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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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medders464

Disability Question

Question

Hello...I am needing some serious advise from someone out there that knows the VA System. I recently retired in Nov 08 from the United States Navy as a Senior Chief. While on active duty I had some serious back issues and I had a spinal fusion done in Feb 08. I am waiting on my VA

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Hello...I am needing some serious advise from someone out there that knows the VA System. I recently retired in Nov 08 from the United States Navy as a Senior Chief. While on active duty I had some serious back issues and I had a spinal fusion done in Feb 08. I am waiting on my VA

Hello medders464

You need to post the questions if not the great members of this forum cannot guide you.

Izzy

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You need to send the information from your spinal fusion into the VA along with a request for temporary 100 percent compensation.

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I recently retired in Nov 08 from the United States Navy as a Senior Chief

You had your surgury while on active duty you will not be eligible for temp 100 percent.

I advise you to get a copy of the actual OR report. It is like a play by play of what they did and found during the procedure.

It also tells the exact condition at the time of surgury,

This document is actually the most important one of all regarding your fusion.

Mine was instrumental as it cannot be argued, It is an exact view of your spine from a doctor actually loooking at it.

No test, Mri or other can do that and the diagnosis with this will stick over anything else.

J

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To add more, 5241 diagnostic code for spinal fusion based on traumatic arthritis

The Spine

RatingGeneral Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine(For diagnostic codes 5235 to 5243 unless 5243 is evaluated under the Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes):With or without symptoms such as pain (whther or not it radiates), stiffness, or aching in the area of the spine affected by residuals of injury or diseaseUnfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine100Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine50Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine; or, forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine 30 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine40Forward flexion of the cervical spine 15 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine30Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 60 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 15 degrees but not greater than 30 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine not greater than 120 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the cervical spine not greater than 170 degrees; or, muscle spasm or guarding severe enough to result in an abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour such as scoliosis, reversed lordosis, or abnormal kyphosis20Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 60 degrees but not greater than 85 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 40 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 120 degrees but not greater than 235 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the cervical spine greater than 170 degrees but not greater than 335 degrees; or, muscle spasm, guarding, or localized tenderness not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour; or, vertebral body fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of the height10Note (1):Evaluate any associated objective neurologic abnormalities, including, but not limited to, bowel or bladder impairment, separately, under an appropriate diagnostic code.Note (2):(See also Plate V.) For VA compensation purposes, normal forward flexion of the cervical spine is zero to 45 degrees, extension is zero to 45 degrees, left and right lateral flexion are zero to 45 degrees, and left and right lateral rotation are zero to 80 degrees. Normal forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine is zero to 90 degrees, extension is zero to 30 degrees, left and right lateral flexion are zero to 30 degrees, and left and right lateral rotation are zero to 30 degrees. The combined range of motion refers to the sum of the range of forward flexion, extension, left and right lateral flexion, and left and right rotation. The normal combined range of motion of the cervical spine is 340 degrees and of the thoracolumbar spine is 240 degrees. The normal ranges of motion for each component of spinal motion provided in this note are the maximum that can be used for calculation of the combined range of motion.Note (3):In exceptional cases, an examiner may state that because of age, body habitus, neurologic disease, or other factors not the result of disease or injury of the spine, the range of motion of the spine in a particular individual should be considered normal for that individual, even though it does not conform to the normal range of motion stated in Note (2). Provided that the examiner supplies an explanation, the examiner's assessment that the range of motion is normal for that individual will be accepted.Note (4):Round each range of motion measurement to the nearest five degrees.Note (5):For VA compensation purposes, unfavorable ankylosis is a condition in which the entire cervical spine, the entire thoracolumbar spine, or the entire spine is fixed in flexion or extension, and the ankylosis results in one or more of the following: difficulty walking because of a limited line of vision; restricted opening of the mouth and chewing; breathing limited to diaphragmatic respiration; gastrointestinal symptoms due to pressure of the costal margin on the abdomen; dyspnea or dysphagia; atlantoaxial or cervical subluxation or dislocation; or neurologic symptoms due to nerve root stretching. Fixation of a spinal segment in neutral position (zero degrees) always represents favorable ankylosis.Note (6):Separately evaluate disability of the thoracolumbar and cervical spine segments, except when there is unfavorable ankylosis of both segments, which will be rated as a single disability. 5235 Vertebral fracture or dislocation 5236 Sacroiliac injury and weakness 5237 Lumbosacral or cervical strain 5238 Spinal stenosis 5239 Spondylolisthesis or segmental instability 5240 Ankylosing spondylitis 5241 Spinal fusion 5242 Degenerative arthritis of the spine (see also diagnostic code 5003) 5243 Intervertebral disc syndromeEvaluate intervertebral disc syndrome (preoperatively or postoperatively) either under the General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine or under the Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes, whichever method results in the higher evaluation when all disabilities are combined under §4.25.Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating EpisodesWith incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 6 weeks during the past 12 months60With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 4 weeks but less than 6 weeks during the past 12 months40With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 2 weeks but less than 4 weeks during the past 12 months20With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least one week but less than 2 weeks during the past 12 months10Note(1): For purposes of evaluations under diagnostic code 5243, an incapacitating episode is a period of acute signs and symptoms due to intervertebral disc syndrome that requires bed rest prescribed by a physician and treatment by a physician.Note(2): If intervertebral disc syndrome is present in more than one spinal segment, provided that the effects in each spinal segment are clearly distinct, evaluate each segment on the basis of incapacitating episodes or under the General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine, whichever method results in a higher evaluation for that segment.

Edited by jbasser

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John, The common recommended treatment regarding back pain the last few years has been to not utalize the old ways of prescribing bedrest, so where does that leave us now?? Inservice regime did utalize bed rest back then as a treatment.

Throughout the years since, and the advances made in medical treatments, bedrest is not usually recommended, and especially with exception to this not per long periods of time.

Now if we have documentation in our SMR/STR the diagnosis, treatment of bedrest, therapies, medication, adaptive equipment used and no further use of bedrest for the remainder of years, so how will this impact their decision? Do they say old regs used old ways/treatments and too bad if bedrest is no longer used, we will deny if we want to?? Even though we have continuation of treatments and dr visits all these years?? What is your opinion on this subject matter?

I am greatful of your very knowledgable posts regarding back injuries...

To add more, 5241 diagnostic code for spinal fusion based on traumatic arthritis

The Spine

RatingGeneral Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine(For diagnostic codes 5235 to 5243 unless 5243 is evaluated under the Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes):With or without symptoms such as pain (whther or not it radiates), stiffness, or aching in the area of the spine affected by residuals of injury or diseaseUnfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine100Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine50Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine; or, forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine 30 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine40Forward flexion of the cervical spine 15 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine30Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 60 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 15 degrees but not greater than 30 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine not greater than 120 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the cervical spine not greater than 170 degrees; or, muscle spasm or guarding severe enough to result in an abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour such as scoliosis, reversed lordosis, or abnormal kyphosis20Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 60 degrees but not greater than 85 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 40 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 120 degrees but not greater than 235 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the cervical spine greater than 170 degrees but not greater than 335 degrees; or, muscle spasm, guarding, or localized tenderness not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour; or, vertebral body fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of the height10Note (1):Evaluate any associated objective neurologic abnormalities, including, but not limited to, bowel or bladder impairment, separately, under an appropriate diagnostic code.Note (2):(See also Plate V.) For VA compensation purposes, normal forward flexion of the cervical spine is zero to 45 degrees, extension is zero to 45 degrees, left and right lateral flexion are zero to 45 degrees, and left and right lateral rotation are zero to 80 degrees. Normal forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine is zero to 90 degrees, extension is zero to 30 degrees, left and right lateral flexion are zero to 30 degrees, and left and right lateral rotation are zero to 30 degrees. The combined range of motion refers to the sum of the range of forward flexion, extension, left and right lateral flexion, and left and right rotation. The normal combined range of motion of the cervical spine is 340 degrees and of the thoracolumbar spine is 240 degrees. The normal ranges of motion for each component of spinal motion provided in this note are the maximum that can be used for calculation of the combined range of motion.Note (3):In exceptional cases, an examiner may state that because of age, body habitus, neurologic disease, or other factors not the result of disease or injury of the spine, the range of motion of the spine in a particular individual should be considered normal for that individual, even though it does not conform to the normal range of motion stated in Note (2). Provided that the examiner supplies an explanation, the examiner's assessment that the range of motion is normal for that individual will be accepted.Note (4):Round each range of motion measurement to the nearest five degrees.Note (5):For VA compensation purposes, unfavorable ankylosis is a condition in which the entire cervical spine, the entire thoracolumbar spine, or the entire spine is fixed in flexion or extension, and the ankylosis results in one or more of the following: difficulty walking because of a limited line of vision; restricted opening of the mouth and chewing; breathing limited to diaphragmatic respiration; gastrointestinal symptoms due to pressure of the costal margin on the abdomen; dyspnea or dysphagia; atlantoaxial or cervical subluxation or dislocation; or neurologic symptoms due to nerve root stretching. Fixation of a spinal segment in neutral position (zero degrees) always represents favorable ankylosis.Note (6):Separately evaluate disability of the thoracolumbar and cervical spine segments, except when there is unfavorable ankylosis of both segments, which will be rated as a single disability. 5235 Vertebral fracture or dislocation 5236 Sacroiliac injury and weakness 5237 Lumbosacral or cervical strain 5238 Spinal stenosis 5239 Spondylolisthesis or segmental instability 5240 Ankylosing spondylitis 5241 Spinal fusion 5242 Degenerative arthritis of the spine (see also diagnostic code 5003) 5243 Intervertebral disc syndromeEvaluate intervertebral disc syndrome (preoperatively or postoperatively) either under the General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine or under the Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes, whichever method results in the higher evaluation when all disabilities are combined under §4.25.Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating EpisodesWith incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 6 weeks during the past 12 months60With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 4 weeks but less than 6 weeks during the past 12 months40With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 2 weeks but less than 4 weeks during the past 12 months20With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least one week but less than 2 weeks during the past 12 months10Note(1): For purposes of evaluations under diagnostic code 5243, an incapacitating episode is a period of acute signs and symptoms due to intervertebral disc syndrome that requires bed rest prescribed by a physician and treatment by a physician.Note(2): If intervertebral disc syndrome is present in more than one spinal segment, provided that the effects in each spinal segment are clearly distinct, evaluate each segment on the basis of incapacitating episodes or under the General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine, whichever method results in a higher evaluation for that segment.

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