Back pain is a common condition among veterans who have completed active duty service. Chronic back pain can inhibit your ability to maintain employment or meet your own day-to-day needs. Fortunately, you may qualify for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you suffer from service-related back pain.
From acute injuries to repetitive stress syndrome, some forms of back pain will never heal entirely. This is especially true in chronic condition cases that involve nerve damage in the spine. Let an experienced VA benefits attorney advise you on pursuing veterans’ back pain claims.
Previously, the VA only awarded former servicemembers with benefits for a chronic back condition and pain did not factor in with the rating. Today, veterans’ back pain injury claims are compensable with a current diagnosis that is linked to their time in service. This change has dramatically improved the odds of a veteran obtaining the disability benefits they are entitled to.
A veteran must be able to trace their back pain to a specific injury which took place on active duty and establish a connection between their condition and their military service to obtain disability benefits. The link between a veteran’s disability and an in-service event is known as the “nexus.”
There are a number of ways to establish an in-service connection for back pain. Tracing back pain to an injury or event that occurred during a person’s active duty service is the simplest way to establish a nexus. This can be done by referencing military service records.
For many former servicemembers, injuries during strenuous training exercising are the cause of their chronic back pain. A veteran who can successfully provide an in-service connection for their back pain will automatically receive a 10 percent disability rating based on pain alone. Regardless of the specific event or series of events that caused a veteran to suffer back pain, testimony from a medical expert that the pain resulted from active duty military service is crucial to receiving the most accurate disability rating.
In some cases, back pain can worsen over time. For example, chronic back pain that stems from an injury can become worse as the effects of the injury compound. It is possible for a veteran who has already had their back pain rated by the VA to qualify for a higher disability rating.
The VA will rate all of a veteran’s disabilities when they file a disability claim. The amount of compensation a former servicemember is entitled to recover depends on the rating their impairment receives. If the pain worsens, a veteran can file a new disability claim based on the worsening pain and receive a new rating and updated benefits.
There are many steps involved in obtaining VA disability benefits for back pain. You must not only establish that your condition is medically verifiable, but also link it to your time on active duty.
Let a VA disability attorney at our firm guide you through every step of the veterans’ back pain claims process. From filing a claim to receiving a rating, your legal counsel can protect your right to disability compensation. Call us right away to discuss your back pain claim.