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14 Questions about Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits Claims 

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 when it comes to filing VA Disability Claims.









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Chronic Lower Back Pain

Question

I am currently rated at 40% for conditions related to chronic prostatitis. As a secondary condition I have chronic lower back pain. I have been looking through the ECFR and need help where to go before I apply. I have a IMO in my favor. It seems that all back conditions are rated on range of motion? Is there anything that is just based on the amount of pain a person has. My motion is limited but the pain is intense.

Thanks

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8 answers to this question

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There is a court case called the "Deluca" case that empowers VA C&P personnel to regard pain during repetitive motion as part of their examination, but nothing that addresses physical pain. Chronic pain can also be ruled as a mental health issue, but not both as a physical and mental issues.

CAS

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Read a little bit more into the injuries of the spine and found this at 20%

-guarding severe enough to result in an abnormal gait....-

I have to hunch over when I walk as the pain is so bad.

Thanks

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Can you work with this condition?

Does the VA have the "acute" form of the disease on the rating schedule?

Do the doctors believe the current level of symptoms will resolve for any reason?

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Although the April 2006 VA x-ray demonstrated findings ofarthritis, this x-ray did not demonstrate arthritis involvement of 2 or moremajor joints to warrant a separate evaluation under Diagnostic Code 5003.However, the July 5, 2007, VA examination noted flexion from zero to 120 degreeswith pain from 30 to 96 degrees. In other words, factoring in pain, the Veteranhad flexion limited to 30 degrees. See Hicks v. Brown, 8 Vet. App. 417, 421(1995) (noting that under 38 C.F.R. § 4.59, painful motion is consideredlimited motion even though range of motion is possible beyond the point whenpain sets in). In other words, beginning July 5, 2007, a separate 20 percentdisability rating is warranted under Diagnostic Code 5260

The VA is supposed to rate for pain even if you have full range of motion.

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Yes I can work although it does hurt.

The only one I saw for pain was this under 4.71a

...or localized tenderness not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour;...

My doctor has said this will not improve but will probably not get worse either.

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I searched the BVA looking for cases similar to yours. I found thirty claims for conditions secondary to chronic prostatitis. However, none of them included lower back symptoms. I rely heavily on reading BVA decisions. I can tell you we had a retired DRO who used to post on hadit who stated that in his entire career he never used an IMO to make an award. He said they did not comply with VA standards. Make sure you followed the instructions for obtaining an IMO listed here on hadit.

Your claim will depend heavily on the IMO. I did find a reference the BVA used implying they had access to identfying the types of conditions caused by chronic prostatitis. However, I could not find what they use as a reference.

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