimbursement from the Veterans Administration.
Veterans can file claims with the VA, which will review the submission and determine whether a Veteran is entitled to service-connected compensation. As part of the approval, the VA assigns percentage ratings ranging from 0% to 100% in 10% increments and uses a pre-determined payment scale that takes into account if a Veteran has a spouse, children, or other dependents to support. A 0% disability rating means you are fully able-bodied, while a 100% disability rating means you are fully disabled. /span>
There are many qualifying disabilities, but some are more common than others. To help you better understand what those claims are and what you can expect with a disability rating, here’s a quick look at the most common types of VA disability claims.
Common VA Disability Claims
Here’s a quick look at some of the most common types of VA disability claims.
|Tinnitus||Veterans with tinnitus hear sounds such as buzzing, ringing, or whooshing with no external source. This condition can be caused by loud noises such as gunfire, bombs, or constant exposure to machinery.||0% to 10%||Tinnitus is a presumptive service connection, meaning Veterans do not need to establish a link between the condition and their service.|
|People with hearing loss often have some ability to hear, but things may sound muffled, or they may have difficulty understanding others in crowded or noisy locations, according to the Mayo Clinic. Hearing loss can have many causes, some of which can be related to military service. Exposure to loud noises from firearms, jet engines, and machinery can all contribute to hearing loss.||0% to 100%||Veterans must have their hearing tested by a state-licensed audiologist who conducts a controlled speech discrimination test and a pure-tone audiometry test.
Hearing loss is a presumptive service-connected condition and is often diagnosed with tinnitus.
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
|This mental health disorder develops in Veterans who experience dangerous or frightening events such as in combat. Veterans are often nervous, have trouble sleeping, ongoing anxiety, or feel in danger long after threatening events have passed.
|0% to 100%||To qualify for a PTSD diagnosis, a Veteran must have symptoms that continue for at least one month. PTSD is also connected to secondary disabilities such as depression or anxiety. A rating is based on how much PTSD affects a Veteran’s occupational and social functions.|
|Sciatica, Paralysis of the Sciatic Nerve||Back injuries, and various musculoskeletal injuries can lead to Sciatica, creating severe and radiating pain, numbness in the legs or lower back, muscle weakness, burning sensation, and in severe cases, inability to move feet and legs
|0% to 80%||A sciatic nerve condition can create paralysis of the sciatic nerve, which causes all of the muscles in the leg and below the knee to fail to work which could result in an 80% disability benefits rating. Sciatica is usually caused by other back issues like spinal stenosis or disc herniations making it easier to create a service-connected link.|
|Veterans can sustain scars during combat, accidents, fires, and other incidents during their service. Scar ratings are based on body location, damage to the underlying tissue, and whether the scars are painful or unstable,||0% to 80%, based on the amount of visible or palpable tissue loss, gross distortion of features or other disfigure elements defined by the VA.||Scarring can also cause secondary disabilities such as limited mobility, problems with sight, breathing, or other conditions.
|Spine, Lumbosacral or Cervical Strain||This is an injured, stretched, or torn muscle or tendon in a Veteran’s neck. It is linked to trauma and overuse.
|0% to 100%||Ratings between 10% and 40% based partly on the ability to bend forward and move in the other 5 directions. Ratings between 50% and 100% are based on the level of ankylosing spondylitis present. Although it is painful, it is commonly treated with over-the-counter pain medications.|
|Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)||Some common symptoms of GERD include upper chest or abdominal pain, usually after eating when lying down or at night, trouble swallowing, new or worsening asthma, and others.
|0% to 60%,||GERD can be a stand-alone condition to an existing VA rating. It is commonly associated with conditions such as anxiety and stress disorders, hiatal hernias, and the use of some medications to treat other conditions.|
|Diabetes mellitus Type 2
|This condition develops when a Veteran’s cells become insulin resistant, leading to high blood sugar, leading to heart and kidney disease, vision loss, and other health degradations over time.||0% to 100%, based on whether it can be managed by diet, requires insulin or other medications, medical care or hospitalization.||Type 2 diabetes is a presumptive disorder for Veterans who develop it within one year of release from active duty or were exposed to Agent Orange during their service. Otherwise, veterans must establish a service connection.|
|This disabling neurological disease causes intense pain, nausea, vomiting, and sensory sensitivities. It can also be linked to secondary disabilities ranging from PTSD, concussions, and neck trauma.||0% for mild and infrequent migraines to 50% for frequent and prolonged episodes||Claims are often based on how much migraines impact a Veteran’s ability to work.|
|Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)||Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, CFS is characterized by extreme fatigue, dizziness, pain, memory problems, headaches, and sleep difficulties. It can be caused by psychological stress, viral infections, hormonal imbalances caused by high-stress military training, depression, and anxiety.||The VA includes CFS on the list of presumptive conditions suffered by Gulf War veterans.|
|Servicemembers may develop chronic sinusitis, rhinitis, bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer, COPD, and other similar conditions after exposure to oil well fires, open-air burn pits, sand and dust particulates, asbestos, carbon monoxide, and other toxic air pollutants.||0% to 100%||Different conditions will impact the disability percentage, which can be found under the VA disability rating 38 CFR § 4.97. Some respiratory disorders are considered presumptive conditions for Veterans who served in specific theaters during certain time periods.|
Are Some VA Claims More Often Approved Than Others?
Every VA claim is different, and each is treated on the merits of the individual claim and not based on the type of disability under which a Veteran is seeking compensation.
Several factors contribute to a claim’s failure or success. The best way to ensure approval as quickly as possible is to provide thorough and comprehensive evidence and documentation demonstrating a Veteran’s injuries or condition and establishing a service connection.
The most common reasons why disability claims are rejected include:
- Missing important deadlines
- Your condition does not qualify under VA regulations
- The VA does not find a service connection
- Incomplete paperwork or it is not properly filled out
- The VA disagrees with a treating doctor’s assessment
- Filing a disability claim is long and complicated
- Missing mandatory exams and doctor’s appointments
- A Veteran had a non-aggravated, pre-existing condition that did not worsen during military service.
How Veteran Ratings Can Help Veterans Get Claims Approval
The VA disability claims process is complicated and requires an applicant to complete several steps to give them the best chance for approval. This can feel overwhelming for many Veterans, especially if their condition is particularly debilitating.
To overcome these challenges, Veteran Ratings will provide a free evaluation of your service-connected disability and pair you up with a Veteran consulting partner who can guide you in what evidence and documentation are needed for a claim. We have a 95% success rate in assisting Veterans with their initial claim submissions.
In addition to our free consultation you can also work with medical professionals in our partner’s nationwide network of providers, saving time and gaining peace of mind knowing you are creating your best chance for approval.