Thanks to the Agent Orange Act, which was enacted in 1991, individuals who were exposed to herbicides during their service in the Vietnam War may be entitled to certain presumptive diseases, including Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. According to a report from the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetes is one of the two most frequent causes of kidney disease. Unfortunately, the latter often isn’t diagnosed until it’s advanced as the symptoms typically do not manifest until that point.
If the kidneys aren’t functioning properly to filter toxins, the body can retain fluid and harmful wastes. Kidney function can be monitored by a simple test called eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate), calculated according to a person’s blood creatinine levels, age, body size and gender.
But when evaluating for disability benefits, the VA will check the albumin levels in the urine, along with the blood urea nitrogen and amount of creatinine in the blood. The rating evaluation for kidney disease also considers the blood pressure and what effect this has on a veteran’s quality of life.
So you may be eligible for VA disability benefits for renal dysfunction if you qualify based on lab work and blood pressure readings affected by kidney disease. (Blood pressure is evaluated under the rating schedule for hypertensive vascular disease.)
If you are receiving benefits for diabetes or any other disease related to your service, additional secondary conditions caused by the service-connected disease may also be considered service-connected. This includes if you have suffered from diabetes mellitus connected to your service and later developed any of the conditions we discussed above.
For questions regarding your VA disability claim, please contact us today to schedule your free initial claim.