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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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malandroaz

2 Seconary Claims for 1 S/C? Can you?

Question

Both of my knees have patellfemoral syndrome. Can I file two secondary claims such as Osteoarthritis and Chronic Pain? If so do I file under both knees?

Right Knee – Patellofemoral Syndrome 10% 
Left Knee - Patellofemoral Syndrome 10% 

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How or why are your knees each 10%? Mine are, but I fell down some stairs on the 5th day of boot camp. Who DXd your knees? If no event or complaint in your SMR, what would you be claiming them as secondary to? You would claim bilateral painful knee condition, or something like that, secondary to what ever the cause is.  They will check both knees and go from there.

For example, last year I claimed foot pain to include plantar fasciitis.  I was DXd by examiner who is a Podiatrist with Pes Cavus w/bilateral plantar fasciitis at 30%.  Which covers both feet.

So a similar outcome is possible for you with your knee claim.

Semper Fi

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SF running and jumping reason why I have 10% for both. There is a complaint of pain and swelling in knees in my SMR. 

 

I dont understand your response: 

Can I file two secondary claims such as Osteoarthritis and Chronic Pain? If so do I file under both knees?

 

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Malandroaz,

Sorry if I was confusing, you had no info to go on, so I was being general in my reply.  Also your profile shows 0%. If you were given a rating from the military it doesn't carry over to the VA, the VA will give you their rating, which may be same, but usually better.

Since you have the complaints in your SMR, and you are already SC for each, it's hard to get more than one rating for each knee. But that does not mean you weren't lowballed and you can file for increase. The chronic pain is a separate issue.

You would file it as caused by bilateral knee condition(bilateral meaning both). The thing is this, most joints get rated based on ROM, if the pain causes your range to be a little limited, then 10%, but if pain is causing severe limit to the ROM, then it would be a much higher rating.

Now...more specifically your chronic pain issue would be best addressed as mental health(MH), the chronic pain interferes with your quality of sleep, making you tired all the time. And you've had to cut out a lot of activities due to knee pain, leading to depression. 

Yes, you can file for 2 secondaries from one primary.

I hope this clears away some fog and haze from my earlier post.

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Arthritis is a different issue than knee problems, but normally it is considered pyramiding because you are already rated at xx for each knee.  

 

A joint condition can only be rated as degenerative arthritis if it does not have a limited enough range of motion to rate under those codes. Conditions CANNOT be rated under both limitation of motion and degenerative arthritis. Limited motion first, and if not, then only arthritis. Got it?

So the bottom line is that if the Arthritis is severe, it will limit the ROM, and your rating will increase.  If there is a zero rating, but you have arthritis, then the minimum rating will apply, or 10% instead of 0%.

 

 The pain in the knee is not going to be rated differently from your knee, that would also be pyramiding.

 A single condition/symptom can only be rated once! As we talked about under coding options, a single condition could fit a couple of different codes, but rating a single condition more than once under different codes is not allowed. Now there are some particular cases where, say, a low back condition that has very limited motion and also affects the nerve creating severe nerve pain down the leg could be rated as two separate conditions. The first would be the limited motion of the back itself and the second would be the nerve pain down the leg.

Note: For DoD only–Each part in and of itself must make the soldier Unfit for Duty for both to be rated.

Rating two aspects of the same condition really doesn’t happen that often. Most of the time a single rating satisfactorily covers all aspects of the condition. Overall, the main rule is only one rating per condition.

(From militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com )

Depression caused by chronic pain is a separate, secondary condition that can be claimed.

Edited by pwrslm
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Sounds like you may be leaning towards looking at the bilateral involvement factor of this situation too

example, claim "Bilateral knee Osteoarthritis".

Edited by awgv001

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