Is Parkinsons A Long
Theres no denying that Parkinsons is a long-term disability. The symptoms can last for years, and theres currently no cure. However, that doesnt mean people with Parkinsons cant lead full and fulfilling lives.
With the right support and treatment, many people with Parkinsons can manage their symptoms and enjoy a good quality of life. People with Parkinsons can live full and rewarding lives with the right support and treatment.
Va Disability Rating For Parkinsons Disease Overview
If you are a veteran who develops Parkinsons disease, you might find yourself curious as to how Parkinsons disease can affect VA disability benefits.
Generally speaking, VA benefits are a form of tax-free, monthly compensation that the VA pays to veterans who suffer from disabilities related to their military service.
To determine how much compensation an individual veteran gets, the VA gives them a disability rating. Additional disabilities, like Parkinsons disease, can affect your disability rating.
Parkinsons disease is one of the many disabilities recognized by the VA.
Regardless of whether you are already receiving VA disability benefits, as a veteran developing Parkinsons, it helps to have some general knowledge about how Parkinsons disease can affect those benefits.
Many veterans depend on disability benefits. For those veterans, it is absolutely crucial to understand what changes they can expect from the VA regarding Parkinsons disease.
You may have questions like, Is Parkinsons disease a 100% compensation disability? Or, What factors can impact my Parkinsons disease disability rating?
If you have these kinds of questions about VA disability benefits and their interaction with Parkinsons disease, dont hesitate to give us a call at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys.
Our VA disability benefits team is always happy to answer your questions and set you in the right direction.
How The Va Rates Bradykinesia With And Without Parkinsons Va Disability Claims
The VA regulations do not include a ratings table for bradykinesia. In fact, the way the VA rates bradykinesia is not tied to its causes but its effects.
Bradykinesia is a brain disorder. Studies differ on the exact mechanism within the brain that causes the condition. However, theres agreement that the part of the brain called the basal ganglia sends weak or miscoded signals that cause an involuntary slowing of your movement.
Rather than rating bradykinesia based on its neurological cause, it is rated based on the regions of the body affected by the slowed movement. Specifically, the VA rates bradykinesia as a form of paralysis instead of a brain disorder. This means veterans seeking VA disability benefits for bradykinesia will need medical records that not only confirm the existence of bradykinesia but also specify the affected areas and the severity at each location.
The benefit of this approach is that veterans who file a VA disability claim for bradykinesia will receive a rating for each of its manifestations. For example, a veteran who experiences bradykinesia in their right arm and left leg will receive two residual ratings that will be aggregated via VA math. Similarly, a veteran with bradykinesia in the face and both legs will receive three VA disability ratings.
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Impairment Ratings And Veterans Parkinsons Disease
If you look for Parkinsons in the Impairment Rating Tables , you wont find a listing for Parkinsons Disease.
Theres 2 reasons for that.
First, the VA rates symptoms, not conditions.
Second, Parkinsons is one of those conditions that can have a LOT of residual symptoms it can affect every part of your nervous system: from information processing speeds, to gait/walk, speech, use of arms/hands, inability to process smells/odors, etc.
In the worst cases, we see Veterans with dementia that results from Parkinsons Disease, too.
So, how do you make sure that the VA properly rates your Parkinsons Disease.
Location Of The Bradykinesia
Bradykinesia can manifest anywhere. The most noticeable locations are your arms and legs, making it difficult to lift objects or walk without shuffling. The disorder can also affect your fingers jaw , and face . In some patients, bradykinesia can even affect the mouth and neck, leading to speaking difficulties.
For example, bradykinesia that manifests as an impairment of balance may be rated using the rating table for paralysis of the eleventh cranial nerve under Diagnostic Code 8211 of the VAs regulations. Similarly, bradykinesia in an upper extremity may be rated using the rating table for paralysis of the musculospiral nerve or median nerve under Diagnostic Code 8514 or 8515. On the other hand, a lower extremity may be rated using the rating table for paralysis of the sciatic nerve or external popliteal nerve under Diagnostic Code 8520 or 8521.
Fortunately, you do not need to wade into the VAs diagnostic codes to know which nerve paralysis most closely approximates your case of bradykinesia. You just need your physician to identify where the bradykinesia occurs .
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New Ongoing And Published Research
In 2001, VA created six specialized centers to provide Veterans state-of-the-art clinical care, education, research, and advocacy for Parkinson’s disease.
Known as the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers , they are located in Philadelphia, Richmond, Virginia, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Seattle/Portland area. The centers also provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment services for other movement disorders, including essential tremor, restless leg syndrome, dystonia, Lewy body disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, and corticobasal degeneration.
Researchers at these sites are studying the biochemical pathways involving dopamine and testing a variety of treatment approaches for PD, including medication, surgery, and electrical stimulation. Biomedical and clinical studies on PD are ongoing at many other VA sites as well.
If you are interested in learning about joining a VA-sponsored clinical trial, visit our research study .
Why Secondary Conditions Matter
A secondary condition can influence the disability rating that a Veteran receives from the VA. If a Veteran is suffering from mental or physical problems stemming from a service-related disability, these problems can lead to an increase in the disability rating that the Veteran receives from the VA. Although secondary conditions may not directly result from service-related events or injuries, if the VA can establish a connection between these problems and a service-related disability, secondary conditions can make a Veteran eligible to receive more benefits each month.
If you are suffering from a secondary condition in addition to your service-related disability, your disability rating from the VA could likely be higher than it currently is. If the VA has only assessed your initial disability and not factored in any secondary conditions, you may have received a lower rating than your condition warrants. Because secondary conditions can make life much more difficult for Veterans and were caused by military service, the VA recognizes secondary conditions as grounds for raising a disabled Veterans disability rating.
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How Do I File A Claim For Va Disability Compensation Benefits
Timing: Typically, the VA cannot grant service-connection for a condition if there is no formal diagnosis on record. However, Parkinsons disease is an exception to this rule. Parkinsons is diagnosed by exclusion, meaning that a formal diagnosis is issued only when all other possible diseases have been ruled out. The VA determined that veterans should not have to wait for their condition to worsen before filing for benefits. Therefore, if you have documented symptoms of Parkinsonism but have not yet been officially diagnosed with Parkinsons, you can still receive service connection for Parkinsons disease. If this is the case, do not delay filing for VA compensation until you have a Parkinsons disease diagnosis because, if VA grants you service connection, they will pay your benefits starting from the date they received your claim.
Organize your thoughts: When you are ready to apply for VA benefits, it is a good idea to take a moment to think about your symptoms and how they impact your daily life and your ability to work. Also, think about what aspects of your active-duty military service caused your illness/injury and disability. It can help to write yourself a note about this so it is in the front of your mind throughout the process.
Complete a claim form: Begin the claim process by completing a VA form 21-526 or VA form 21-526EZ. Both forms include instructions on when and how to use them. Here are links to VAs website where you can download the forms:
Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
One of the earliest symptoms of Parkinsons is a tremor or shaking, usually beginning in your hands. You may notice yourself rubbing your thumb and forefinger back and forth like youre rolling a pen between your fingers. Over time, this tremor may turn to painful, stiff muscles that limit your range of movement.
As your muscles tense up, your posture may worsen, and you may have balance problems. You might have trouble blinking, smiling, and performing other unconscious movements. You might also notice your handwriting changing and your tone of voice becoming more monotone as the disease progresses.
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Clear Cell Sarcoma Of Tendons And Aponeuroses Dc 5329
Clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue is a rare type of cancer primarily affecting young adults between 20 to 40 years old.
Clear cell sarcoma tumors tend to grow attached to tendons in the limbs, especially in the feet and hands.
They also sometimes develop in the gastrointestinal tract, attached with the bottom layers of the skin, and in locations throughout the torso.
Medical research has found evidence of a positive association between Clear cell sarcoma of tendons and aponeuroses and exposure to Agent Orange.
The VA rates Clear cell sarcoma of tendons and aponeuroses under CFR 38, Part 4, VA Schedule of Ratings, Diagnostic Code 5329, Sarcoma, soft tissue .
The VA rating for Clear cell sarcoma of tendons and aponeuroses due to Agent Orange is 100 percent.
What is the VA rating for Clear cell sarcoma of tendons and aponeuroses cancer due to Agent Orange exposure?
- Clear cell sarcoma of tendons and aponeuroses, soft tissue cancer rate at 100%.
Medical Research: The Health and Medicine Division of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded in its 1994 report Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam and other updates that there is evidence of a positive association between exposure to herbicides used in Vietnam and soft tissue sarcomas.
You Do Not Need A Parkinsons Va Disability Claim For Bradykinesia
A Parkinsons VA disability claim may smooth the path for Vietnam veterans to compensation for bradykinesia. However, compensation for bradykinesia is not limited to Vietnam veterans. The VA provides disability ratings for bradykinesia regardless of cause, but only if that cause is in some way connected to your service. This connection may be direct, such as TBI suffered during your service, or indirect, such as medication used to treat a service-connected primary disability.
Also, keep in mind that the VA rates bradykinesia for each musculoskeletal system affected by it. Thus, any VA disability claim for bradykinesia should include medical records that document every instance of bradykinesia to maximize your overall VA disability rating. Every little bit helps, and if you aggregate the ratings for bradykinesia manifesting in multiple limbs and the face, you might receive a substantial overall VA disability rating.
Moreover, any symptoms that accompany bradykinesia should be documented as well. The VA rates bradykinesia based on the severity of the impact of your disability on your muscle groups. Bradykinesia alone will, therefore, not be rated as highly as bradykinesia that occurs alongside muscle weakness, muscle atrophy, and tremors.
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How To Win A Parkinsons Disease Va Rating
If you are a veteran with Parkinsons, you may be wondering how to win a Parkinsons disease VA rating.
Even if you have a Parkinsons diagnosis from a civilian doctor, the VA will still require you to provide additional evidence to justify a Parkinsons disease VA disability rating.
If youre not approved or feel like your disability rating is too low, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeals process can be complex, so seeking expert help is advisable.
Winning a Parkinsons disease VA rating can be challenging, but its possible with the right evidence and support.
Factors Outside Of General Requirements
Outside of the general requirements to qualify for VA disability benefits in the first place, there are several factors the VA looks at.
These factors, taken as a whole, dictate the compensation rating you will receive. The benefits are distributed using a rate between 0% and 100% at 10% increments.
The VA uses a complex formula to make their determination. You can find the relevant factors . Still, here are some of the more notable factors that can increase your disability rating if applicable:
- If you are suffering from more than one disability at the same time
- If your Parkinsons disease worsens
- The way and degree to which Parkinsons is impeding your life and ability to work
- Changes in Social Security benefits to counter inflation
- If you have children, a spouse, and other dependents
- If your spouse or dependents have a disability and
- If you lose a limb or the ability to use a bodily function .
All of those factors will impact your VA disability compensation rating. After your initial rating, you can periodically apply to increase your rating.
Similarly, there are some circumstances in which the VA can lower your rating. Typically, rate reductions dont apply to Parkinsons disease claims because Parkinsons worsens over time. Still, it is something you should be aware of.
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Contact The Va Disability Benefits Team At Gerling Law Injury Attorneys
Regardless of whether you currently have Parkinsons disease, if you need help with VA disability benefits, Gerling Law Injury Attorneys has you covered. Since VA benefits are a question of federal law, it doesnt matter where you livewe can help.
As a team dedicated specifically to VA disability benefits, we know the ins and outs of the claims process. Its crucial to have experienced help on your side when it comes to these claims as VA benefits are a complex area of law.
An attorney without relevant experience may miss an important detail. Give us a call today for a free consultation, and lets team up to get you the compensation you deserve.
You served our country, and we are here to serve you. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®
Is Parkinsons Service Connected
When filing for disability benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs , veterans must prove service connection, meaning that their disability is service-connected to receive compensation.
For many veterans, this can be a difficult task. However, if your Parkinsons disease is due to exposure and considered presumptive, you do not need to prove service connectionit is presumed.
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Federal Benefits For Veterans Dependents And Survivors
This 76-page Benefits Handbook for Veterans and Dependents provides information on benefits and services currently available by law and regulation. However, due to VAs ongoing response to COVID-19, Veterans, their families, and caregivers are encouraged to visit VA.gov, specifcally for information about COVID-19 and how it affects VA health care and benefits services.
Qualifying For Va Disability
If you get diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease, youve completed the first step to qualifying for VA disability compensation. In order to qualify, you need to do three things. Get a diagnosis, point to an event in your service record that could have caused your condition, and prove a medical connection between the two.
There are some exceptions to this rule, called presumptive conditions, which well discuss later.
Once you have a diagnosis, you must be able to show proof that during your military service, there was an incident or circumstance that could have caused your condition. Your doctor will then need to confirm that this incident or circumstance was likely what triggered your condition. For instance, even if you had a brief back strain during basic training, you cant claim VA disability for paralysis that was the result of a car accident twenty years after you left the service.
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Is Parkinsons Included As A Presumptive Disease
Exposure to certain toxins, such as Agent Orange, has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinsons. The VA has acknowledged this link and now includes Parkinsons as a presumptive condition for veterans exposed to Agent Orange. It means that veterans do not need to prove that their Parkinsons is related to their exposure to receive benefits.
Parkinsons is included as a presumption to contaminated Camp Lejeune water exposure.
Parkinsons can be a debilitating disease, so this recognition by teh Veterans Affairs is important for ensuring that veterans receive the care and support they need.
So Yes Parkinsons Does Qualify For Disability
Yes, it qualifies, we just have to work on getting it service-connected for you. Parkinsons disease is a presumptive condition for those who served around Agent Orange or at Camp Lejeune. But even for veterans who dont meet that qualification, you can still qualify for disability compensation.
If youd like to get help in filing and appealing your VA disability benefits claim, get in touch with us at Woods and Woods. We fight for veterans every day, and you dont pay anything unless we win your case. Contact us today to start getting the disability compensation youre entitled to.
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