Physical Conditions – Veteran Disability Claims

Military personnel have a high risk of suffering physical injuries and developing debilitating physical conditions both in and out of combat roles. For all the reasons obvious to military veterans, many times there will be little, if any, documentation of injuries or treatment in service because the veteran was trained not to complain, did not want complaints impacting promotability, or did not want to be removed from status for a health condition. Supporting veterans with disability benefits for these service-related physical conditions is essential. No service treatment records does not necessarily mean no service connection and Bartlett Legal Group specializes in working with veterans who have been denied because there was no in-service treatment. 

Veterans can get disability benefits for their service-related health conditions to offset the many costs these disabilities can generate, such as medical bills and lost earning ability. While these claims promise financial relief for veterans’ injury expenses, they can also end up becoming a headache themselves when they are denied by the VA. 

Bartlett Legal Group offers free consultations so veterans can meet with accredited attorneys to answer their questions. Our team of experienced veterans’ disability lawyers can assist you in appealing the denial of your claim to get you the veterans’ disability benefits you are entitled to and help you stabilize after suffering from the financial effects of your condition. 

To contact Bartlett Legal Group to schedule a free consultation on your veteran disability claim you can either call (850) 332-6434 or schedule through our  contact page.

Common Physical Conditions in Veterans’ Disability Claims

The possible injuries that you can suffer as a result of conditions experienced during military service vary greatly from mild cosmetic damage to life-altering wounds and chronic disabilities. The physical conditions veterans file disability claims for consequently vary just as much.

Common disabilities include:

Limitation of Joint Motion

Joints bear the brunt of a lot of shock and trauma inflicted on the body and can end up with injuries that affect their motion. Many veterans seek disability benefits to cover issues they have with decreased range of motion in their knees, shoulders, ankles, and limbs in general. 

Limited flexion of the knee is the most common version of this issue seen in disability claims but any joint is potentially able to suffer issues that can impede a veteran’s mobility. These conditions can be caused by direct physical trauma, repetitive motion, and strain that can occur in a variety of military roles. 

Radiculopathies, including Sciatica (Paralysis of the Sciatic Nerve)

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body located in the lower back that travels down the legs. It is often damaged by ruptured discs in the vertebrae, spinal stenosis, and severe strain on the lower back resulting in a plethora of symptoms. 

This condition is  known as sciatica and can cause, chronic pain, weakness, numbness, paralysis, and difficulty walking. 

Migraine Headaches

One physical condition that many veterans do not realize they can seek disability benefits for is migraines. These severe headaches can be associated with physical injuries or secondary to chronic conditions, such as tinnitus. This condition leaves some veterans unable to carry out certain tasks or can even come in attacks that leave some bedridden for a period of time. 

Migraines are not just bad headaches but severe bouts of head pain that can interfere with a person’s ability to function and cause additional symptoms. Veterans with migraines often report nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound accompanying their migraines.

Scarring and Disfiguration

One of the most common conditions that veterans seek disability benefits for is scarring. It is not surprising that veterans can come away from their service with some  physical scarring but for some, these scars are much more than some skin tissue that is mostly just a cosmetic blemish. Many veterans have extensive scarring that can come from all kinds of sources like lacerations, burns, punctures, etc. that can have lingering effects. 

Veterans with severe scars can have them exhibit chronic pain, inhibition of movement, and in general be cosmetically displeasing and cause social problems. 

In order to be eligible for VA disability benefits, veteran scarring needs to fulfill several of the following criteria, but not all:

The scar is 5 or more inches in length

The width of the scar is ¼ inch at the widest part

The surface of the scar elevates or depresses when pressed upon

The scar is adherent to the soft tissue underneath it

The scar must have Hypopigmentation (loss of skin color) or hyperpigmentation (skin color darkening) in an area larger than 6 square inches

The scar must have abnormal skin texture in an area larger than 6 square inches

The underlying soft tissue beneath the scar is missing in an area larger than 6 square inches

The skin of the scar or around is inflexible and indurated (i.e. hard) in an area exceeding 6 square inches

Tinnitus and Hearing Loss

Extremely loud sounds accompany many roles in the United States Military both combat and support-oriented. Weapon fire, explosive detonation, aircraft, vehicles, and other machinery can create high enough sound levels that hearing damage is possible. Many veterans come away from their service with hearing issues as a result, which they can receive VA disability benefits for.

Tinnitus is a common condition in VA claims that involves hearing damage that results in a constant whining, buzzing, hissing, humming, or other sound being heard with no external source. Hearing loss is also common with varying degrees of impairment. 

How to File a VA Disability Claim 

VA disability claims offer a form of relief for veterans suffering from service-related conditions but can only be obtained if certain criteria are met. First of all, you must have served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training in the United States Military with an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions.

Veterans seeking benefits must also be diagnosed with a health condition that can be connected their time in the military. The injury can either be suffered during or after their military due to conditions experienced while serving or it can be a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by conditions while serving. 

In order to file a claim, you can either fill out the online veterans’ disability claim form on the VA website or file by mail by filling out VA Form 21-526EZ. One of the crucial components of filing for filing a disability claim is gathering evidence to prove the service connection, credibility, and severity of your injury. 

This evidence will typically include a medical nexus from your doctor diagnosing your condition and linking it to your service. Additional evidence can include service records and statements from people who witnessed your injury and the effects of your disability. 

How a VA Disability Claim Lawyer Can Help

With a veterans’ disability lawyer on your side, you can be confident that your claim’s appeal will be on the right path and your representation will help you navigate through the many bureaucratic obstacles of the process. Your VA lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove your condition, assist with your VA claim forms, develop a strategy to best approach having your claim appealed, and stand with you when speaking to representatives of VA or in a hearing to look out for your best interests.

VA Disability Claim Physical Condition FAQS

How much does a VA benefits claim lawyer cost?

In most cases, if you don’t get paid, they don’t get paid. Your veterans’ disability lawyer will not require you to pay for their services at an hourly rate or require you to make a considerable down payment upfront. In most instances, veterans’ disability benefits attorneys work for a contingency fee that is paid after your claim has been resolved and your benefits acquired. 

The contingent fee works by signing an agreement with your lawyer that gives them a percentage of the money that they get for you after they successfully have your case appealed. This percentage is usually 20-30% depending on the lawyer and case.

How long does a veterans’ disability claim take?

A VA disability benefits claim can take anywhere from roughly a hundred or so days to sometimes years to resolve. Each claim is different and the demands on the VA will change so wait times will change as well. The bottom line is that disability benefits claims take some time.

Appeals of denied claims can also be a lengthy process depending on the type of appeal you decide is right. Simply having your claim reviewed or filing a supplemental claim will take much less time than a hearing with the Board of Veteran’s Appeals

How long do I have to file a veterans’ disability claim?

There is no deadline for filing a VA disability benefits claim since there are illnesses like cancer and asbestosis that do not display symptoms until many years after the initial cause of their development occurred. However, VA disability claim appeals have a deadline of one year after the date of the denial’s mailing. This is not to be confused with the date of the denial letter’s arrival.

Contact Bartlett Legal Group About Your Veterans’ Disability Claim

If you are encountering difficulty getting the veterans’ disability benefits you are entitled to after the VA denied your claim then contact the Bartlett Legal Group. Our team of experienced veterans’ disability lawyers offers legal representation for veterans struggling to have their voice heard amongst the red tape of the VA. 

Our veterans’ benefits lawyers offer free consultations to veterans with claim denials who want to know more about what can be done to appeal their rejected claim. Meeting with our team can at the very least give you some answers to your questions and provide you some options on how to proceed with your case.

To contact the Bartlett Legal Group to schedule a free consultation on your veteran disability claim you can either call (850) 332-6434 or schedule online through our contact page.

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