We can’t take away the pain of a UTI, but we can take away the pain of applying for VA disability for UTIs and these 7 similar conditions.
Many veterans are unaware that a urinary tract infection (UTI) can lead to complications like kidney failure and sepsis. The medical definition of a UTI is an infection of the urinary tract. Once you experience UTI, there are several genitourinary conditions that the VA will rate if your UTI symptoms match it close enough.
Unfortunately, once a UTI is in your urinary tract, the bacteria can transmit to nearby places in your body like your bladder or urethra. If you leave a urinary tract infection untreated, the bacteria can lead to serious and sometimes deadly complications. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) rates seven conditions of UTI that awards disability compensation.
The one caveat is the VA awards disability compensation for those suffering from UTI caused by bacteria that is not due to any underlying condition, excluding hypertension. Every veteran deserves freeVA disability compensation if they are suffering from a UTI.
In This Article About VA Disability for UTIs:
- Urinary Tract Infection
- The Seven Conditions The VA rates as a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- 1. Disk Disease
- 2. Prostate Cancer
- 3. UTIs that Lead to Obstructive Disorders of the Lungs?!
- 4. Kidney Failure or Impairment
- 5. UTIs and Prostatitis
- 6. Kidney Stones
- 7. Erectile Dysfunction
- Genitourinary System
- Conditions Associated with the Reproductive System
- Medications That Treat UTI
- Common Causes of a UTI
- The Three Types of Urinary Tract Infections
- VA Disability Compensation
- Pain of UTIs
- There Is VA Disability Rating for Veterans with Frequent UTIs
Urinary Tract Infection
The ratings of the genitourinary system have seven dysfunctions that generally result in disability VA rates. UTI causes you to experience urine urgency, frequency, and pressure on a man or women’s pelvic area. It can also cause a burning sensation every time you urinate.
The genitourinary system deals with our most prominent excretory and reproductive organs. There are many veterans that experience issues with the genitourinary system due to service-related injuries or traumatic events. For a person to receive a diagnosis of UTI, they must show symptoms.
There are times when UTI symptoms are significant due to the patient having one of the more prevalent signs of UTI. You must also have a positive culture result from your urine.
The Seven Conditions The VA rates as a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
If you are dealing with a UTI diagnosis, it means bacteria have spread from the urethra into the bladder. Within five UTI categories, there are four types of UTI symptomatology: acute, sub-acute, chronic, and recurrent. The symptoms are most commonly noticed after urination and include:
- Urine infected with bad odor
- Painful urination
Once the bacteria is traveling through common pathways in the body, even medical conditions may result from a UTI. The VA will award disability compensation for those suffering from UTI that result in the below.
1. Disk Disease
Disk disease occurs in one or more disks of the lumbar spine. It usually between two vertebrae that become swollen and cause low back pain. The spinal cord disc suffers from nerve damage, vascular problems, degeneration, or other problems.
It can also impact nearby nerves. In men, disk disease of the lumbar spine is most common for those over 50 years old. Women usually experience it earlier and between 40-50 years old, but disk disease can result from UTIs.
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2. Prostate Cancer
The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system in men. It lies just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. The prostate gland secretes a milky fluid that becomes part of semen.
Prostate cancer begins in the cells of the prostate gland. It will cause normal cell growth rates to multiply in an uncontrolled fashion and form a tumor. In most cases, prostate cancer growth will stop on its own.
But other times, it spreads beyond the prostate to other areas in the body.
The Progression of Prostate Cancer
The progression into advanced disease can be very slow, taking years or even decades. It can also spread rapidly, in which case it becomes life-threatening.
When you find prostate cancer early, you can treat it with prescriptions and medical procedures if you find it early enough. If it has spread to bones, nearby important blood vessels, or other organs, you may need more complex medical procedures.
3. UTIs that Lead to Obstructive Disorders of the Lungs?!
Common obstructive disorders are COPD or Bronchiectasis. Another obstruction that can be the result of UTI occurs when UTI bacteria attaches to the vellum. The vellum is a flap of soft tissue that lowers into the nasal cavity.
The flap and its location protect your airway from food and water. If the vellum is unable to close properly, we may end up breathing in food or water instead of air. This can choke us or give us pneumonia.
Any obstruction of the lung airways can result in lung diseases. All lung diseases make it intensely difficult to breathe. As the rate of breathing increases, you have less time to breathe the air out of your lungs before you breathe in during your next breath.
It might sound crazy that a UTI could cause a lung disease, but if left untreated, the bacteria causing the UTI travel throughout the body. Weakened lungs can be an easy target for the E. coli growing unhindered in the urinary tract.
4. Kidney Failure or Impairment
The genitourinary system has many different parts and organs. The organs include but aren’t limited to the ureters, bladder, urethra, kidneys, and prostate gland. The genitourinary system also performs many functions that diseases can hinder. This leads to a snowball of health problems that all started with a urinary tract infection.
Veterans with health problems due to diseases, disorders, or injuries to the genitourinary system may receive a 100 percent disability rating. Your rating depends on the degree or severity of your medical issues. Permanent damage done by a temporary illness that was service connected are all fair game for your VA disability application.
In this video, one of our VA disability lawyers talks about the VA Rating Formula for Mental Disorders and Disabilities like PTSD.
5. UTIs and Prostatitis
There’s no doubt the VA can help treat you if you have a UTI. The purpose the VA uses to help you eliminate your UTI is to help maintain a healthy bladder. A healthy bladder means you have the proper urination amount passing through the urethra.
The average person urinates approximately 12 times each day. Bladder function has many different factors, including age, gender, medical problems, and medication use. This frequency can change when men develop diseases associated with UTI, and one of the diseases is Prostatitis.
If a veteran has Prostatitis, surgery is one of the medical options. A prostatectomy surgery results in the removal of the prostate gland. Removal of the prostate gland is the most common medical procedure for the treatment of prostatic diseases.
Veterans who can’t hold down a steady job that supports them financially (known as substantially gainful employment) because of their service-connected disabilities are eligible for TDIU if they have:
- At least one service-connected disability rated at 60% or more disabling OR
- Two or more service-connected disabilities with at least one rated at 40% or more disabling and a combined rating of 70% or more
6. Kidney Stones
Everyone ages, and with aging come health issues. If you are a veteran and you’ve had issues with UTIs as you age, this can impact your genitourinary system with stones in your kidneys or urethra. Ureteric stones and kidney stones can result from aging and medical history in which you experienced previous bouts of UTI issues.
7. Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) and a UTI in the lower tract often occur as men age. Unfortunately, both aging and UTI contribute common pathogenetic mechanisms which result in ED. There have been systematic studies with epidemiological data support that identify UTI and natural aging as a co-morbidity issue.
The genitourinary system is one of the most common systems people experience medical issues with. The most common reason is the VA recognizes that many diseases pass through the urinary tract. The best way to keep from getting sick in your urinary tract system is to stay well-hydrated and avoid taking medications that may compromise your immune system.
Drugs like cortisone can help you by diminishing your immune system functions. By diminishing your immune system, the drug helps control conditions that attack its own tissues by mistake. Too keep any of these treatments working the way they should, you always want to see a physician as soon as you start experiencing any UTI symptoms.
The main reason for this is UTI bacteria are very fast-growing and invasive to your organs systems.
Here one of our VA disability lawyers goes over the questions Woods and Woods, The Veteran’s Firm, is often asked about veterans’ disability claims and appeals.
Conditions Associated with the Reproductive System
As mentioned above, men who suffer from a genitourinary system UTI may have medical system issues with their prostate gland. They may also have medical issues with their testicles, epididymis, and penis. Females who suffer from genitourinary system UTI may have medical system issues with their vagina, ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, genitalia, or perineum.
Men and women who suffer from genitourinary system UTI may have medical system issues with their bladder, ureters, or urethra. There are various treatments for genitourinary system UTI, whether it’s in your reproductive system or not. Medical physicians will prescribe antibiotics, and sometimes you require surgery due to UTI structural damage.
Medications That Treat UTI
Often veterans who suffer from genitourinary system UTI have medical or reproductive system issues due to service-related injuries. Medications that treat UTI include but aren’t limited to; amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. The VA will rate your condition based on how it impacts your life. If you suffered from the side-effects of one of those medicines, you might be able to get a secondary-connection rating for that.
There are 26 different ratings, and they range from 0% to 100%. The lower the VA rating, the more likely you are suffering a less severe medical issue.
Here is a video of one of our Veterans Disability Lawyers teaching you how to use our VA Disability Combined Ratings Calculator.
Common Causes of a UTI
There are several common pathways for UTI. The first pathway is the bacteria that cause UTI in the ureters, kidneys, bladder, or urethra. The causes for UTI in veterans are almost always related to poor bladder and/or kidney hygiene.
It doesn’t take much bacteria to cause an infection in the area of your rectum, penis, scrotum, or vagina. These common pathways for UTI bacteria can occur at any age, but most of the time, women ages 15 to 45 are the ones that see it the most. Usually, the first line of treatment for UTI is antibiotics, whether you are a man or woman.
Antibiotics will not always be a cure for UTI that transmitted through common pathways. Antibiotics do help kill bacteria in your body. But sometimes, it doesn’t kill off all of it; therefore, the remaining bacteria can lead to infections or a reoccurrence of UTI.
The Three Types of Urinary Tract Infections
There are actuallyi three different kinds of urinary tract infections. Knowing about these may help you spot them in your medical record or know what your doctor is talking about.
- Urethritis – This infection is in the urethra. This is the tube that carries urine out of the body and is the least deep infection
- Cystitis – This is the term for a bacterial infection that has moved up from the urethra and into the bladder. Since E. coli spreads so fast, it is not necessarily your fault that the infection has spread this far. This can easily develop from the first type of UTI.
- Pyelonephritis – This infection has entered the kidneys. It is much more severe and life threatening at this point. This is often caused when a UTI or other injury has obstructed the flow of urine out of the body.
VA Disability Compensation
The Department of Veterans Affairs will rate your condition based on how it impacts your life. There are 26 different ratings, and they range from 0% to 100%. The lower the rating, the less severe your medical issue. The main point of VA disability compensation is to help you when you can’t work a full-time job and support yourself. If you can work with these disabilities, your rating will be lower.
VA disability compensation ratings are as follows for UTI conditions:
- 10% rating if you have been in the hospital once or twice each year for UTIs. During your hospitalizations for UTI conditions once or twice a year, you had extended drug therapy treatments.
- 30% rating if you have repeated infections with symptoms and/or need to undergo continuous intensive management treatment.
Diseases of the genitourinary system generally result in disabilities related to renal or voiding dysfunctions, infections, or a combination of these.
Here one of our VA disability lawyers goes over the questions Woods and Woods, The Veteran’s Firm, is often asked about veterans’ disability claims and appeals.
Pain of UTIs
The VA can deny disability benefits to veterans because sometimes UTI cases involve non-bacterial infections. Most people are more likely to have an infection as they age, and the symptoms of UTI can increase over time. As you experience UTIs’ pain and symptoms, there are many medications and forms of treatment available.
It is important for VA patients with UTIs to contact their physician and become acquainted with the various medications available. There is legal assistance you can seek to help you with your VA disability rating for UTIs.
The genitourinary system consists of different parts that all work together to function. When the genitourinary system starts failing in its functions, you want to determine what medical condition you have. Then you need to know what treatment you will need. Most importantly, you need a VA disability rating that accurately reflects the benefits you deserve.
There Is VA Disability Rating for Veterans with Frequent UTIs
The cases of urinary tract infection have been increasing over the past few decades and contribute to more than 20% of all visits to doctor’s offices. There are many surgical procedures and treatments for UTIs. Each surgical procedure is an attempt to help resolve genitourinary problems.
At Woods and Woods, the Veteran’s Firm, we’ve helped thousands of veterans with their VA disability applications and appeals. We’ve been adding staff and lawyers during the Covid pandemic to serve disabled veterans better in difficult times.
Call us today to discuss your VA disability appeal or your first application. The call is free and we won’t charge you a single fee until we win your case. We even pay for the postage for all of the documentation you send to our office. You can look for a VA disability attorney near you or call us and join the thousands of veterans living off of VA disability thanks to Woods and Woods.
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No, apply for all of your disabilities that are related to your time in the service. Talk to our team to setup a good strategy for a winning claim. Many veterans don’t realize that some of their medical problems are connected to their in-service injury. You want to apply for all of the relevant service-connected and secondary service connected disabilities that you can. You deserve it.
Two or more urinary tract infections within six months time is considered chronic. Doctors also consider 3 a year as chronic or recurrent. Keep track with a journal so that you can give the doctor a clear description of your condition at your C&P Exam.