Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that causes inflammation of the connective tissue in your heel. It afflicts the band of fascia that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes
Symptoms include sharp, stabbing pain in the heel and bottom of the foot that worsens with walking or prolonged periods of standing. It can also create swelling in the heel and a tightened Achilles tendon with pain that is typically the worst in the morning. Untreated plantar fasciitis can lead to increased knee, hip, and back pain due to adjusting your gait to avoid pain in your feet.
You are at a greater risk for developing plantar fasciitis if you:
- Are over 40
- Are female
- Have flat feet or high arches
- Are overweight
- Have an atypical walk pattern, such as inward pronation
- Engage in activities that place stress on the heel and attached tissue of the foot, such as long-distance running or other types of prolonged exercise which are common in active duty service
- Work in an occupation that requires you to stand or walk on hard or uneven surfaces for an extended period
- Wear poorly fitted shoes with inadequate arch or heel support or high heels
Veterans can receive a service-connected disability rating if they document plantar fasciitis developed or worsened due to military service, entitling them up to a 40% disability rating.
Plantar Fasciitis VA Disability Rating Criteria
Depending on the severity of symptoms and whether both feet are affected, Veterans can receive a disability rating of 10%-40% based on the following criteria.
A 10% rating is awarded to a Veteran diagnosed with plantar fasciitis who has found relief with prescribed treatment methods for one or both feet.
A 20% rating is awarded to a Veteran diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in one foot and has not found relief using non-surgical or surgical treatment.
A 30% rating is awarded if a Veteran has not found relief from non-surgical or surgical treatments and plantar fasciitis affects both feet.
A 40% rating is awarded to a Veteran who loses the use of a foot.
Under the VA Schedule of Ratings for Musculoskeletal System, there is no specific rating for plantar fasciitis. However, plantar fasciitis is rated under the diagnostic code for flat feet since it can be linked to flat feet.
Secondary Conditions to Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis can be approved as a secondary condition to other military-connected medical conditions, such as existing knee, hip, or back pain, flatfeet, or foot trauma
If a Veteran has already received a disability rating for these other conditions, and they can show their plantar fasciitis was caused by a previously diagnosed service-connected condition or worsened from military service, they can apply for a secondary disability rating.
To qualify for a secondary disability rating for plantar fasciitis, you must prove:
- You have a current diagnosis of plantar fasciitis
- Your plantar fasciitis is connected to another military-connected disability or was worsened due to your military service
- You have a primary service-connected disability
Flat foot is closely associated with plantar fasciitis, which is rated from 0% to 50%, based on the severity of the condition.
A Veteran can be awarded 0% disability if the flat foot is mild and can be managed through non-invasive treatments such as orthotics. Veterans can receive a 30% rating if a flat foot is pronounced but only affects one foot and a 50% rating if a flat foot is pronounced in both feet.
Evidence and Documentation You’ll Need To Get a VA Plantar Fasciitis Rating
In addition to complete medical records and test results, Veterans must establish a service connection to their plantar fasciitis diagnosis to be awarded a VA disability rating. There are specific criteria to link the two elements.
Veterans must submit a current medical diagnosis of plantar fasciitis from a qualified medical professional. In this case, that is normally a podiatrist. For an initial claim, the VA may require you to undergo a compensation and pension (C&P) exam that will help pinpoint your condition and allow you to explain how plantar fasciitis is restricting your ability to live your life. The podiatrist will conduct a physical examination and order X-rays to look for evidence of plantar fasciitis, such as calcified heel spurs
Veterans can use medical professionals in the Veteran Ratings network to help them complete this critical task.
Veterans must also supply documentation of a specific event, injury, or exposure during the Veteran’s military service that could reasonably cause or exacerbate a plantar fasciitis condition.
In addition, a medical nexus provides medical evidence or expert input connecting the diagnosed plantar fasciitis to events or conditions during active duty service.
Filing a Claim for a VA Plantar Fasciitis Rating
To qualify for VA disability benefits for plantar fasciitis, you must prove that your military service caused or aggravated your symptoms. Service records should contain information about pertinent injuries or conditions that led to plantar fasciitis or worsened an existing case. You can also provide your medical records to show how the symptoms are curtailing your normal activities.
You might still qualify for benefits if your plantar fasciitis diagnosis happened after leaving active duty. Some causes of plantar fasciitis can be linked to active duty activities that can later lead to an onset.
To apply for benefits for plantar fasciitis as a primary disability, Veteran Ratings can pair you with one of our Veteran consulting partners who can guide you through the process of filing for the first time or an increase. If you’re applying for secondary benefits for plantar fasciitis, you can use our partner’s network of medical providers who will spend time with you to understand your current conditions.
Appeals and Reconsiderations
If your disability claim for plantar fasciitis is denied, you will receive a denial letter from the VA on how they reached their decision. You can use this information to determine what new evidence you should submit with your appeal, which you must do within one year after you get the decision letter.
However, due to the complex nature of supplemental claims and appeals, Veteran Ratings and our consulting partners only guide current clients.
Using Veteran Ratings to Navigate VA Plantar Fasciitis Claims Effectively
To ensure the best chance for the highest disability rating, Veterans must have a qualified medical professional diagnosis and show proof that they developed plantar fasciitis or their condition worsened duty to military service.
You can meet with Veteran Ratings for a free consultation. From there, we can pair you up with a Veteran consulting partner, including their nationwide network of medical professionals, who can guide you in what evidence and documentation are needed for your plantar fasciitis claim
We have a 95% success rate in assisting Veterans with their initial claim submissions, so you will save time and gain peace of mind knowing you are creating your best chance for approval after you contact us.
FAQs About VA Plantar Fasciitis Ratings
Can I claim a service connection for plantar fasciitis if symptoms appeared before military service?
Veterans who entered active duty with pre-existing heel pain or foot injuries may be able to claim service connection by aggravation if their plantar fasciitis worsens. Medical records for aggravated plantar fasciitis must prove that the worse condition is not temporary. A doctor must also provide written documentation that the plantar fasciitis worsened strictly due to military service and not natural disease progression.
Can I claim a service connection for plantar fasciitis if symptoms appeared after military service?
Plantar fasciitis symptoms triggered or made worse by active duty activities may not appear until long after service is complete. Veterans can establish a disability claim after the fact, but they must provide medical records and tests from active duty treatment to help support a disability claim.
Is there a time limit for filing a VA Plantar Fasciitis rating claim?
There is no time limit on filing a post-service claim. The process may become more complicated the longer you wait, so it is best to file a claim sooner rather than later in most cases
Can a VA plantar fasciitis disability rating change over time?
The VA can assign a temporary or permanent rating to Veterans with plantar fasciitis. The VA may assign a temporary rating if it is determined the Veteran’s condition can improve over time. The VA will assign a permanent rating if plantar fasciitis is likely to remain persistent.
Are VA disability benefits for plantar fasciitis taxable?
All VA disability benefits are not taxable
How much will I receive if my plantar fasciitis disability claim is approved?
You can view the VA’s complete schedule of disability ratings and corresponding payments to understand better what to expect when you’re approved.