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Loss of use due to frequent wrist drop


I have a question rewarding loss of use.  I am rated 100% permanent & total upon exit of service in 2013.  

I have bilateral arm radiculpathy, (60% severe left arm and moderate right arm 20%) I had 3 cervical operations  on c4-T1 fusions all in service.

I experienced wrist drop in service during 2008 that was periodic, during a 6 month period

over the last 2 years my right and left wrist drop occurs and last from a few hours to a few days about 10-25 times a month. 

I currently am unable to work and on long term disability from my employment.  

Does periodic wrist drop qualify for Loss of use? If it affects my ability to grasp, conduct activities of daily living? 

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Loss of Use

According to VA, loss of use is held to exist when a part of the body would function equally as well as an amputation with use of a suitable prosthesis.  Importantly, amputation is not required in order to experience loss of use.  Determinations of loss of use are made on the basis of the actual remaining function of the upper or lower extremities (e.g. hand or foot).  In regards to determining loss of use of one or both hands, VA considers a veteran’s ability to carry out acts of grasping, manipulation, etc.  In terms of loss of use of one or both feet, VA considers acts of balance, propulsion, etc.  Loss of use does not need to be the result of any one particular injury or illness.  While loss of use of the hands and feet are very common for VA rating purposes and SMC benefits, loss of use can also be applied to the following:

  • An immobilized joint or paralyzed limb
  • Loss of use of a reproductive organ
  • Loss of sight in one eye
  • Deafness in both ears
  • Inability to communicate by speech
  • Loss of a breast, or both breasts, from mastectomy or radiation treatment





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12 hours ago, 289mustang said:

left wrist drop

I never heard of this condition,  but I have what is called drop foot where I cannot walk because I trip on my own toes.. I receive a K award for this problem because it is considered loss of use....Understand for loss of use it has to be a permanent loss of use, intermittent will not get you there.... I have intermittent loss of sight in one eye because of a surgery I had at the VA 12 years ago.... I have fought these last 12 years for a loss of use award and special compensation because of this problem,  it has been turned down over and over again because its an intermittent problem, and there I times were I have gone as many as 8 days without sight in the eye.... so again intermittent will not get you loss of use

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You are rated 100% so you qualify to apply for SMC(k), It pays $108.00 a month on top of what you already receive. You can and certainly should submit if you feel you meet the criteria, but as Vync already posted, the requirement must be like the loss is similar to an amputation where the extremity isn't there from a funtional point of view. So I would think the VA would assume you have funtional  loss MOST of the time but not All of the time. I would suggest that you support your case by doing research on your own; it would seem to me it would be cost effective to get professional help, as in a lawyer or Veterans Agent. Look into cases decided by US Court of Veteran Appeal    http://www.uscourts.cavc.gov/recent_decisions.php If you can find a similar case, you reference it in your statement in support of a claim.

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5 hours ago, GBArmy said:

you are rated 100% so you qualify to apply for SMC(k),

Being 100% or 10% doesn't make a difference,  nothing qualifies you for a K award except  the diagnoses of Loss of use. 

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Richard is correct; I misspoke. Special Monthly comp  is a tax-free benefit paid in addition to the regular VA Disability Compensation, to a veteran who, as a result of military service, incurred the loss or loss of use of specific organs or extremities. Loss of use is the most obvious description, but it can be used

if you are service connected at the 100% rate and are housebound, bedridden, or so helpless to need the aid and attendance of another person, then SMC can be paid.  The amount of SMC will vary depending on the level of aid and attendance needed.

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