On Valentine’s Day 2006 I crashed my Kia Optima into a tree. It was snowing out, and I was on my way to my former employer. At the time I was working at a pool store and it was so very important for me to get to work that day. Keep in mind that I live in West Virginia, it was snowing, and no one was interested in buying a pool that day, but it was important that I make it in to work. When I called to say I couldn’t make it in, I was met with utter disdain. I would later find out that being relieved of my position there would eventually lead to me finding employment that actually matters. I would also later find out that the wreck really messed up my right knee. I was reminded of this fact the other day at the gym when I tried to be someone who exercises. My knee injury came back in full force, and I was forced to leave the gum early. The “walk of shame” out of the facility ended with me nearly falling in the parking lot. As I gracefully flopped into my car I recall thinking that I should write a blog about instability when it comes to VA Disability.
Many Veterans know that they can service connect for their joints, especially their knees. The knees are a very common claim because of how much wear and tear all Veterans face in the military. Think about all of the exercise Veterans have to do on a daily basis. If you add to that the fact that many Veterans have Military Occupations that are very physically intense, it’s no wonder there are so many claims for knees active today. Take for instance Vets who are Army Rangers. One of their duties includes jumping out of airplanes. I’ve talked to many Vets who were Rangers, and it is not uncommon for them to have 40-50 jumps over their career. Recently a Veteran who served as a ranger enlighten me to the fact that they have to do a lot of training and mock jumps that involve heavy impacts. These mock jumps aren’t counted as part of the jump total, but they can have just as much impact on the knees as a traditional jump.
So, it’s easy to see how an individual’s knees can be rated for disability. However, each knee usually tops out at 30%, and that is only after a knee replacement. Replacements are somewhat rare unless you are older, so must Veterans will be rated anywhere from 0-20% on a knee. (Before someone says “I know someone who is rated at 50% on his knee,” keep in mind this is for a general claim. I could spend days going on about how nuanced rating codes are, but nobody wants to read that.) However, if your knees are causing you to be unstable, you can possibly file for instability.
Many of us would refer to this as your knee “giving out,” or becoming so weak that you fall. However, it does not necessarily have to be that severe. It can also include difficulty going up or downstairs, or even having difficulty with inclines. Keep in mind that not all Veterans who have knee issues will have instability. It is a very common side effect of knee issues, but is not the case in every knee claim. The majority of Veterans I talk to aren’t aware that they can even file a claim for instability of the knee. So if this is something you are having an issue with, be sure to talk to your doctor about treatment, and then look into filing a claim for Instability of the knee.
If this all sounds difficult and convoluted, I assure you that you are not wrong. VA disability is not easy. That is why so many people to turn to the experienced attorneys who represent Veterans for these types of claims. If you would like to know more about what our law firm can do for you, call me today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. Or if you can’t speak now, fill out this form and I will call you at a later time.