Many veterans develop additional conditions as a result of their service-connected disabilities and veterans can be service connected for those conditions on a secondary basis. Here are some common secondary service-connected conditions among veterans.
Peripheral Neuropathy Secondary to Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
There are multiple medical conditions that a veteran can develop as a result of their service-connected diabetes mellitus type 2. One of the most common conditions secondary to diabetes is peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy impacts a veteran’s peripheral nerves and can cause numbness, weakness, and tingling in the upper and lower extremities, usually in the feet and hands. Veterans can be secondary service-connected for peripheral neuropathy as a result of their already service-connected diabetes.
Other conditions that commonly secondary service-connected to diabetes are diabetic retinopathy, erectile dysfunction, and kidney disease. Veterans can receive secondary service connection for these conditions as well.
Radiculopathy Secondary to Back Disabilities
Radiculopathy is another nerve condition that occurs when a veteran’s nerve is pinched in their spinal column, resulting in weakness, tingling, or numbness in their legs or arms. Radiculopathy can occur in the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine, or lumbar spine depending on the location of the veteran’s back condition. Radiculopathy is commonly experienced as a result of back conditions such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
Depression Secondary to Parkinson’s Disease or Cancer
While depression is a condition that veterans commonly develop as a result of their service-connected Parkinson’s Disease or cancer, depression can be experienced a result of many other service-connected conditions, including orthopedic conditions. A veteran can develop depression because they have a terminal or otherwise aggressive condition, and because they may not be able to do the same activities that they once were able to.
Hypertension Secondary to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop hypertension as secondary to their PTSD. This can be due to the increased stress and anxiety they experience, and this long term stress can cause them to develop high blood pressure for which they can be secondarily service connected.
ED Secondary to Prostate Cancer
Veterans can develop secondary conditions to many cancers, however, a common secondary condition seen among veterans is erectile dysfunction secondary to prostate cancer. While erectile dysfunction will be given a noncompensable rating, veterans who are service connected for erectile dysfunction are eligible to receive SMC(k), a level of Special Monthly Compensation that is awarded in addition to the veteran’s monthly disability compensation.
Other common residuals of prostate cancer are frequent urination and urinary incontinence, both of which a veteran can be service-connected for as secondary to their prostate cancer.