Many veterans suffer from back pain following their military service. Chronic back pain can limit your ability to work, earn a living, and even perform basic activities, such as bathing and dressing. If you can establish service connection for your back injury, you might be eligible to receive veterans (VA) disability benefits for your back pain injury.
The VA disability application and appeals processes are intricate and nuanced. Thus, it is important to have a keen understanding of the process and ensure you go about it the right way. Working with a qualified VA disability attorney can help. The advocates at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD have helped many injured veterans win the VA disability compensation rightfully owed to them. We can put our experience and vast resources to work for you.
Call our office today for a free consultation: 401-331-6300.
How do I win VA disability compensation for my back pain injury?
To win VA disability compensation, we must prove not only that you have an injury or medical condition, but also that it resulted from a specific event in your military service. Our attorneys have a three-step process by which we do this.
First, we obtain all relevant medical records to prove that you have a diagnosed medical condition. Then, we identify an event from your military service that caused or contributed to your condition. After that, and only if necessary, we obtain a medical opinion in which an expert in the relevant field links the event with the injury and shows causality. We then submit these three elements with a thorough legal argument in support of your claim.
Back pain is a broad term, and not all forms of it qualify for VA disability. In other words, back pain, even if it is constant and severe, does not mean you can receive benefits based on that alone. You need to have a medical diagnosis, and the VA requires that your diagnosis meets certain criteria.
The VA provides a list of back injuries that are eligible for disability benefits. For instance, if your back pain results from spinal stenosis, and your injury is service-connected, the VA should approve your application.
Evidence of Event in Service
No matter how severe your back injury, the VA will not consider it eligible for disability benefits until we prove it is service-connected. Our advocates have a strong track record of analyzing service records, interviewing military personnel and expert witnesses, and drawing a nexus, or link, between our clients’ injuries and their service in the military.
Chances are, your military service included either combat or strenuous training exercises, both of which present a risk of back pain injury.
Linking Medical Opinion
The VA requires an opinion from a medical expert stating that your injury likely resulted from a service event. We work to obtain this evidence and compellingly present it to the VA.
How much can I receive in VA disability compensation for my back pain injury?
The amount you receive in compensation depends on the type and extent of your condition. The VA awards higher benefit amounts the more limiting your injury is. It uses a disability rating schedule from 0 to 100 percent to quantify your condition, and your monthly benefit amount depends on your rating.
Range of motion (ROM) is the primary criterion the VA uses to assign disability ratings to back pain injuries. The more restriction in your ROM, the more money you will receive in compensation.
For example, the VA assigns a 100 percent disability rating for a veteran with unfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine, while it only assigns a 10 percent disability rating for a vet with forward flexion between 60 and 85 degrees.
A rating of 0 percent does not qualify for monthly disability benefits. A rating of 100 percent allows you to receive the highest amount of benefits. The following is the general rating schedule for diseases and injuries of the spine. Muscle and disc injuries might differ.
- 10 percent disability rating: $133.57 per month
- 20 percent disability rating: $264.02 per month
- 30 percent disability rating: $408.97 per month
- 40 percent disability rating: $589.12 per month
- 50 percent disability rating: $838.64 per month
- 100 percent disability rating: $2,915.55 per month
With a disability rating of 30 percent or higher, you can also receive benefits for any dependents who might be living in your household, such as your spouse, children, or dependent parents.
Our advocates can help you determine how much you might receive.
Do I need a lawyer to receive VA disability benefits for my back pain injury?
While the VA does not require you to have a lawyer to apply for VA disability benefits, it can greatly boost your chance of winning your case. The VA has a reputation for being complex, unwieldy, and difficult to work with. The decisions it hands down are often arbitrary. Many veterans receive a grant for benefits only after first receiving multiple rejections, and the appeals process is long and arduous. The entire task from beginning to end is unpleasant and trying.
The VA disability attorneys at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD can take the burden off your shoulders by handling your case from beginning to end. We have helped many veterans win VA disability, and we can put our vast resources to work for you. Call our office today for a free consultation: 401-331-6300.