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Common VA Disabilities


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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Depression Secondary to low back pain or tinittus/hearing loss


I have a VA diagnoses for depression, lower back pain and tinittus, with zero for bilateral hearing loss.

 All are connected except depression. Which condition would most likely allow for a secondary of depression?



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Back pain if it is chronic.  

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Great question.  Ask your psych doc, "Do you think this depression is related to hearing loss/tinnitus or my lower back pain?"   Ask him to make a note of his answer, and then apply for depression secondary to that conditon as its all about what your doctor says in his report.  

You see:  It does not matter what we think.  VA makes that crystal clear.  Its what the doctor says.    Here is some evidence for you:

a.  Service connected for depression secondary to hearing loss:   https://www.va.gov/vetapp11/files1/1101172.txt

or https://www.va.gov/vetapp08/files1/0802864.txt

b.  Service connect for depression secondary to lower back pain: 



    I think its possible to combine these, that is,  you are depressed because you hear poorly AND because you are in pain.  If your doc thinks its both, then his statement should suffice.  

For Secondary conditions the Caluza triangle becomes just 2, because you have already established an in service event or aggravation with your primary condion.  So for secondary condition you need these 2 things:

1.  Current diagnosis (of depression, and it sounds like you have that, but check your medical records to be sure its DOCUMENTED.)  

2.  Nexus, or your doctors statement that your depression is "at least as likely as not" secondary to (hearing loss/back pain, etc, a service connected conditon).  


     In other words, an "in service event" is NOT required for service connecting a secondary condition to an already service connected issue.  


Edited by broncovet

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