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Lower Extremities=thighs, Legs, Feet?

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Guest Morgan


I just read a BVA appeal case for SMC that was denied, but the vet's severe back problem affected his legs so that he could not walk. The SMC criteria says "loss or loss of use of a foot." He was denied SMC because he had not lost use of his foot. The explanation was, he had lost use of his legs, not his feet.

Does this excerpt about the bilateral factor negate that opinion? From this statement, I infer that "lower extremities as a whole" are thighs, legs, and feet.

§ 4.26 Bilateral factor.

. . .

(a) The use of the terms “arms” and “legs” is not intended to distinguish between the arm, forearm and hand, or the thigh, leg, and foot, but relates to the upper extremities and lower extremities as a whole. . . .

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Morgan, :)

A little lesson in reading Government double-talk. :rolleyes:

Common sense says that you are correct. :D

Government legalese says that the statement that you are quoting is only relevant to the subject of the paragraph it appears in. This means, that in order to make that paragraph relevant, you will probably need a lawyer to argue the point on appeal. :lol:

The common mistake that many people make, is to take a section, a sentence, a paragraph, out of context. You will not win many arguments against the bureaucracy

until you are aware of this. B)

One consolation, most of the people you are dealing with, until you get to either Central Office or COVA, can't read Government stuff properly either. :P

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That's what I was afraid someone would say. :rolleyes: I thought the bilateral factor text might be considered "out of context."

So how does the consolation work? Do you mean the RO might not understand the government legalese involved here and might go on and accept common sense? I'm helping a veteran in a similar situation and I'm thinking he needs to go for it, pointing this out and waiting to see how VA interprets it.

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  • HadIt.com Elder


If it were I, then I would file for lower extremities rather than feet, and let the idiots at VARO try to deny that the feet are part of the lower extremities. Especially, as the common medical terminology used in diagnosis is LLE and RLE.

On the other hand;

§ 4.63 Loss of use of hand or foot.

Loss of use of a hand or a foot, for the purpose of special monthly compensation, will be held to exist when no effective function remains other than that which would be equally well served by an amputation stump at the site of election below elbow or knee with use of a suitable prosthetic appliance. The determination will be made on the basis of the actual remaining function of the hand or foot, whether the acts of grasping, manipulation, etc., in the case of the hand, or of balance and propulsion, etc., in the case of the foot, could be accomplished equally well by an amputation stump with prosthesis.

(a) Extremely unfavorable complete ankylosis of the knee, or complete ankylosis of 2 major joints of an extremity, or shortening of the lower extremity of 3 1/2 inches (8.9 cms.) or more, will be taken as loss of use of the hand or foot involved.

(:rolleyes: Complete paralysis of the external popliteal nerve (common peroneal) and consequent, footdrop, accompanied by characteristic organic changes including trophic and circulatory disturbances and other concomitants confirmatory of complete paralysis of this nerve, will be taken as loss of use of the foot.


[29 FR 6718, May 22, 1964, as amended at 43 FR 45349, Oct. 2, 1978]

either of the sub-paragraphs above, could show that loss of use of the leg, also means loss of use of the foot.

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