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Rheumatoid Arthritis Progression

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My question is about rheumatoid arthritis spreading to new joints and how the VA views these new claims.

 I am going to add new claims for left hand, right wrist, both knees, both ankles, and right shoulder.  Ask for an increase for the right foot as there is painful motion.  

I am service connected for psoriatic arthritis(VA rates this as rheumatoid arthritis according to explanation by them in my claim) of the right hand 10%, right foot 0%, left wrist 10%, left foot 10%.

Assuming that these new claims are for rheumatoid arthritis individual joints, does the VA usually assume the progression of the disease to other joints.  I am already service connected for psoriatic arthritis(rheumatoid for VA rating) in the joints listed above ?

My understanding is that degenerative arthritis which I am not referring to needs in service treatment or in service injury for specific joints that cause current disability.  I am not finding much information on rheumatoid arthritis being service connected and spreading to new joints.  I might not be looking in the right places.  The new joints I am claiming do not have in service treatment records, but is rheumatoid arthritis treated differently if I already have service connected rheumatoid arthritis in other joints currently?


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Has your doctor made a statement in your records similar to :

The Veterans "xx arthritis" has spread to his knee"?   Or, that these are related/secondary to each other. 

Sorry, NO, the VA does not "give you a pass" because you have arthritis.  Its the same with arthritis, as everything else:  You need the Caluza Triangle for service connection.  

In case of secondaries, the doc needs to opine, in writing, that your hand arthritis is secondary to your service connected knee arthritis, or, as you said, it spread there.  

While this is quite possible, it must be documented by your doctor.  No free arthritis pass automatically service connecting any arthritis joints together.  


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Do you see a VA Rheumatologist? The Dr would probably order an MRI for a definitive DX.

A VA Specialist's "Clinician Treatment Notes" regarding the natural progression of what ever is going on, would be the Evidence Necessary to support your Claim for Increase..

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