Veterans are required to perform strenuous, demanding, and even dangerous tasks as a part of their military service. As a result, it is not uncommon for a veteran to sustain an arm or shoulder injury that impacts their work, their lives, and their overall health. Fortunately, VA disability benefits may be available to help you manage the financial, physical, and emotional consequences of your service-related condition.
Securing these benefits can be time-consuming and difficult, however, leading many veterans to seek assistance from VetLaw. Whether you are in the process of filing a claim, trying to determine your VA rating for shoulder injuries or arm injuries, or wish to appeal an unfair denial of your claim, our team of experienced attorneys can help. To learn more about our practice, consider contacting us today.
Arm and shoulder injuries are common amongst veterans, as military service often involves demanding physical activity such as lifting heavy objects, transporting heavy equipment, and engaging in strenuous training exercises. Combat incidents are also commonly associated with arm and shoulder injuries. Specifically, some of the most common arm and shoulder injuries that affect veterans include:
Suffering from any of these conditions can make it difficult to work or perform daily activities, thereby impacting your quality of life and ability to earn an income. Many veterans seek disability benefits to offset the consequences of arm and shoulder injuries, but understanding how the VA regards these injuries can be complicated.
Yes, as long as you can connect your arm and shoulder injury to your military service. To qualify for disability benefits through the VA, a veteran must first establish that their disability is connected to their time in the military. Proving this connection can be difficult, requiring the veteran to produce a great deal of evidence regarding the severity of the condition and how their injuries interfere with their daily lives.
Generally, to prove a service-connection, veterans must satisfy the following three criteria:
As long as a veteran can meet these three requirements, they may be able to receive compensation for their disability. The amount of compensation that a veteran receives varies depending on the veteran’s unique VA rating for shoulder injuries and/or VA rating for arm injuries.
The vast majority of arm and shoulder injuries are rated using 38 CFR § 4.71a for conditions of the musculoskeletal system and 38 CFR § 4.73 for muscle injuries. The VA rating that you receive for your injuries depends on the severity of your condition and the extent to which the disability impacts your life. The ratings for different arm and shoulder injuries may be assigned in the following ways:
Range of motion, use of muscle, and loss of strength will all be evaluated to assign a VA rating for shoulder injuries and arm injuries. Your attorney can provide greater detail on the VA Diagnostic Codes and how different injuries are rated under these standards.
If you have not done so, you may request a Compensation & Pension (C&P) exam for your arm and shoulder injury. At this exam, a VA physician or VA-contracted physician will assess your injuries. The results of your C&P exam may be integral to improving your VA rating for arm injuries and/or shoulder injuries. A favorable opinion will support the claim that your disability was caused by your service and help strengthen your claim.
The VA may deny your claim for arm and shoulder injuries for a variety of reasons. Depending on your case, there may be several actions you can take to strengthen and continue your claim. One such action is to submit a Supplemental Claim to provide additional evidence that may change the VA’s initial decision or improve your VA rating for shoulder injuries. Alternatively, a Higher-Level Review may be more suitable if you believe an error occurred during the application process. Finally, you may take your case to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. At this level, there are several strategies that can be used to appeal the denial. Your VetLaw attorney can help guide you through the appeals process and ensure you secure the benefits you deserve.
If you were denied VA disability benefits for your shoulder or arm injuries, we are here to help. At VetLaw, we provide high-quality legal advocacy and representation to veterans at all levels of the claims and appeals processes, making us the law firm of choice for individuals across the United States. We have helped veterans compile the necessary evidence to support their claims, improve their VA rating for arm injuries and shoulder injuries, and secure the disability benefits they need. If you are feeling stuck in the VA process and wish to resolve your case as quickly and efficiently as possible, consider scheduling your free case review with us today.