Hypertension, commonly referred to as high blood pressure, affects millions of former servicemembers. While not necessarily dangerous in and of itself, hypertension can increase a person’s risk for developing cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks and strokes as well as reduce their ability to participate in certain activities or job duties.
Veterans who suffer from this condition may be able to make a connection between their hypertension diagnosis and their active duty service. However, hypertension claims can be difficult to prove, and many of them result in denials. A well-practiced and dedicated lawyer from VetLaw’s legal team can help you assert your entitlement to service connection and challenge any unfavorable decisions from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Hypertension is any chronic increase in a person’s blood pressure. An average resting blood pressure is 120 over 80, and any persistent increase in these numbers would be considered hypertension. According to VA, hypertension can serve as the basis for a disability compensation claim. 38 Code of Federal Regulations §4.104 provides a list of many different disability ratings, some of which are based on consistent blood pressure spikes.
Any veteran who requires medication to control their service-connected blood pressure may obtain at least a ten percent disability rating, while a diastolic pressure reading of at least 130 may warrant a 60 percent disability rating. A VA-accredited attorney can help former servicemembers whose hypertension claims have been denied accumulate more substantial evidence in support of their applications.
While receiving a diagnosis of hypertension is an important part of pursuing a successful claim, veterans must also be able to make a connection between their high blood pressure and their time spent on active duty. VA maintains a list of presumptive service-connected conditions, which includes hypertension. If a veteran receives a diagnosis of this condition while on active duty or within one year of discharge, they may automatically qualify for disability benefits. There is also talk of adding hypertension to the presumptive list for veterans exposed to Agent Orange; unfortunately, this proposal has been met with stiff resistance.
Otherwise, it would be necessary to sift through service records and identify a specific incident that may have caused the blood pressure problems. Relevant medical records can also establish when a high blood pressure issue may have begun. One of VetLaw’s qualified legal representatives can help former servicemembers gather evidence to prove their entitlement to service connection in an effective and thoroughly prepared appeal in the event of a denial.
Hypertension is a common health problem that affects millions of U.S. veterans. If you are able to make a connection between your time in uniform and your high blood pressure diagnosis, you may be eligible for VA disability compensation benefits.
In many cases, this condition may qualify an applicant for a disability rating of at least ten percent. A diligent and knowledgeable attorney from our firm can explain how high blood pressure may make you eligible for benefits and help you collect the evidence needed to support your hypertension claim or appeal. Reach out to VetLaw today to schedule an appointment with a professional.