Bursitis and Your Claim for VA Benefits

Bursitis and Your Claim for VA Benefits

Bursitis is a condition that occurs when small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones and muscles near joints become enflamed. It is commonly experienced at the shoulder, elbow, and hip joints, but it can also affect other joints that perform repetitive motions.

Bursitis may result in pain, swelling, or joint stiffness. Resting the affected joint may relieve symptoms, but recurrent flare-ups may occur, especially if you resume normal activity with the affected joint.

Bursitis was one of the most common types of disabilities claimed by new veterans disability recipients in the 2015 fiscal year. Over 36,000 veterans were approved for disability benefits during this year.

Applying for Disability Benefits for Bursitis

The usual rules of VA disability compensation apply—a veteran must prove that they have a current, diagnosed disability, and that it was caused by an event that occurred during their military service.

If you believe that repetitive use of joint during your military service contributed to your current bursitis, you should note this in your application as well, and have your doctor give an opinion on the cause of your bursitis.

Ratings for bursitis are typically given based on limitations of a joint’s range of motion. You will need to have the affected joint’s range of motion measured to determine what rating will be assigned.

For example, shoulder bursitis that prevents you from raising your arm more than 25 degrees would result in a 40 percent rating for your dominant arm, or a 30 percent rating of your non-dominant arm. Hip bursitis that prevents you from flexing your leg more than 10 degrees would be rated as 40 percent disabling.

If you can move the affected joint without limitations, but experience pain during motion, you may be entitled to a minimum compensable rating. Your physician will have to note that you experience pain during motion, not just generalized pain in a joint. For example, if you can move your knee joint without limitation, but experience pain during motion, you will receive a 10 percent rating.

Talk to an experienced veterans law practitioner to learn more about the appeals process. Our veterans lawyers have helped thousands of veterans with their VA disability compensation appeals. Contact us for a no-cost consultation.

Category: Veterans Law