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  • 14 Questions about VA 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 ...
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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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Question about lower leg SMC K

Army man 2


Just had Toe surgery Cheilectomy with plantarflexory bunion osteotomy and screw fixation right metatarso palflexory joint 

According to Code 5280 When the big toe points toward the second toe, a bunion can form on the outside of the big toe. If the bony bump is removed by surgery, then it is rated 10%. If it is so severe that it is as though the big toe had been amputated, then it is also rated 10%. Otherwise, it is not ratable.

This is what was told me the absolute maximum evaluation (with the exception of a temporary surgical or convalescence rating) for the foot is 40 percent.  Actually this is the maximum combined evaluation that can be assigned for all disabilities below the knee which includes the lower leg, ankle, and foot. 

 I was told the most VA give is 40% on the lower leg which consist of foot, ankle, and toe. In most cases when various disabilities reach the point that they combine to a 40 percent or greater evaluation they are all closed out and a single 40 percent is assigned under the diagnostic code for loss of use of the foot.  This 40 percent would also include smc "k"

Total rating is  VA Disability 90%

Current VA rating on right lower leg    

Right foot hallux valgus with hallux rigdus    0%        (This could be increase to 10% base on Code 5280)

Morton neuroma right foot              10%

right foot pes planus (also claimed as right foot arthritis       30%

degenerative joint disease right ankle                         10%

 If get at least 10% more for this foot surgery listed above then I will be at 30-10-10-10 meaning my right foot would be at 60%

So will they give me closed me out or continue to rank each items separated. Does anyone know for sure?

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20 minutes ago, Army man 2 said:

I was told the most VA give is 40% on the lower leg which consist of foot, ankle, and toe. In most cases when various disabilities reach the point that they combine to a 40 percent or greater evaluation they are all closed out and a single 40 percent is assigned under the diagnostic code for loss of use of the foot.  This 40 percent would also include smc "k"

I don't think this is true.  I believe smc k is awarded due to loss of use.  Also, the 40% rating  for lower leg cover's  everything below the knee.  So you could have a rating of 40% for peripheral neuropathy and 20% for chronic venous insufficiency.  The most you could receive would be limited to the 40% which would be paid if you had an amputation.  However I don't believe the rating alone qualifies you for a schedule k rating if you have continued use.

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I will also add that if your reduced mobility due to your foot problems causes you to be unable to maintain substantial gainful employement, you can/should apply for TDIU, which would bring you to 100percent, and you could get SMC also for loss of use of foot.  

I have not seen many people going to work "hopping on one foot", so its possible or even likely that if you can not use your foot, then you could not work and be eligible for unemployablility.  

If you have some sort of job (dont ask me what job that would be) where you could work with only one foot, then that may not apply.  

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Have any of your Drs recommended seeing a VA MH professional regarding possible Depression? My lay readings and some of my personal experiences support the possibility of Chronic Pain conditions often causing a person to become to one degree or another, Depressed. If at some point down the road, an SC Secondary for Depression were DX'd, an IU Claim either Scheduler or Extra-Scheduler would be strengthened.

I don't think a major loss of use of 1 or both feet, would necessarily support an IU Award, think Sedentary work. Many wheelchair bound individuals earn well in excess of the VA's SGI cutoff for earned income ($12,400 under 65). VA Raters look at your education, work experience past and present, when deciding if a Sedentary Employment Denial is warranted.

Research the Pros of a VA Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor's "Denial Letter," with respect to IU claims.

Semper Fi


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