• New Look Coming Soon! – Check back for our new website!

Adjust Font Size:

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a disease of the central nervous system, characterized by the death of dopamine producing cells in the brain.  With less dopamine, a person has less ability to control their movements, body, and emotions.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease are generally classified as motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms.  Motor symptoms can include:

  • Rigidity
  • Tremors
  • Delayed movement
  • Poor balance

Non-motor symptoms include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Urinary dysfunction
  • Constipation
  • Swallowing problems
  • Mood disorders
  • Cognitive deficits

VA Disability Ratings for Parkinson’s Disease

VA rates Parkinson’s Disease under 38 CFR § 4.124a – Schedule of Ratings, Neurological Conditions and Convulsive Disorders, Diagnostic Code (DC) 8004.  This diagnostic code assigns an automatic minimum 30 percent rating for the condition, but it does not take into account the symptoms associated with it.  Therefore, VA should continue rating as follows, after beginning with the minimum 30 percent rating:

  • Evaluate each of the veteran’s symptoms/residuals associated with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Calculate the combined disability rating for those symptoms
  • Assign the higher evaluation (i.e. the minimum 30 percent rating for the disease itself or the combined rating of the symptoms)

Examples of symptoms/residuals of Parkinson’s Disease that VA can evaluate when assigning a disability rating include the following:

  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) – DC 7203
  • Speech problems (dysarthria) – DC 8210
  • Bladder incontinence (neurogenic bladder) – DC 7542

Parkinson’s Disease and Agent Orange Exposure

In July 2009, the Health and Medicine Division (formally known as the Institute of Medicine) concluded in its report “Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008”, that there is suggestive but limited evidence that exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides is associated with an increased chance of developing Parkinson’s Disease.  As a result, VA added Parkinson’s Disease to its list of presumptive conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure.  Therefore, veterans who served in the following locations during the specified time periods and later developed Parkinson’s Disease do not have to prove that their condition is related to service:

  • Veterans with “boots on the ground”, those serving on inland waterways in Vietnam, and “blue water” Navy veterans between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975;
  • Veterans who flew or worked in C-123 aircraft during the Vietnam War era; and
  • Veterans who served along the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971

Parkinson’s Disease and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when brain function is disrupted by a traumatic event such as an IED blast, a gunshot wound, a car accident, etc.  Rates of TBI among service members have increased substantially since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  VA diagnoses a veteran’s TBI as mild, moderate, or severe based on the severity of his or her symptoms.  Importantly, if Parkinson’s Disease develops at any point following a moderate or severe TBI, the veteran will be presumptively service-connected for it.

Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease

VA has established a list of presumptive conditions, including Parkinson’s Disease, for service members that served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 cumulative days from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987.  Therefore, Camp Lejeune veterans do not need to prove that their Parkinson’s Disease is connected to their military service.

TDIU and SMC for Parkinson’s Disease

Due to the fact that Parkinson’s Disease is such a disabling condition that often affects daily functioning, veterans can look to see if they qualify for Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) – a monthly benefit for veterans who have service-connected conditions that result in severe impairment, including the loss or loss of use of extremities, blindness, the need of regular aid and attendance, etc.  Furthermore, total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) may be an option if a veteran’s Parkinson’s Disease precludes him or her from securing and following substantially gainful employment.  Here, veterans will be paid at the 100 percent level regardless of their combined disability ratings.



  • It has been one of the best legal experiences that I have personally encountered. Their follow up and their follow thru has been on perfect terms. Wow, they have given me a celebrity experience! Impressive! Read More » K. Nade, October 2017
  • These people are FANTASTIC!!! I highly recommend this firm to Veterans everywhere. Honest Legal Help like this is priceless and they are extremely skilled. So Satisfied with the results...5 stars!! Read More » Anonymous, October 2017
  • I cannot begin to say how grateful I am to this Firm. From the Class A staff to the Lawyers, there are no complaints. Everyone treated me fantastic!! After 30 yrs of fighting on my own, they were able to win my case in less than 15 months. Read More » C. Marie, September 2017
  • My case was initially rejected by the VA but with the thorough review by CC&K , the VA agreed with the case that CC&K made and awarded my initial rating of 30% retroactive to 1975. Read More » Edward M., September 2017
  • We had struggled for eight plus years, with the VA, and got nowhere. Our case was sent to CC&K and in less than one year, we were they won all his back pay and 100% rating. We could not be more pleased. We highly recommend this firm for anyone struggling with the VA. Read More » Anonymous, September 2017
  • I thought I could go it alone. I filed several disability claims through the VA only to be denied over and over again. I knew I needed help. I found that help with the law firm of Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick. They filed for me and won. Read More » Gene W., July 2017
  • I'm so glad we sought the help of CCK on my husband's VA claim. We had been going back and forth with the VA for 5 years on his claim without seeing any progress. Then we found CCK and the case was resolved in about a year! Read More » Sarah C., June 2017
  • I was fighting for my VA disability compensation for 10 years. I was ready to give up and then CCK took my case. I immediately felt at ease because they kept me informed every step of the way and there was so much less stress for me. Read More » Raul B., March 2017
  • Badge
  • Badge
  • Badge
  • Badge
  • Badge
  • Badge
  • Badge
To Top
Click to call
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages