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Code 5314 Rating


Hokie99
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In 1995 I was rated 40% for the following decision from Form 21-6796: Service connection for residuals through and through gunshot wound left thigh, entrance wound antero-medial aspect distal left thigh, exit wound antero-lateral distal thigh with fracture of patella, status post multiple debridement, incisions and drainage and open reduction internal fixation of patella fracture with adhesions and tender scars is granted with an evaluation of 40 percent. 
In the reasons and bases section it states the evaluation of 40 percent is granted whenever the there is severe muscle disability and that history indicated a through and through or deep penetrating wound due to high velocity missile. Findings show extensive scarring indicating wide damage to muscle groups in the missile track.    In layman’s terms what happened is I was shot in the lower thigh above the knee which destroyed 2 inches of quadriceps muscle and also shattered the patella. I asked the VA for the code this was rated under and they sent me a letter that stated this was rated  code 5314 injury affecting knee extension & hip flexion 40% combined rating. 
I have since developed arthritis of both knees so I filed a secondary claim for the arthritis in each knee. I was awarded 10 percent for the right knee as secondary but they  included the left knee arthritis under the old 40 percent injury. No addition for the left knee arthritis. The new disabilities are stated as 0 percent for service connected scarring, 10 percent for secondary service connected right knee arthritis, and now under the old 40% it now reads residual gsw, left thigh entrance wound antero-medial aspect distal, exit wound antero-lateral distal, with fracture of patella, s/p debridement, incisions, drainage, ORIF of patella fracture with adhesions and degenerative arthritis. 
I feel that I am probably getting hosed on the 40 percent rating as it seems they have combined a ton of different injuries into that one group. When I research decision letters I can find multiple decisions where the muscle wound is rated 40 percent alone and then separate ratings were given for the arthritis and patella injuries. Does anybody with knowledge agree with my self assessment? I do have a VSO but he was almost complacent with the original rating and I just want to make sure I am not letting the VA get away with a bad rating here. Also I am definitely appealing the scarring as a conservative measurement squared is 14.5 square inches. The scar is jagged and deep where the muscle was blown out. I am really confused by a 0 percent rating for that as I thought hat would be the easiest rating. Thanks for reading this long post. 
 

 

 

 

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I agree with you.  You got hosed by VA's "Third favorite thing:  Lowball".   Number 1 favorite is delays, while number 2 is denials.  

Yes, those scars should be rated seperately.  One question:  How does this affect your employment?  Are you working?  

AND:

"Getting shot" sounds like a "stressor" for PTSD to me.  I dont know if you have PTSD or not, but many people have it and dont even know it.  My son is one.  He was in IRAQ and his supervisor, who was driving the Tank He normally drove, went over an IED and burned to death.  He does not admit to having PTSD, and wont seek treatment or benefits for it.  

Ditto for my son in Law.  He has a purple heart, having schrapnel in his head and feet from an explosion..but he wont apply for PTSD nor will he apply for TBI.  

I cant say that is true for you, but, if you do have symptoms, then apply for it and seek treatment.  

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Bronco,

Thanks for the reply and the pointers. I monitor my health both the physical and mental side and do seek  medical treatment when I need  it. I hope your family members will do the same. I think both of those guys are lucky in one case anyway. They have you as an advocate to help out when the time comes.  I hope they continue to heal and I am thankful for the service they rendered. 
 

In my case I did some more searching  last night  And found a really good BVA decision in a case that sounds exactly like mine. That vet had appealed where the VA had lumped his arthritis into his dc 5314. It was overturned and ordered to be separately rated and includes an excellent write up with CFR support for the decision. I haven’t received the actual letter from the VA yet and I hope once I receive that it will have more explanation for the 0 percent scar rating. There is an error somewhere with that. I went to a contractor for the C&P and he was a general practitioner not an ortho. So I think that is where some of the issue resides. All I have right now is the ebenefits disabilities list as they just closed the file late last week.  I can’t reach my VSO right now due to the Corona Virus  causing the office to be closed so I have to wait for the letter to be snail mailed. Thanks for the help. 

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