If you have diverticulitis, you already know how painful and financially draining it is to deal with daily. What you may not know is you can file for VA disability for diverticulitis and obtain the stellar legal assistance you deserve.
It’s called the silent disease because many veterans that are disabled by it don’t want to tell anyone they have it.
It’s not uncommon for veterans to experience gastrointestinal diseases. Many times the gastrointestinal diseases are due to service-connected experiences.
These cases often depend on your condition and what you’re not earning because of your disability. Read on to learn more about VA disability for diverticulitis. There are twelve simple steps you can take to apply for your VA disability, but you can take a big first step by reading this article to find out how you can proceed.
In this article about diverticulitis VA disability benefits:
- VA Disability for Diverticulitis
- What is Diverticulitis?
- The VA and Diverticulitis
- The 12 Easy Steps in Applying for VA Disability for Diverticulitis
- #1 Seek a Free Legal Consultation
- #2 Application Process
- #3 The Diverticulitis Questions
- #4 Legal Team Assigned
- #5 Secondary Medical Conditions
- #6 The Custom Legal Review
- #7 Additional Tests Needed
- #8 Impact on Ability to Work
- #9 Functional Impact
- #10 The First Legal Step is Made Together
- #11 More Evidence Required
- #12 Your Last Step
- Your Way Forward
VA Disability for Diverticulitis
Filing for VA disability for diverticulitis has clear benefits you need to know about if your gastrointestinal disease is related to your time in service.
There are several types of service connections that a veteran can pursue. In general, your direct service connection as a veteran requires the following:
- An illness, event or injury that occurred while in-service
- A diagnosed gastrointestinal disease that’s ongoing
- A medical nexus that links your gastrointestinal disease to a particular in-service occurrence
Some veterans have discovered their gastrointestinal in-service event is related to their exposure to environmental toxins. Other veterans have found their gastrointestinal in-service event is related to an injury or experience while performing their duties. It is important to know your gastrointestinal illness and how it’s connected to your in-service event or injury.
What is Diverticulitis?
Diverticula are small, billing pouches that are in the lining of your digestive system. They are usually in your colon or large intestine.
If one of them gets infected or inflamed, the pouches start causing severe abdominal pain, fever, and nausea, which officially become diverticulitis. This is when you also start noticing a severe and marked change in your bowel habits.
Under 38 CFR§ 4.114 7327, the VA states that diverticulitis rates as irritable colon syndrome, peritoneal adhesions, or colitis. It’s the classification for your ulcerative colitis that revolves around determining your predominant disability. The VA bases your disability rating for diverticulitis and other diseases based on specific criteria.
The VA and Diverticulitis
The VA’s rating system is based on evidence veterans give them even if it is unknowingly. For instance, they may use the following:
- Any doctor’s report or medical test result can be used for rating purposes
- The results of a VA claim exam which the VA calls a compensation and pension exam
- Any information the VA obtains from other federal agencies or other sources
Needless to say, it can be confusing to determine your VA disability rating for any disease, including diverticulitis. That’s why esteemed law firms provide a Veteran’s Disability Calculator to help their clients figure it out.
Law firms use a Veteran’s Disability Calculator to help their clients figure out that with VA math, 80% plus 20% doesn’t equal 100%.
One of our VA disability lawyers talks about how VA math works to combine, not add, your ratings together.
The 12 Easy Steps in Applying for VA Disability for Diverticulitis
Three conditions result from having diverticulitis disease. The three conditions are:
- Diverticular Bleeding
Diverticulosis leads to diverticulitis. Diverticulitis exists in about 10% of people older than forty, and half of the 10% are people over sixty years of age.
Veteran disability payments are decided on a case by case basis, so having the breakdown and steps of what you need to do is vital to your success in getting the disability payments you deserve.
It’s beneficial to try and obtain and work with a VA disability attorney to help improve your odds of being awarded benefits. The technical jargon that the VA throws around can get pretty confusing. We work with you to sort it out and to present your best case possible.
#1 Seek a Free Legal Consultation
It’s imperative to have an honest legal consultation about your VA disability compensation benefits claim.
The attorney will gather your information and answer any questions you may have about your diverticulitis disability case. Many times a VA disability attorney will refer you to an intake manager who works with you one on one to determine your best way forward.
Finding a VA disability lawyer near you isn’t as important as it used to be. Everything the VA receives is electronic and in-person hearings are rare, so we work with veterans from all over the United States. We even help military families that are stationed in Germany, Guam, or Jakarta.
Sometimes the VA rating you have is the best one for you, but sometimes based on the type of VA disability you’re dealing with, there may be a particular law firm we want you to reach out to. Our objective is to make sure that every veteran gets the financial help they deserve for any compensation claim they have.
One of our national veterans disability lawyers talks about why you don’t need a nearby VA disability lawyer.
#2 Application Process
Applying for VA benefits should be offered free of charge. It’s not uncommon for lawyers to see veterans who tried to fill out their applications the first time and did it incorrectly. We help vets with their appeals every day.
When that happens, veterans will often decide to seek legal counsel before reapplying. Many times it’s discovered they may have even used a free legal service template application that leaves out secondary conditions and more. Evidence, service-connected secondary conditions, and legal arguments are vital when dealing with filing a successful claim. We will only charge a percentage of your backpay if we win your case. The VA allows lawyers to take up to 30% of your backpay, but we only take 20%. That helps pay our staff for working for as long as five years or more before you get your final decision from the VA.
#3 The Diverticulitis Questions
Filling out Form 21-0960G-3 will require you to list the medications that are required for your intestinal condition. Everything from chronic diarrhea and Crohn’s disease to diverticulitis is listed for you to check off.
You are then going to list any of the additional diagnoses you’ve had that relate to your intestinal condition, excluding surgeries or infectious diseases. You also have to provide your onset and course history since you’ve had the intestinal condition. The VA will ask about any continuous medication you’ve had to take to help control your medical condition.
They will also ask about any surgeries to help with your diverticulitis, so be transparent and honest.
#4 Legal Team Assigned
There’s no doubt that the VA Form 21-0960G-3 is denied for disability applications more than it’s approved.
The good news is if you’re not happy with your VA benefits rating, there are exemplary VA disability compensation lawyers who can help you.
On VA Form 21-0960G-3, you’ve already had to fill out any other signs or symptoms that are attributes to diverticulitis, as well as if you suffer from episodes that cause you abdominal distress. It is the answers to these questions and more that sometimes need a legal team to go over the very complex VA appeals process timeline and plan of action. We will walk you through every step of that form and we’ll fill it out together. We’ll also interview your family and friends that you put in touch with us to develop strong buddy statements and lay statements.
#5 Secondary Medical Conditions
If you’re a veteran that’s completed treatment for benign or malignant neoplasm or metastases, that’s essential information you need to disclose to your legal team.
If you have any residual conditions or complications from any benign or malignant neoplasm, your legal team needs to integrate that into the VA appeal process on your behalf. This is the step when legal teams start requesting access to your medical and service records.
Everything from your C-File, private, and military medical records will be obtained. If there’s any other evidence that may be needed, that will be asked for as well.
One of our VA disability lawyers talks about the common disabilities that add up to 100% TDIU.
#6 The Custom Legal Review
You may have noticed when you were filling out VA Form 21-0960G-3 that it asked about any scars related to treatments of any of your conditions.
It also asked you to report any relevant complications, conditions, or symptoms from your condition. That’s why we take your previous answers and start building your VA disability compensation or legal appeal road map.
Anything that’s needed for you to win your disability claim is assessed at this stage. You need to be very responsive when going through your records to find anything that’s missing. Sometimes this will need a law firm’s case analyst department, and other times it will be a matter of obtaining more medical reports. We’ll let you know what we need and we’ll stay in touch as we put it all together.
Woods and Woods renewed my hope when they took over my VA claim by extending their legal services to me. Their professionalism and empathetic approach in my case reassured me that I was being represented by an excellent law firm.Alfred in Florida
#7 Additional Tests Needed
Sometimes there are medical or lab tests that are still needed, even with all the previous medical records accrued by a legal team.
Often there is a doctor coordinator who schedules interviews with medical professionals. These medical professionals will discuss with the VA disability experts and specialists what’s needed to award this disability benefit.
Whether it is lab work or additional scans, every test result needs to be considered for a service connection. The five service connections usually consist of a direct service connection, a presumed service connection, or a pre-existing injury aggravated by military service connection. There is also the secondary service connection and the VA medical malpractice connection.
We have doctors on our staff that we’ll introduce to you to help you through that part of the process. They are men and women that work with disabled veterans applications every day and they know what the VA is looking for.
#8 Impact on Ability to Work
If a veteran is suffering from intestinal conditions that prevent them from working, that needs to be addressed in this step.
The results of diagnostic tests are gone over, and any findings that show the impact on the veteran’s intestinal condition need to be understood. Often spouses and family members are also looking to get help for their veterans.
When this happens, it’s important to note it’s not only affecting the veteran’s ability to work, but it’s also impacting their day-to-day family life. Family members can tell you if they think it’s related to their service, especially when they knew them before and after service commitments.
Here one of our VA lawyers talks about 100% Permanent VA ratings.
#9 Functional Impact
The functional impact on a veteran cannot be overstated if they have diverticulitis.
If diverticulitis is impacting their ability to work, how is it affecting the rest of their lives? This step must include gathering the friend and family statements about the veteran’s ability to function in any capacity.
It’s also an opportunity to get the line of events that may have occurred while in the service that created the medical condition. If their official military record doesn’t reflect some of these events, fellow service members can verify the people, places, and events that did occur, even if not represented in their official record.
#10 The First Legal Step is Made Together
Your legal team will have you join them on taking this step together.
We will put together a complete brief that breaks down the VA disability compensation needs and helps make your claim. You only get one chance to make that first application, and proving there is a service-connected disability to the Board of Veteran Appeals is not always cut and dry.
VA disability applications can take a long long time to get answered. That’s why this legal step is of prime importance, with regulations being put to good use to help you win your VA benefits claim or appeal.
#11 More Evidence Required
There are times when your diverticulitis has gotten worse due to the VA denying your initial claim.
Sometimes a disability has gotten worse even after the VA has determined it was service-connected. These are times when you may still need a good legal team to help you gather the evidence still required for winning your appeal.
One of our VA disability lawyers talks about how we help with the disability appeals process.
#12 Your Last Step
Your last step can’t be taken until having the Board of Veteran Appeal decide if the claim was denied in error, or if the claim needs to be remanded to the Regional Office.
The BVA can approve or deny the claim at any stage during this step. They can even determine the veteran’s missing back pay has been miscalculated and should be put in effect as soon as possible.
Your Way Forward
In the end, obtaining a VA disability for diverticulitis can be successfully accomplished.
Reach out to Woods and Woods when you’re ready to take a step into a future that gives you the deserved benefits you fought so hard to obtain. Every soldier fights to help all Americans keep their freedom and inalienable rights. They deserve to be treated right.
Let Woods and Woods fight to help you get the best legal help possible for your diverticulitis disability.
No, that is actually good progress. The VA rates according to the effect of the disability on you, regardless of what the specific disability is. If you get a higher rating for your symptoms by another name, the VA is required to give you the higher rating.
Many disabilities like irritable colon syndrome, irritable bowel, diverticulitis, peritoneal adhesions, or ulcertative colitis are all rated the same way, with a maximum of 30%. You’ll have to work with your VA lawyer to combine other conditions to add up to 100% or TDIU.