Secondary Service Connection For Eye Conditions
Veterans may also receive secondary service connection for eye conditions that are caused or aggravated by an already service-connected condition. There are several medical conditions that commonly result in certain eye conditions, including the following:
- Diabetes mellitus may result in diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts
- Sarcoidosis may result in optical neuropathy
- Lyme Disease may result in retinal vasculitis and optic disc edema
- Cerebrovascular accidents may result in blind spots or vision loss
- Thyroid problems may result in double or blurred vision
- Multiple sclerosis may result in changes in vision, optic neuritis, and/or gradual vision loss
- Rheumatoid arthritis may result in thinning of the cornea
Importantly, if veterans are taking medication for a service-connected condition that causes vision problems, they may be eligible for service connection on a secondary basis for that resulting eye condition. Common examples of this include the following*:
*Note: The information included above was taken from the
If veterans are service-connected for any of the above-mentioned conditions and take the listed medications, they should be aware of the onset and progression of eye conditions. Furthermore, they should be aware that VA disability benefits may be available should any of those eye conditions present.
Disabilities Secondary To Parkinsons Disease
While most people tend to think of Parkinsons disorder as a neurological movement disorder, and it most certainly is, many people do not realize that other systems in the body can also be severely affected by Parkinsons. Often, the same chemical exposure can also cause other disorders, such as ischemic heart disease. However, often it is the Parkinsons itself, or the medication used to treat it that is the causal factor in the development of a new disorder. Whether a veterans Parkinsons was caused by exposure to the TCDD in agent orange, pesticides, trichloroethylene, or its origins are unknown, Parkinsons cause many secondary health effects and disabilities.
Parkinsons is known as a neurodegenerative disorder that is, it causes neurons to degenerate or decay. The most famous area for PD degeneration is in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra, where Parkinsons causes the death of neurons that generate dopamine, a neurotransmitter which is involved with movement. However, more recent studies have also shown that Parkinsons also attacks nerves in the heart which produce another neurotransmitter, noradrenaline. This typically takes place in the left ventricle and can have many complications.
F Comments Indicating General Support Of The Rulemaking
In addition to the nearly 400 comments received from the Parkinson’s community expressing support for the addition of Parkinson’s disease to VA’s presumptive list, VA received just over 100 additional comments that expressed support for the rulemaking in general. Many of these comments, which were received from individuals as well as public and private organizations, stated appreciation for VA’s actions in adding one or more of the three diseases to its regulatory list of conditions that are presumptively service connected based upon herbicide exposure in Vietnam. VA appreciates the time and effort expended by these commenters in reviewing the proposed rule and in submitting comments, as well as their support for this rulemaking.Start Printed Page 53207
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How Does The Va Rate Restless Leg Syndrome
RLS is rated per leg and generally starts at 10% . In official reports, the VA compares RLS to neuralgia or a common nerve condition that causes a stabbing or burning sensation in the body due to an irritated nerve.
In one VA case, a service member argued that her RLS was worse than when she was initially assessed and that the frequency and severity of the feelings were such that she had a very difficult time getting any quality rest.
The VA RO will consider additional evidence to come to their conclusions, such as how often the person saw a medical professional for their condition, whether the treatments had any mitigating effects, and how different doctors qualified the same symptoms.
If you need assistance with appealing a denied claim for restless leg syndrome, dont hesitate to contact us for a free case evaluation!
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A Lawyer Experienced In Disability Insurance Laws And Parkinsons Disease Can Provide The Support You Need
Group LTD claims fall under federal ERISA law. When a group claim is denied, the information you present in your appeal to the insurance company will also be the basis for a potential lawsuit against the insurance company. An experienced ERISA lawyer is essential to your case.
In a private disability benefits claim denial based on Parkinsons disease, state contract and bad faith laws prevail. In each case, our experienced attorneys are prepared to review your claim, explain your legal options, and help you get the compensation you deserve.
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Preparing For Your C& p Exam
One key to preparing for your C& P exam is to ensure you file your documentation correctly. The medical examiner wont look at any supplementary documents you bring to the appointment, such as test results or reports, so its essential to file them with the VA beforehand.
The goal of the C& P exam is to help the examiner understand the nature of your disability and how it affects your life. You can expect the examiner to ask a series of questions, including the following:
- The duration of your disability
- How your disability affects you daily
- Information regarding underlying conditions, such as heart disease
- If you have a history of mental illness that precedes your service
Although you cant bring additional medical records to the appointment, its helpful to make a list of any medications youre taking, as well as any information you feel you may forget during the exam.
Its important to be completely honest and vulnerable during your C& P exam, so that the examiner has an accurate reflection of how your conditions or disabilities impact your life. You must be truthful and not exaggerate your condition, but neither should you hold back. This is the time to share the reality of your worst days, not your best ones.
Risk Factors Associated With Military Service
A number of potential environmental risk factors may increase the risk of developing Parkinson disease for veterans. Perhaps the most commonly recognized is pesticide exposure, particularly given the presumptive service connections established by the VA for Parkinson disease and exposure to Agent Orange or contaminated water at Camp Lejeune., Both dioxin, the toxic ingredient in Agent Orange, and the solvents trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene, found in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, interfere with mitochondrial function leading to oxidative stress and apoptosis of nigrostriatal neurons., Other potential exposures, which are not necessarily limited to the veteran population, include rotenone, a phytochemical used to kill fish in reservoirs, and paraquat, an herbicide that may directly promote synuclein aggregation., Veterans who have reported exposure to these or other environmental chemicals in civilian life should be carefully assessed for the presence of motor PD or prodromal features.
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Vietnam Veteran Survivors Previously Denied
Survivor caseload was determined based on veteran terminations. Based on data obtained from PA& I, of the 86,069 previous denials, 16,112 of the Vietnam veterans are deceased. Of the deceased population, 13,420 were veterans previously denied claims for IHD, 2,165 were denied for hairy cell or B cell leukemia, and 527 were denied for Parkinson’s disease. We assumed that 90 percent of the survivor caseload will be new to the rolls and the remaining ten percent are currently in receipt of survivor benefits.
Of the 86,069 Vietnam beneficiaries, a total of 16,112 are Vietnam Veterans that are deceased. Of this total, an estimated 12,084 were married and an estimated 4,028 were not married .
Survivor Caseload and Obligations for Retroactive Benefits
Keep A Daily Journal Of Your Life As A Disabled Vet
The C& P medical examiner can only observe how your symptoms are for the short time of the exam, and on just that day. This is one shortcoming of the C& P exams, because the doctor may not witness the complete scope of your disability.
A good way prepare for this is to keep a journal, or a notebook, to share with your examiner. This should be a summary in your words of your conditions and imitations:
- List all symptoms related to your claimed disability
- Describe how frequently you suffer from those symptoms and how each affects your daily life
- Your family or spouse can also record what they observe of you.
For example, you might include information about flare-ups, exact locations and descriptions of pain, bouts of depression, or problems with sleeping. Update it daily with facts about your symptoms and challenges as they occur.
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If You Have Questions About Your C& p Exam We Have Answers
Our law firm represents veterans across the country, and would be proud to represent you. We can greatly ease your burden and increase your chances of receiving the VA disability benefits you deserve. Call Marc Whitehead & Associates for a free case evaluation today.
About Marc Whitehead
What Does A Va C& p Exam Consist Of
The purpose of the C& P exam is to determine whether your condition is related to service and/or the extent of your service-connected disability. It is not much different than a doctors appointment you will answer questions about your condition and the examiner will evaluate your condition with a series of tests that will vary depending on your condition.
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The Daily Journal Of The United States Government
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The documents posted on this site are XML renditions of published Federal Register documents. Each document posted on the site includes a link to the corresponding official PDF file on govinfo.gov. This prototype edition of the daily Federal Register on FederalRegister.gov will remain an unofficial informational resource until the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register issues a regulation granting it official legal status. For complete information about, and access to, our official publications and services, go to About the Federal Register on NARA’s archives.gov.
Tdiu And Special Monthly Compensation For Parkinsons Disease
Due to the fact that Parkinsons Disease is such a disabling condition that often affects daily functioning, veterans can check to see if they qualify for Special Monthly Compensation 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 may be an option if a veterans Parkinsons Disease precludes them from securing and following substantially gainful employment. Here, veterans will be paid at the 100 percent level regardless of their combined disability ratings.
There are generally two pathways to become eligible for TDIU:
- 38 CFR § 4.16a For this form of TDIU, the veteran must have:
- One condition rated at minimum 60 percent OR
- two conditions that can be combined to reach 70 percent, where one condition is at minimum 40 percent
- 38 CFR § 4.16b This form of TDIU is for veterans who may not be able to achieve the ratings necessary for schedular TDIU but are still unable to obtain substantially gainful employment on account of their conditions. In this instance, the veteran must prove that their condition is uniquely hinders their ability to obtain substantially gainful employment and therefore should not be rated on the standard disability rating criteria.
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Selected Major Accomplishments In Va Research
- 2001: six VA Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers
- 2003:Initiated a landmark clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of deep brain stimulation for PD
- 2009:Determined that DBS may hold significant benefits for people with PD who no longer respond to medication
- 2014:Found that walking is a safe and accessible way to improve PD symptoms
- 2015:Developed a procedureto convert fibroblasts into dopamine neurons
- 2017:Found that DBS in PD patients gives a slight survival advantage
- 2019: Found that fatigue in PD patients may be a result of lower diastolic blood pressure
- 2020: Teamed up with the Parkinsons Foundation to support Veterans living with PD
Expanding The Presumptions To Include Other Herbicides
Other commenters, including USMVP, seek to persuade VA to presume service connection for veterans exposed to trichloroethylene and malathion . USMVP concedes that TCE and malathion are differently formulated chemical compounds used for pest control and equipment maintenance, respectively. Nevertheless, USMVP contends that VA’s mandate is sufficiently broad to allow the Secretary to presume diseases to be service connected upon exposure to TCE and Malathion.
VA Response: These comments are beyond the scope of this rulemaking. We proposed to revise 38 CFR 3.309 to implement the requirements of 38 U.S.C. 1116 and directing the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to determine whether there is a positive association between exposure to the herbicides used in Vietnam and the occurrence of specific diseases. The comments concerning the health effects of other types of exposures are distinct from the scope and purpose of the proposed rule.
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What To Expect At Your Appointment
When you first begin the Parkinsons diagnosis process, youll need to visit your primary care physician. From there, they may refer you to a neurologist if they think your symptoms may indicate Parkinsons disease. A neurologist specializes in nerve disorders, especially those that affect the brain.
At your appointment, your doctor will ask you a number of questions about your medical history. Theyll want to know when your symptoms began, whether the symptoms come and go, and if anything seems to improve your symptoms or make them worse. Depending on what they find, they may want to order some of the additional tests we discussed.
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Getting Started With Finding Help
If you need help filling out forms or just figuring out where to start, you have several resources available.
Each US state has a Veterans Service Officer who can help you apply for benefits and find out what you are eligible for. There is no fee for working with them. Many counties, cities, and towns also have their own VSOs.
To find your nearest VSO, use the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers’ county/state directory. You can also call your city or town hall.
Veterans organizations may also offer help, even if you are not one of their members. See what services are possible through these groups:
Secondary Service Connection Explicitly Listed In Regulation
Some commenters suggest that the proposed regulation should include secondary conditions that result from disabilities presumptively service connected due to certain herbicide exposure. The commenters note that VA published a proposed rule establishing presumptive service connection for nine specific infectious diseases associated with military service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations and that the proposed rule listed secondary conditions potentially caused by those infectious diseases. 75 FR 13051-13058 . Furthermore, the commenters stated that when VA grants service connection for a primary disease, all secondary conditions proximately caused by that disease are also service connected. 38 CFR 3.310.
As the commenters correctly note, pursuant to 38 CFR 3.310, when VA grants service connection for a condition, all conditions proximately caused by that condition may also be service connected. This principle would apply to conditions where service connection is established by presumption or by other means, such as a direct link to incurrence during military service.
Consequently, VA makes no change based on these comments.
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Va Disability Benefits For Parkinsons Disease
What Is Parkinsons Disease?
Parkinsons disease is a neurological condition that causes shaking, stiffness, and can lead to difficulty with walking, coordination, and balance. This disease occurs when neurons, the cells that form brain tissue, become impaired or die in the area of the brain that controls motor functions. Typically, these cells produce an important neurochemical called dopamine, which helps control movement. When these cells die or produce less dopamine, issues with movement result. Some of the most common early symptoms of Parkinsons are:
- Tremor in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
- Stiffness in the limbs and trunk
- Slowness of movement
- Impaired balance, which can lead to increased risk of a fall
In later stages of Parkinsons, some individuals have difficulty talking and walking. Other neurological symptoms can also result from Parkinsons, such as sleep problems, behavioral changes, depression, fatigue, and memory difficulties. Doctors still do not know the exact cause of Parkinsons, although there is evidence showing that both genetic and environmental factors can have an impact on its development.
Getting Service Connected For Parkinsons Disease
How The VA Rates Parkinsons Disease
Getting Help With Your Parkinsons VA Claim
What If My Disability Rating Isnt High Enough
The higher your disability rating, the more Agent Orange compensation youll receive from the VA. This is why its important youre given an appropriate rating that reflects how much Parkinsons disease affects your ability to work and quality of life. If your disability rating from the VA is too low, request an appointment with one of our veterans attorneys. Theyll be able to help you collect and present the evidence you need to appeal the VAs decision.
A lot of veterans dont realize they can receive compensation for secondary disabilities, which are caused or worsened by service-connected conditions. For example, you may compensate for an injured leg by using the other leg more. Over time, the extra stress on your healthy leg can lead to injuries. Likewise, veterans with Parkinsons disease are more likely to develop cardiovascular problems and other secondary conditions.
Our attorneys know that filing a claim for secondary disabilities can help raise your overall rating. Schedule an appointment with our law firm today to get started!
Our VA disability lawyers in Kalamazoo, MI have years of experience working with veterans and their families. To request a free case evaluation, call the VA Disability Group at VET-LAWS.
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