Whether you are a male or a female veteran, suffering an injury that directly or indirectly harms your reproductive organs can have a significant impact on your physical or emotional life. The VA has a ratings table for these conditions to offer you some compensation.
When you go into military service, you likely go in knowing you’ll have to make sacrifices. You’re giving up years of your life to serve your country, and you know that you may wind up losing your life. But one thing you may not count on losing is the use of your reproductive organs.
The loss of reproductive organs can be devastating, especially if you hoped to have children after you served. Money may not be able to make up for that lost dream, but you may be entitled to compensation from the VA if you lost the use of your reproductive organs. Read on to learn more about this category of condition, what falls under it, and how much compensation you could be entitled to each month.
In this article about VA ratings for loss of reproductive organs:
- What Is Loss of a Reproductive Organ?
- Potential Causes of Loss of Reproductive Organs
- Erectile Dysfunction Ratings
- Hysterectomy Ratings
- Ovary Disability Ratings
- How VA Disability Ratings Work
- What Is Special Monthly Compensation?
- What Is SMC(K)?
- How to Qualify for VA Disability
- Getting a Diagnosis
- Proving a Service Connection
- Getting a Medical Nexus
- VA Disability Compensation Rates
- If Your Claim Is Denied
- Get the Compensation You Deserve
What Is Loss of a Reproductive Organ?
On its face, “loss of a reproductive organ” may seem like a fairly self-explanatory issue. If you’ve lost one of the organs central to your reproductive capabilities, you could be eligible for compensation from the VA. Reproductive organs can include the penis, testicles, vagina, uterus, or ovaries.
However, the loss of a reproductive organ does not have to be limited to these organs’ physical removal. Loss of function can also fall under the category of loss of your reproductive organ. Even if you still physically have the organ, if it doesn’t perform the job it’s supposed to, the VA will consider it as a loss of the organ. Just like a VA rating for the loss of use of a limb is comparable to the rating for amputation.
Potential Causes of Loss of Reproductive Organs
One of the common causes of loss of reproductive organs among veterans is injuries. A veteran may be wounded in such a way that, to prevent infection or as part of a larger amputation, their reproductive organs must be removed. They may also experience serious injuries to those organs that cause them not to function as they’re meant to.
However, injury is only one of the things that can cause you to lose the use of your reproductive organs. Nerve damage can also cause your reproductive organs to become nonfunctional, especially when it comes to penis nerve damage. Some medications may also render you infertile or may cause your reproductive organs to stop functioning.
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Erectile Dysfunction Ratings
Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common forms of loss of reproductive organs. Causes of erectile dysfunction can range from physical loss of the organ to deformities that make it non-functional. This loss of function is compensated by diagnostic code 7520. For instance, if a doctor has to remove half or more of your penis, you’ll get a 30 percent disability rating.
If doctors removed your glans, you’d get a 20 percent rating, and if you had both testicles removed, you’d get 30 percent. If you have atrophied testicles or you can’t get an erection because of a physical deformity, you’ll get a 20 percent rating. Other causes of erectile dysfunction will be rated at 0 percent but will still make you eligible for SMC payments.
Here one of our VA disability lawyers talks about how SMC (Special Monthly Compensation) works to help you get more money for extra expenses related to your disabling condition every month.
People with a vagina may have to have a hysterectomy done due to an injury or illness caused by their military service. This operation can take a few different forms, with the most extreme removing your uterus and both your ovaries. You can also have only your uterus removed, leaving your ovaries behind.
For the first three months after your hysterectomy, you’ll receive a temporary 100 percent disability rating. In the future, if you have your uterus and both ovaries removed, you’ll get a 50 percent rating. If you still have your ovaries, you’ll receive either 30 percent (if they’re functional) or 20 percent (if they’re nonfunctional).
Ovary Disability Ratings
Women may also experience injuries to their ovaries or ovarian conditions that don’t require them to have a hysterectomy. These injuries and diseases all get classified under one VA disability rating schedule. The rating you get will depend on how severe and controlled your symptoms are.
If you have an ovarian condition or injury that causes symptoms that cannot be controlled by continuous treatment, you’ll get a 30 percent disability rating. If your symptoms can be controlled but require continuous treatment, you’ll get a 10 percent disability rating. If your symptoms don’t require continuous treatment, you’ll get a 0 percent rating, though you may still be eligible for SMC payments.
How VA Disability Ratings Work
We’ve been talking about VA disability ratings, but what are these ratings, anyway, and how do they work? Your VA disability rating is meant to reflect how severely your condition impacts your ability to live a normal, healthy life. It’s also the single biggest determining factor in how much compensation you’ll get from the VA each month.
VA disability ratings are expressed as percentages and can range from 0 to 100 percent. These ratings are usually rounded to the nearest 10 percent to assign disability compensation rates: the higher your disability rating, the more impact your condition has on your life.
What Is Special Monthly Compensation?
We’ve also mentioned SMC payments a couple of times; the acronym stands for special monthly compensation. These payments are separate from your VA disability rating payments, though they are still considered VA disability compensation. You can get SMC payments for anything from loss of a limb to traumatic brain injury.
SMC payments are pre-set and depend on what sort of condition you have and how severe it is. There are different categories of SMC payments, ranging from K through T. In all cases except SMC(K) payments, the SMC compensation will replace your disability rating payments rather than supplement them.
What Is SMC(K)?
SMC(K) is one of the divisions of special monthly compensation payments and one of the few that does not deal with limb loss. Instead, this category of SMC payments is designed specifically to deal with the loss of a reproductive organ. And unlike the other SMC payment categories, you can receive SMC(K) payments in addition to your monthly disability compensation based on your rating.
SMC(K) payments can cover the loss of a creative or reproductive organ (penises, testicles, uteri, ovaries, etc.), as well as breast tissue. It can also cover loss of vision or eyesight due to military service. You may even be able to get SMC(K) payments even for conditions that only get you a 0 percent disability rating.
Here is a video of one of our Veterans Disability Lawyers teaching you how to use our VA Disability Combined Ratings Calculator.
How to Qualify for VA Disability
To qualify for VA disability compensation, you must meet certain criteria. First of all, you must have an official diagnosis of your condition from a VA-approved medical professional. In most cases, your family doctor or any other traditionally licensed doctor will meet the VA criteria.
Once you have your official diagnosis, you must prove a service connection for your condition. Finally, you must have a medical nexus connecting your diagnosis and your service connection. Your diagnosing doctor should be able to provide this nexus for you.
We have doctors on our staff working alongside our legal team to make the best case for your VA disability application. We will interview you and look through your C-File to make sure every nexus is as strong as it can be before it goes before the VA.
Getting a Diagnosis
If your reproductive organ loss results from an injury during your military service, getting a diagnosis should be very straightforward. You may already have a diagnosis from military doctors on record. You’ll need to get hands-on with your military medical records to show proof of your diagnosis during your disability compensation application.
If your reproductive organ loss results from a condition that developed later, don’t put off making an appointment to get your diagnosis. In the time before your appointment, take note of your symptoms, especially how frequently they occur. You may also want to gather personal and family medical history to take with you to the appointment, along with a list of any questions you may have.
Proving a Service Connection
Once you have your diagnosis, you’ll need to point to a specific incident or set of conditions in your military service that could have caused your condition. In the case of an injury that resulted in the loss of a reproductive organ, this connection will be easy to prove. Medical records that show your diagnosis will also cover service connection requirements too.
In the case of a disease or other condition, you’ll need to be able to point to a specific incident or set of conditions that started your condition. This could involve exposure to Agent Orange or burn pits, a medication the military doctor prescribed, time in unsanitary conditions, and so on. You may also be able to get a condition service-connected as a secondary condition.
Getting a Medical Nexus
With your diagnosis and service connection in hand, it will be time to get your medical nexus. A medical nexus is simply an official statement from your doctor confirming that your condition was at least as likely as not caused by the incident in your service record. This is to prevent veterans from claiming disability benefits for conditions caused by incidents after their military service has ended.
If possible, try to get your hands onto your military medical and service records before your diagnosis appointment. If you have these in hand, your doctor may be able to provide your medical nexus the same day as you get your diagnosis. This can help speed along your disability claim process and get you compensation sooner.
We will help you get this all together from the first time you give us a call. We even take care of the postage you’ll need to send in all of your files and other forms.
The Nexus Letter is like the missing link to a successful VA disability compensation claim. In this video, one of our veteran’s disability lawyers explains the importance of the Nexus Letter.
VA Disability Compensation Rates
Once you get approved for disability compensation, the VA will give you a service rating that will be used to calculate your monthly compensation amount. If you have a disability rating of 10 percent, the VA will give you $152.64 per month tax-free. If you have a 20 percent disability rating, you’ll get $301.74 each month.
For 30 percent and above ratings, the VA will also consider whether you have financial dependents when calculating your compensation rate. For instance, if you have a 30 percent rating and no financial dependents, you’ll get $467.39 per month from the VA. The amount increases if you have a spouse or children depending on you.
If Your Claim Is Denied
If your VA disability claim gets denied, don’t give up hope of getting the compensation you deserve. You can always appeal a denied claim, as well as an approved claim with a disability rating you feel is too low. You can even take your case all the way up to the BVA in Washington, D.C. if needed.
If you decide to appeal your claim decision, you should hire a lawyer specializing in veteran affairs. For one thing, we can help you navigate the confusing world of deadlines, evidence, and paperwork submissions. We can also give you insider tips on how to make your claim successful the first time and how to ensure you get the highest disability rating possible.
A behind-the-scenes look at who works for you at Woods and Woods, The Veteran’s Firm.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you served in the military and lost the use of your reproductive organs, you could be entitled to compensation from the VA. In addition to your standard disability rating compensation, you may also be able to get special monthly compensation for your condition. And while this set of conditions does cover the physical loss of reproductive organs, it can also grant you compensation for organs that no longer function.
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 better serve disabled veterans 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.
Talk to Us About Your Claim: (866) 232-5777