If you have a thyroid disorder that was either caused or exacerbated by your military service, you may qualify for VA disability benefits. But if just the thought of filling out VA paperwork stresses you out, we understand. As fellow veterans, we know how complex the VA can be. And as lawyers, we know firsthand how disability requirements and rules are always changing. Filing an appeal after a thyroid disorder claim denial from Veteran Affairs can leave you feeling defeated.
Before you file an appeal for VA disability thyroid disorder benefits, contact us. We can help you navigate this complex process. When you work with us on your disability appeal, you don’t pay anything upfront. We only collect payment if we are successful in securing your benefits.
Nothing is more defeating than spending a lot of time and effort on paperwork, only to have your application denied. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why you may get a denial from Veteran Affairs for your thyroid disorder claim. The most common issues we see are:
If your claim was denied, that isn’t necessarily the final word. You can appeal a VA disability denial. We can help you with the appeal process even if we didn’t work on your initial application.
The VA’s disability rating is determined by the severity of your thyroid disorder. The VA reviews:
Your disability rating will be shown as a percentage. If you have more than one service-connected condition, the VA assigns what is called a combined disability rating. A combined disability rating will not exceed 100%.
The rating criteria for thyroid disorders are listed in Title 38, § 4.119 Schedule of ratings – endocrine system of the Code of Federal Regulations. The VA’s eligibility criteria for thyroid disorder disability benefits can differ from another organization’s criteria.
If you have a hyperthyroidism diagnosis, the VA will initially assign a 30% rating. Veterans are later reevaluated based on their symptoms and any treatment complications.
Thyroid enlargement is not a sufficient diagnosis for a disability rating on its own. It is evaluated under other diagnostic codes, depending on the cause of the thyroid enlargement and what body systems are affected.
Hypothyroidism ratings depend on the presence of myxedema:
Both conditions are later reevaluated based on “residuals of disease or medical treatment.”
Hyperparathyroidism has several possible disability ratings:
Hypoparathyroidism is rated 100% for the three months after initial diagnosis. This rating is then reevaluated.
Depending on the nature and symptoms of thyroiditis, it is evaluated under other diagnostic codes.
Thyroiditis “with normal thyroid function” is rated at 0%.
Thyroid cancer is rated at 100% throughout treatment. After a defined time frame, further evaluation is necessary, and residuals of cancer, including secondary conditions caused by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other treatment, are rated separately.
Service-related thyroid disorders are often caused by exposure to certain substances. Veterans who had Agent Orange exposure, who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune or who worked near a military burn pit in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere may develop a thyroid disorder. There is always new and emerging information about the VA’s criteria for service-connected conditions. If you’re unsure about your eligibility, give us a call.
Service connection requires establishing a link between a thyroid disorder diagnosis and an in-service occurrence. The VA formally refers to this link as a “nexus.” The in-service occurrence must have caused the thyroid disorder or exacerbated an existing thyroid disorder.
You may be eligible to receive disability payments from the VA if your thyroid disorder has been formally diagnosed, is service-connected, and meets the diagnostic code criteria. It’s difficult to figure out eligibility on your own. If your initial claim is not approved, contact us for help with your appeal for benefits.
The VA pays out monetary benefits for veterans who have been diagnosed with certain service-connected conditions. If you are a veteran with a thyroid disorder such as thyroid cancer, hypothyroidism, or hyperthyroidism, you may be eligible for this VA compensation.
Hypothyroidism is a presumptive condition for veterans who had Agent Orange exposure. The VA’s regulations for presumptive health conditions are always changing. If your thyroid disorder claim was denied in the past, you could now be eligible. Give us a call to learn more.
A Veteran Disability Lawyer’s role is to assist you throughout the confusing and often frustrating appeals process if you have gotten a denial on your claim for a service-connected thyroid disorder. Generally, you need to be denied at least once before an attorney can assist, but once a lawyer is involved they will often be able to quickly determine what needs to be done in order to prove entitlement.
If your VA disability claim for thyroid disorder has been denied, be sure to contact the VA Accredited Attorneys at VetLaw right away to help make sure you get the entitlement you deserve.