Jump to content
HadIt.com Changes Ownership ×
VA Disability Claims Community Forums - HadIt.com Veterans
  • veterans-crisis-line.jpg
    The Veterans Crisis Line can help even if you’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care.


  • question-001.jpeg

    Have Questions? Get Answers.

    Tips on posting on the forums.

    1. Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery instead of ‘I have a question.
    2. Knowledgeable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title.
      I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.
    3. Use paragraphs instead of one massive, rambling introduction or story.
      Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph, there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.
    Leading too:

    exclamation-point.pngPost straightforward questions and then post background information.
    • Question A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?
      • Adding Background information in your post will help members understand what information you are looking for so they can assist you in finding it.
    Rephrase the question: I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine, but the claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?
    • Question B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?
      • See how the details below give us a better understanding of what you’re claiming.
    Rephrase the question: I was involved in a traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?
    This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial of your claim?”
    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed. This process does not take long.
    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed. The review requirement will usually be removed by the 6th post. However, we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.
    • This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before hitting the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims, and this helps us do that.
  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   


  • VA Watchdog

  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

    employment 2.jpeg

    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

  • 0

Is my hypoxic respiratory failure( COPD),oxygen dependent; considered Loss Of Use.



I was wondering is Hypoxic respiratory failure (COPD) would be considered Loss of Use for SMC. Im on oxygen and always tired and fatigue. I just thought of this and just wanted the opinion of someone that is 100 times more smarter then me at these matters. I would think so because our short air supply and breathing from a machine, but I don't know. Can anyone help me understand.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
  • Moderator

Great question.  Unfortunately, not exactly a simple answer.  In my review of 38 CFR 3.350, I did not see anything for "loss of use of lungs".  

However, this could cause aphonia (inability to speak), helplessness, (being bedridden) and needing aid and attendance.  I say, "go for it".  





6) Aphonia. Complete organic aphonia will be held to exist where there is a disability of the organs of speech which constantly precludes communication by speech.

(Authority: Pub. L. 88-22)'


or, if you need help, for aid and attendance:
(3) Need for aid and attendance. The criteria for determining that a veteran is so helpless as to be in need of regular aid and attendance are contained in § 3.352(a).
OR, if you are helpless or bedridden, or housebound.  
All of the above are SMC and you know better if eligible than I do.  
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
  • HadIt.com Elder

Perfectto-jo Welcome to Hadit. A good explanation is on SMC (k), which is loss or loss of use is here https://cck-law.com/blog/special-monthly-compensation-series-smck/  Broncovet offers a little optimism and there is some logic to his suggestion if you meet the criteria. Most certainly, it doesn't fit the "usual" disability claim because you didn't lose use of hands, feet, creative organ. But then, it doesn't say it has to be. As he says, why not go for it. Think of it as buying a raffle ticket, low risk, high return. Be creative! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Let's be honest here. Aphonia is listed in §3.350(a)(6):

(6) Aphonia. Complete organic aphonia will be held to exist where there is a disability of the organs of speech which constantly precludes communication by speech.

This only happens when your vocal chords are enucleated (think throat cancer) such that you can only move your lips to communicate. Loss of, or loss of use of the lungs sort of means you die... I have succeeded in getting several folks rated for this (DC 6517) but only at 0%. There's a logical reason for it. It's secondary to Parkinson's (Paralysis Agitans under DC 8004).  The disease weakens your diaphragm muscles which control the amount of oxygen that passes through your vocal chords.  Thus your speech is  impaired and reduced-but it does not preclude communication by speech at, say a whisper or louder. 

A Vet can certainly prove, by a doctor's diagnosis, s/he is constantly precluded (forever) from speech and this will get you two things- a 100% rating under DC 6519 and SMC at the "K" rate-and no more for that particular scenario. Of course there are myriad ways you might get secondaries rated with IMOs. If you can only whisper, then you get 60%-but only if your disability is permanent. Expect VA to reexamine you a lot on this one unless you are maxed at 100% on COPD. Since speech is technically a different category from the lungs, it might be a neat trick to get the 60% to get to SMC S and avoid pyramiding. Now that would be an avenue to pursue.   

The problem and the reason none of us will ever get SMC L (loss of use) for aphonia alone is simple. It's not listed in the 4 conditions in §3.350(b). It's listed in §3.350(a). Quite simply, that means you will get a SMC "K" rating for it. I think the path would be to go after SMC L for A&A based on a 100% COPD and the inability to accomplish the ordinary activities of daily living under §3.352. I've gotten one Vet L for that combination and now we're working on getting BVA to give him the full and half-step bumps for all the other non-related SC conditions under §3.350(f)(3)(4). Houston refuses to.

P.S. I should add this. As an accredited representative, I am forbidden to file "frivolous claims". I could never file a claim demanding SMC L for loss of lungs wiithout censure by the OGC. However, an unrepresented (pro se) Vet can. Since you cannot win it with this logic, I'd defer to my discussion above. No insults intended to anyone on the site. Just pure reasoned, logical thinking. I'm sure someone else may have a better  way to skin a cat.

Edited by asknod (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Guidelines and Terms of Use