What if your disability claim was guaranteed?
It can be intimidating to take your claims to the VA. You never know what will be approved and what won’t. And even if it’s approved, it can be hard to calculate what you’re going to get.
Believe it or not, though, there are virtually-guaranteed VA disability claims are out there. Keep reading to learn more about it!
In this article about automatic VA ratings:
Understanding Guaranteed VA Disability Claims
We’ve got a list of the best VA claims you can make below. Before we go any further, though, it’s important to understand how “guaranteed” claims work and how we got this information.
The truth is that no claim is 100% guaranteed. There is always a chance that something can be denied due to a bad diagnosis. This is why it’s important to have a good VA disability lawyer at your service.
However, these claims are based on the most recent data (from 2018-2019) from the Veteran Benefits Administration report. This report (given to Congress) documents VA benefits and compensation.
With that data, we can tell you the likelihood of getting a claim approved. For example, our first three items on this list each had over 90% of veterans receiving a rating.
As with all claims, keep in mind that some ratings will be higher than others. Just because your tinnitus claim is very likely to go through, for example, doesn’t mean that the rating will be very high.
With this information in hand, let’s dive into the VA disability claims that are most likely to get approved.
Wondering what the most common “guaranteed” claim is? The answer is tinnitus. According to the report, a whopping 93.6% of veterans got rated for this claim.
If you’re wondering why the number is so high, just think about your common military work environment. You were constantly surrounded by loud machinery, and things like gunfire can only make that “ringing in the ears” sensation even worse.
So, the fact that you’re likely to get a tinnitus claim approved is the good news. What’s the bad news? The rating for tinnitus never goes any higher than 10%.
Because of that, tinnitus is a secondary disability for many veterans. If you file it as such, be sure to document and report conditions that may make your tinnitus worse (which can range from neck conditions to high blood pressure and hearing loss).
Hearing Loss Veteran’s Disability
Speaking of hearing loss, that is next on our list. According to the VA report, it’s a very common claim among veterans. Like tinnitus, 93.6% of veterans got rated for this particular claim.
You might think that “hearing loss” is pretty easy to diagnose. However, it’s actually a very complex process involving an audiogram. The audiogram helps to determine what kind of hearing loss you have and how bad it is.
The audiogram can determine what decibel loss you are experiencing and how well you can hear and understand typical conversations. Next, the doctor must determine whether your hearing loss was caused by your time in the service or by some other factors.
Before you go to make a claim, you should check your MOS and see if it says anything about “noise exposure conceded.” This can greatly affect whether your hearing loss is adequately connected to your service.
You should also understand that hearing loss cannot get rated any higher than 10%. And getting 10% is quite rare–a surprising number of veterans get rated at 0% when it comes to hearing loss.
PTSD VA Claims
So far, our likeliest claims have also been “low-value” claims in terms of their rating. However, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is our third claim. And it hits the sweet spot of high approval odds and high rating.
According to the VA report, 90.7% of veterans got rated at 30% or higher on account of their mental health. And 41.1% got rated at a whopping 70% or higher!
To the VA, “mental health” is a bit of an umbrella term. It covers PSTD, but it may also cover depressive disorders and general anxiety.
Contrary to popular belief, you can get PTSD even if you haven’t served in combat. The VA distinguishes between PTSD (Combat) and PTSD (Non-Combat).
Combat PTSD may be triggered by things such as threat (or fear) of death, exposure to death, injuries (or threats of injuries), sexual violence, threats of sexual violence, and more.
Non-combat PTSD may be triggered by military sexual trauma, accidents (such as training or car accidents), the suicide of a fellow service member, and more.
How can you know if you might be suffering from PTSD? This may take the form of direct flashbacks and nightmares or more indirect anxiety and depression. Major anger issues and suicidal episodes are also major warning signs.
Certain medications can make PTSD worse, as can other conditions. For example, it’s not uncommon for tinnitus to trigger a flashback because of the ringing in your ears.
As with other claims on this list, it’s important to have as much evidence and documentation as possible. This can include everything from medical paperwork to “buddy letters” from those who will be able to verify what you have told the VA.
Sometimes PTSD and another condition are enough to get TDIU. Here one of our VA disability lawyers explains how that works.
Our fourth claim is general scarring. Compared to PTSD, this is another low-value claim. It turns out that 76.2% of veterans get rated 0% for skin conditions and 18.6% get rated 10%.
What can make the difference between 0% and 10%? It often comes down to the quality of the photos that you submit. If you are giving the VA grainy black-and-white photos, they may have trouble assessing exactly how bad the scarring is.
However, if you submit high-quality color photos, it is much easier for the examiner and rater alike to understand the full extent of the damage. And while general scarring remains a low-value claim, it’s important to take this simple step and improve your odds of getting that 10% rating.
Relatively speaking, limited knee flexion is another “low value” claim. However, it is a very common claim according to the VA.
92.2% of veterans are rated for this knee issue. However, they are only rated between 0% and 20%.
“Flexion” may sound like a fancy word, but it simply refers to the range of motion of that particular area. So if you have limited flexion of the knee, it means that the range of motion for that knee is limited in some way.
Generally speaking, knee issues fall under the wider umbrella of the musculoskeletal system that may affect your body. This generally manifests in the limited range of motion that we mentioned above. However, you may be able to get your claim approved if you are experiencing painful motion (even if that motion has not been limited).
Keep in mind that limited flexion may manifest in other ways, including weakness and fatigue. You may also experience a loss of coordination, control, and/or power.
As with many claims on this list, limited flexion can be made worse by a variety of other factors. This includes medication, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a variety of other medical issues.
Lumbosacral or Cervical Strain
“Lumbosacral or cervical strain” is definitely a mouthful. As far as claims go, this is very similar to limited knee flexion. That’s because it is another claim that is likely to get approved but that will yield a low rating.
The VA said that 92.2% of veterans got rated between 0% and 20% for this particular issue. As with limited flexion, this falls under the umbrella of musculoskeletal system issues.
What does “lumbosacral or cervical strain” actually mean, though? It refers to muscles or tendons in your neck that may be injured, stretched, or torn. Like the other musculoskeletal system claims, you must be able to demonstrate that this is causing limited range of motion, painful motion, or both.
On one hand, this is a very common issue. Everything from basic training to hours in uncomfortable chairs can cause this kind of pain. On the other hand, the pain from this can usually be treated with some over-the-counter medication — no prescription required.
“Paralysis of the Sciatic nerve” probably sounds pretty serious. However, it’s another musculoskeletal system claim that is easy to qualify for but that yields a relatively low rating.
The VA tells us that 92.2% of veterans got rated for Sciatica issues. However, they were only rated between 0%-20%.
What, exactly, is Sciatica? This refers to the kind of pain you get when your sciatic nerve has been irritated in some way.
Many different kinds of injuries, especially back injuries, can lead to Sciatica. And the pain from this can be pretty intense. Your body basically feels like it is radiating pain from the inside out.
Your sciatic nerve is actually very long, going from your lower back and down your legs. So while we mostly think of “back pain” when we think of Sciatica, it can also cause some fairly severe leg pain as well.
Unfortunately, Sciatica can be caused by any number of other issues. Things like bone spurs and herniated discs can easily irritate the sciatic nerve. As you might imagine, the pain won’t fully go away until you have addressed the root cause.
Limited Ankle Motion
If you’re experiencing issues with your legs and feet, it may not be the Sciatica. Instead, you may be experiencing limited ankle motion.
The VA listed limited ankle motion as another very common claim among veterans. 92.2% of veterans get rated for this, but those ratings only range from 0%-20%, making this another low-value claim.
Unlike some of the items on this list, limited ankle motion is pretty straightforward. As the name implies, this refers to issues with your ankle joints and muscles that either impair your movement and/or cause your movement to be painful.
Aside from pain and difficulty moving, there are many potential symptoms of limited ankle motion. These symptoms include arthritis, fatigue, weakness, and lack of coordination.
Several things can make limited ankle motion even worse. This ranges from TBI and PTSD to joint disorder and spinal issues.
Many veterans and civilians alike underestimate how bad migraines can be. It’s not uncommon to encounter someone who simply think of these things as “really bad headaches.” In truth, a bad migraine can be downright crippling.
That’s why migraines are one of the high-value claims. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may get rated at 30% or even higher.
If your migraines are very infrequent, you may get rated as low as 0%. If they are a bit more severe and consistently occur every other month, you may get rated at 10%.
However, if you have severe migraines every month, you may get rated at 30%. And if they are even more severe and frequent, to the point that they impact your ability to work, you may get rated as high as 50%.
Not sure if you’re actually experiencing migraines or not? Symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, throbbing pain, and even intense sensitivity to light and sound.
How does the VA evaluate “severe” migraines? They will consider whether these are “prostrating” attacks or not. That just means that it’s bad enough that you must sit down.
A Fighter In Your Corner
Let’s be honest: going to the VA with a claim often feels like you are rolling the dice. You may think you have an airtight case and you walk away getting rated far lower than you deserve.
As we said before, this is why it’s so important to have a good VA disability lawyer in your corner. These attorneys know how the system works and can make sure that you present the strongest possible case when you first file a claim.
On top of that, a good lawyer can help you appeal the initial rating and get a better outcome. If you feel you haven’t gotten treated fairly, it’s important to reach out to an attorney today.
Guaranteed VA Disability Claims: Who To Call
Now you know that guaranteed VA disability claims don’t really exist, but there are some that are more likely to be approved than others. We don’t win them all, but we only charge for the ones we win, so you’ve got nothing to lose. We specialize in representing veterans and helping you get the rating you deserve. To see how we can help you make your case, contact us today!