Renal failure is a debilitating condition that causes serious problems in your everyday life. The most severe cases may lead to death. If you are suffering from renal failure or chronic kidney disease as a result of your time in the military, you could be eligible for VA disability benefits. Our goal is to demonstrate that your renal failure is related to your military service. When we succeed, you get a VA rating for renal failure so you can receive benefits to cover your medical and living expenses.
In This Article on Renal Failure VA Disability:
- What is Renal Failure?
- Causes of Renal Failure
- Renal Failure Symptoms and Complications
- Is Renal Failure a VA Disability?
- Are You Eligible for Renal Failure VA Disability Benefits?
- VA Disability Rating for Renal Failure
- How to Claim Renal Failure for VA Disability Benefits
- Appealing a VA Disability Benefits Denial or an Undervalued Rating
- VA Disability Attorneys Can Help
What is Renal Failure?
Renal failure, or kidney failure, is a condition that occurs when the kidneys can no longer filter and clean blood. This filtration is vital to your health. When your kidneys no longer function properly, waste builds up in your bloodstream. This can lead to a variety of debilitating medical issues, and if left untreated, the excess waste in your blood eventually leads to death.
People who have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease are at risk of renal failure if it is not treated. The severity of your condition affects your renal failure VA disability rating.
Causes of Renal Failure
A number of medical issues can cause renal failure. One sign they all have in common is a decrease in kidney function. Examples include:
- Lack of blood flow to the kidneys – usually caused by another condition that slows blood flow
- Direct damage to the kidneys
- Blocked urine drainage tubes
- High blood sugar or diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Blockages caused by kidney stones
Because renal failure is late-stage kidney disease, it’s challenging to pinpoint exactly when and how you reached this phase. Misdiagnosis is unfortunately not uncommon.
One of our VA disability lawyers goes over the Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions list in this video:
Renal Failure Symptoms and Complications
Symptoms of renal failure vary from case to case. There are also differences depending on whether the condition is chronic, meaning it builds over time, or it is acute, meaning it comes on very suddenly. Chronic kidney disease disability is harder to identify in its early stages because you may experience no symptoms until your kidney functionality has dropped below 20 percent. Some of the symptoms to look out for include:
- Decreased ability to urinate
- Swelling in the feet, legs, ankles, or hands caused by fluid retention
- Shortness of breath
- High blood pressure
- Pain or pressure in your chest
- Irregular heartbeat
- Seizures or coma (in severe cases)
- Yellow-brown skin color
There are many complications that can arise as a result of renal failure. Because kidney failure can cause fluid buildup, you may experience fluid in the lungs, which causes shortness of breath. There is also the risk of the lining of your heart becoming inflamed, which typically leads to chest pain. Some patients feel weakness in their muscles because the body’s fluids are out of balance. In severe cases, renal failure can lead to permanent kidney damage or even death.
From looking at this list of symptoms, you can also see how Renal Failure could be misdiagnosed. If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical care as soon as possible and worry about your VA disability benefits later. Even ask your doctor about connecting these symptoms to your time in service.
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.
Is Renal Failure a VA Disability?
Yes, renal failure is a VA disability. A number of other diseases that are linked to service-related injuries or conditions can cause it. Diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2, is one of the most common causes of renal failure in veterans. Over time, diabetes can scar the kidneys, leaking albumin into your bloodstream. If untreated, this permanently damages the kidneys. Because veterans exposed to Agent Orange are at risk of developing diabetes, there is a connection between Agent Orange and renal failure.
High blood pressure, polycystic kidney disease, and obstruction of the urinary tract are other potential service-related causes of renal failure that would qualify for VA ratings for kidney failure.
The stage of your kidney failure affects your renal failure VA disability ratings, so many clients ask, what stage of kidney failure is a disability? The answer is that you may get some level of disability at any stage of kidney failure. The amount you receive depends on how severe and debilitating the condition is.
VA Disability Ratings for Kidney Diseases and Secondary Conditions
There are plenty of kidney diseases that are common in veterans because of Agent Orange or other exposures. See if you qualify today.
Are You Eligible for Renal Failure VA Disability Benefits?
There are two eligibility criteria you must meet in order to be eligible for VA disability benefits for renal failure. First, you need a proper diagnosis from your doctor. Second, you must be able to demonstrate how the illness was caused by your time in service. This may mean showing which underlying condition led to your kidney failure.
VA ratings for kidney failure depend on the severity of the symptoms you have. This is where we come in. We can help you prove your eligibility for VA disability benefits, and we will work to get you the maximum amount of benefits you are entitled to. We have doctors and oncologists on our staff that work with veterans’ disability applications every day. We know what levels of failure count on the VA ratings tables and which conditions contribute to higher ratings.
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.
VA Disability Rating for Renal Failure
There are many reasons why kidney failure qualifies you for renal failure VA disability ratings, but how much you get in benefits will depend on the severity of your condition. Kidney disease has five stages: 0 percent, 30 percent, 60 percent, 80 percent, and 100 percent. The rating depends on what symptoms you are exhibiting and the risk factors you are facing. Because renal failure is typically a late stage of kidney disease, there is a higher likelihood of receiving a higher rating and getting more coverage.
Any definite decrease in kidney function results in a 60 percent rating. If you become weak, lose your appetite, and/or cannot perform most daily functions, an 80 percent rating is likely. If you are completely disabled and must remain sedentary due to the disease, your coverage may come in as high as 100 percent.
These ratings correlate to the severity of your disease, so it is imperative that you provide the VA with as much information as possible. This ensures VA ratings for renal failure are applied accurately. This is the primary factor used to determine how much money you will get from the VA each month.
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How to Claim Renal Failure for VA Disability Benefits
In order to receive a VA rating for renal failure and receive VA disability benefits, you have to meet three criteria. The first is getting an official diagnosis from a VA-approved medical professional. Typically, the doctor that you see or your local hospital provides this documentation.
Second, you have to be able to pinpoint a specific incident during your time in the service that led to your current condition. In order to receive VA benefits, the renal failure must have been directly caused by something that happened to you while you were in the military or the result of another condition that has already been shown to have been caused by your military history. (If you can go the presumptive condition route, all you have to do is prove that you were in the right place at the right time to get a service connection.) Third, your doctor must affirm that the renal failure and the incident that you cite are, in fact, connected.
All of this can be overwhelming – especially because each step is critical in assuring that your claim is processed correctly and you get an appropriate renal failure VA disability rating. Going to your doctor’s appointment prepared can save you time. The best way to prepare is to make a list of your personal and family medical history. Then, get a copy of your service records in order to help your doctor make a medical connection between the condition of your kidneys and your service.
It may take some time to get a diagnosis, which can be challenging. Waiting is difficult because you have medical bills piling up, and you may be unable to work. You can move the process along by calling us as soon as possible during your VA application process. This ensures the process proceeds as smoothly as possible. Your calls are free and we are happy to answer your questions and see if we can help you like we’ve helped thousands of other veterans.
Once you have completed these steps, we will submit all of the information to the VA. Then, you wait for a determination on whether you qualify for disability because of your renal failure.
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Appealing a VA Disability Benefits Denial or an Undervalued Rating
If your claim is denied or you feel that you were undervalued on your renal failure VA disability rating, you can – and should – appeal the decision. It is very common for initial VA claims to be denied for any number of reasons. Examples of frequent reasons for denial include paperwork errors or a decision that the condition isn’t severe enough to prevent you from working. If your claim has been denied in the past 12 months, you are eligible to appeal. We can help you through this process.
We will review your VA disability rating decision letter free of charge and give you an honest evaluation of your claim. In some cases, we do not advise that you appeal the decision because we can see from the information provided that the denial decision is correct. However, there are often steps we can take to help improve your claim and increase your benefits.
Those who choose to work on their appeals independently often find the process takes years. That’s time you aren’t receiving benefits, which means significant financial pressure. Working with a VA disability attorney speeds up this process because it makes it more likely that your claim will be correct on the first try.
In this video, one of our VA disability lawyers talks about the benefits available to Veterans with 100% disability ratings.
VA Disability Attorneys Can Help
Woods & Woods, The Veteran’s Firm, has been fighting for injured and disabled veterans since 1985. We work tirelessly to help you get the right VA disability rating and the benefits you deserve. We are happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your eligibility for renal failure VA ratings. During the consultation, we will give you an honest valuation of your claim.
We are nationally recognized, and we have helped thousands of veterans just like you gain access to disability benefits for renal failure. Feel free to call and ask us any questions – we are happy to help you determine if we are the right firm for your unique situation.
If you choose to hire us for your renal failure VA disability ratings case, we will only charge you if your claim is successful. If your claim continues to be denied, you won’t owe us anything. Our rate is calculated based on a percentage of back pay and case expenses. Please be assured that we do not touch your future benefits, we never ask for money upfront, and we do not charge by the hour.
We are here to serve you and thank you for your service to our country by ensuring that you get the benefits that you are due. Our only goal is to help veterans like you who have been adversely affected by being denied or undervalued for your disability claims.
Call us today to chat with one of our expert attorneys and learn more about how Woods & Woods can help you with your renal failure VA disability ratings claim. We are experienced disability attorneys with a huge support staff and we will do everything in our power to help you get the benefits you deserve.
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.
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Frequently Asked Questions
No, it’s not too late. These are called DIC cases and we help many surviving family members get VA disability that their veteran spouse deserved. Give us a call at (866)232-5777 and we’ll discuss your case. We can give you an idea of what options are available to you as a surviving spouse of a veteran.
Not necessarily, but that’s ok. If you have multiple conditions that are related and affect the same organ, you’ll get one rating for the whole condition. Otherwise, the VA calls that pyramiding and they’ll deny your claim. Talk to a VA disability lawyer who knows how to present multiple conditions to the VA so that you don’t get denied or miss out on the benefits that you deserve.