Dealing with a claim denial after a service-related injury can leave you frustrated. You sacrificed for your country, and you had the understanding that you would receive medical benefits and assistance as a result, particularly if you found yourself dealing with a service-related disability. Unfortunately, as many as a third of VA claims each year get denied.

VA disability for knee pain & injuries may be denied for a variety of reasons. You may receive a claim denial because you filled out your paperwork incorrectly. VA has issued many new forms and rejected numerous claims due to using the wrong form or because you did not fill the form out correctly. The VA might not see adequate evidence of a service connection to your injuries, especially if you have knee pain that developed over time, rather than an obvious single injury. If your VA disability for knee pain & injury claim was denied, contact a VA disability lawyer today.


The VA rates knee pain and injuries by the percentage disability caused by the specific injury and the type of pain you experience. Your disability rating may depend on several critical factors.

  • The specific diagnostic code assigned to your knee injury or condition (for example, total knee replacement has a 5055 diagnostic code)
  • The amount of pain you suffer with movement
  • The movements that are limited as a result of your injuries, including straightening or bending
  • How much your knee injury or pain prevents you from engaging in your usual daily activities

Generally, if you have severe knee pain and/or injuries that prevent you from engaging in more common activities, including what the VA calls “activities of daily living,” you will receive a higher disability rating than if you have relatively minor pain that does not prevent you from engaging in most of those activities. However, establishing just how much your injuries limit you can prove difficult, especially if you do not have the right medical documentation to back up your claim. Working closely with a VA disability lawyer can provide you with more information about how the VA should rate your knee pain & injury disability.


Knee pain and injuries can occur due to a number of conditions. Many veterans can point to specific incidents that led to knee injuries or that exacerbated existing knee pain. Others, however, may not know exactly when the initial injury occurred–and may not have the evidence needed to back it up. You may have knee pain or weakness as a result of a specific injury that has grown worse with time, or you might have a service-related condition that has led to your disability.

Common conditions include osteomyelitis, tuberculosis that occurs in the knee, rheumatoid or degenerative arthritis that impacts the knees, gout, or bursitis.


Service connections to knee pain and injuries can be established in one of three ways: through a direct service connection, through a secondary service connection, or through a service connection through aggravation.

Establishing a Direct Service Connection for Knee Pain & Injuries

Establishing a direct service connection for VA disability for knee pain and injuries starts with having a current diagnosis. Then, you will need to:

  • Show documentation of a specific incident that led to your knee pain or injury, including a specific accident that caused chronic pain that has worsened over time; or
  • Establish a medical nexus that shows a connection between military service and your knee pain or injury. For example, if your service led to or contributed to a repetitive stress injury, you might use a medical nexus, complete with evidence from your doctor, to establish that your service led to those injuries.

Showing a Secondary Service Connection

A secondary service connection for your knee pain and injury occurs when your knee pain results from another service-connected condition due to an injury you received due to your military service. Suppose, for example, that you suffered a back injury that caused you to change your lifting habits. This might have placed more strain on your knees, causing your knee injuries. Establishing service connection secondary to another musculoskeletal condition can be difficult; oftentimes your doctor can provide a nexus opinion explaining why your primary injury led to the development of the secondary knee injury.

Building the Case for a Service Connection by Aggravation

You may have suffered your initial injury outside the service: riding a motorcycle or hiking, for example–or you might have come into the service with that injury. Over time, your service aggravated that injury, leading to increasing knee pain and greater disability. To establish the service connection, you will need to show evidence of your prior knee injury and a medical record that shows how your military service increased your disability.

Matthew  White


Appellate Attorney Matthew White represents veterans before the Board of Veterans Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Brendan Garcia


Owner and Lead Attorney Brendan Garcia represents veterans in all 50 states with their VA Disability Appeals, in all stages of the VA Appeals process.

Contact a VA Disability Lawyer Today

A VA Disability Lawyer’s role is to assist you throughout the confusing and often frustrating appeals process if you have been denied benefits for your service-connected knee pain. 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 and assist you with filing the proper appeal.

If your VA disability claim for knee pain 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.

Yes, you can get VA disability for knee pain and injuries. Knee pain and injuries can also contribute to the total disability you can claim through the VA.

The VA will establish a clear disability rating for knee pain or injuries sustained during military service, either as a direct or indirect result of military service. That disability rating will entitle you to compensation that can help you manage that disability and the losses you have faced because of it.

Working closely with an attorney and your medical care team can make it easier to establish the service connection between your knee pain or injury and your military service. First, you will need a clear diagnosis and an evaluation that will assess the disability caused by that pain and injury. Then, you will need evidence that links your knee pain and/or injury to your service: a specific event that caused the initial injury, for example, or a medical nexus provided by your doctor that clearly establishes how your military service led to your knee pain. Your past medical records, current medical records, and your doctor’s testimony, generally written in the form of a medical nexus opinion, can prove critical to establishing service connection for your knee pain or injury.

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