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Rating of spinal injuries

Question

I received compensation for a cervical spinal injury, but the injury to my lumbar spine was never rated. Should I file a claim for this injury also?

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If you choose to file, it might be worth doing your homework first. It can help you get a step ahead.

The thoracolumbar segment is rated independently of your cervical segment, so you can have separate ratings for each.

If your cervical was recently rated, it might be worth it to look at the C&P examination results. They might have also done a workup on your lumbar.

Below is a link to §4.71a   Schedule of ratings—musculoskeletal system

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5;node=38:1.0.1.1.5#se38.1.4_171a

You will have to scroll down a bit to get to the actual spine rating table. It helps to learn about the criteria ahead so you are aware of it.

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The easiest way is to claim your lumbar/thoracic  secondary to your cervical.  You will not get the earlier date of your cervical claim, but you do not have to prove service connection.

How old is you cervical claim?

This works for me x3,  my lumbar/thoracic is secondary to my service connected cervical spine.  Both are rated 20% for "Range of Motion".  Also, even though arthritis is only rated 10% it is found by x-ray and it can spread to adjacent joints, etc.  So, if there is any mention of arthritis from your injury, you can work that to other joints when they start to give you problems.  Arthritis gets  you in the door, range of motion gets you the bucks.

Hamslice

 

Edited by Hamslice
damn spelling

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Do you also have notes in your service medical records for a lumbar condition? If you are not too old, using arthritis for secondary might not work. It could take years for arthritis from the cervical joints to spread that far. If the secondary is not an option, then look at the direct connection. There has to be an incident causing the condition during active duty service, and a current diagnosis of the same or related condition. Finally there must be a nexus, or a link, between the two. If you do have a significant notation on a lumbar issue in your service medical file it may be the way to go.

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