VA Disability For Heart Disease

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VA DISABILITY FOR HEART DISEASE

The most common chronic health condition in the United States is cardiovascular heart disease which is also the leading cause of death for Americans. Cardiovascular refers to the body's heart and blood vessel system. "Heart disease" is a common phrase for various conditions that affect the heart's structure and function and is often used interchangeably with "cardiovascular disease." Cardiovascular or heart disease contributes to over 30% of all American deaths annually. Almost a third of men and women in America have at least one cardiovascular condition, and for the older population above the age of 60, that grows to half. Active duty service personnel are more likely to have a higher level of physical fitness and are less overweight than civilians. However, later in life, studies show veterans have a lower level of physical fitness, and are more likely to develop cardiovascular heart disease conditions than do non-veterans. VA disability for heart disease is a common claim among veterans.

Getting approval from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for military service-connected illnesses, including a heart disease disability, is challenging. The system for filing a VA claim is complex and time consuming (usually 6-12 months). The VA makes it difficult to prove an illness is service-related and requires evidence that may be near impossible to obtain. The VA's system for compensation is based on how serious the physical disability is regarding current or future employment by the veteran. Rated in percentages, the higher the rating, the greater the compensation. Getting the highest rating a veteran deserves may call for the services of an accredited VA law firm such as Wettermark Keith. Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience needed to assist with filing a veteran's disability claim or appeal for denied benefits.

VETERANS AND HEART DISEASE

While in active duty service, military personnel are usually in good physical shape and less overweight than civilians. However, once these men and women leave military service, they tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than non-veterans and have more cardiovascular conditions as well. Often, this shift in health is due to changes in diet, changes in exercise and leisure time, weight gain, and higher rates of smoking, drinking, and mental illness among veterans. There may also be a connection between the decline in health with a veterans time spent in military service. Health conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD), coronary artery disease (CAD), high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke are the leading causes of heart failure and hospitalization of veterans in the VA healthcare system.

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HEART DISEASE VETERANS DISABILITY SOLUTIONS

FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

Veterans can qualify and receive monthly compensation from the VA if they prove a connection between their stint in the military and their heart condition. To be considered for a disability, veterans must file an application including medical information, with the VA. If approved, veterans receive monetary benefits based on a VA disability rating for their heart condition. If denied, they will probably need aid from a VA disability law firm such as Wettermark Keith to help with the appeal process.

Several heart conditions qualify as a VA disability. The VA can pay disability benefits for heart disease in vets if a claim is filed and approved by the VA. Some covered heart conditions recognized for VA disability benefits are:

  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
  • Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Heart Attack
  • Coronary Bypass Surgery
  • Stroke
  • Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm)

These diseases can limit veterans' activities and employment opportunities after they leave the military. Only a disability-qualifying heart condition allows veterans to receive VA benefits and compensation. Wettermark Keith lawyers can discuss a veteran's health issues to help determine if there is the possibility of qualifying for aid from the VA. Speaking with a lawyer is especially important if a veteran has been denied benefits and wants to appeal the VA ruling.

Wettermark Keith lawyers understand the VA process for getting disability compensation and filing an appeal for a rejected initial VA claim. Our lawyers have years of experience dealing with the VA, the claim process for VA disability benefits, and appeals for denial. We can go to work helping prepare you for the VA application process and explain what to expect with a veteran disability claim. 

Contact our legal team and get started with your veterans disability benefits claim by scheduling a free consultation. We can discuss your situation and answer your questions. Our office operates on a no-fee guarantee basis, so if we can't help you get the VA compensation you  deserve, your won't pay us anything.

Contact Wettermark Keith by phone or email today at: https://wkfirm.com/denied-va-disability-benefits/

CAN CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE BE SERVICE CONNECTED?

Veterans must establish a service connection to receive VA disability benefits, which only apply to certain heart conditions. This service can be either a direct or a presumptive service connection.

Direct Service Connection: 

  • Currently, there is a diagnosed heart condition.
  • An in-service event or illness caused the onset of heart condition symptoms.
  • There is a medical link between the heart condition diagnosis and the in-service event or illness.  

Secondary Service Connection: 

  • This is a condition caused or worsened by a direct service-connected condition.
  • For example, service-connected heart disease may be aggravated by a secondary connection of diabetes or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Presumptive Service Connection:

  • There is a qualifying service record (in a specific area and time frame) where exposure to harmful chemicals (like Agent Orange) or a hazardous environment occurred and is assumed by the VA. This only applies to certain conditions (such as coronary heart disease).
  • For example, if you served in Vietnam between January 1962 and May 1975 and later got diagnosed with ischemic heart disease, the VA might presume your condition was connected to that service place and time. 

HOW THE VA RATES HEART CONDITIONS

The VA rates heart conditions using metabolic equivalent tests (METs) to determine a percentage rating for heart disease. Exercise testing is conducted to determine the amount of energy expended on ordinary activities to determine the severity of a condition. Then a rating of 0, 10, 30, 60, or 100 percent is assigned.

Total Disability Ratings

Total disability or total disability individual unemployability (TDIU) is given for heart conditions so severe that basic everyday tasks and gaining gainful employment are impossible. Temporary total ratings are often assigned for a limited time (usually 1 to 3 months) to qualified veterans for the following situations:

  • Heart attacks
  • Pacemaker operation
  • Implantation of a cardiac defibrillator
  • Replacement of a heart valve
  • Heart transplant
  • Surgery for a coronary bypass

For a temporary total disability rating, the VA will later reexamine the symptoms of the case and assign a new disability rating based on the change in health condition.

Partial Disability Ratings

A disability rating between 0 and 100% may be assigned after a person has improved health following a cardiovascular event or for less serious heart conditions, such as high blood pressure.

Understanding the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) used by the Department of Veteran Affairs to resolve a claim is challenging. If you need guidance, contact the law offices of Wettermark Keith for assistance in helping you through the complexities of the process.

WHAT IS THE VA DISABILITY RATING FOR HYPERTENSIVE HEART DISEASE?

Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg or less. The top number measures systolic pressure, which is the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number measures diastolic pressure, which is the pressure in your arteries between beats. If the top or bottom numbers are significantly higher, a person is hypertensive. The VA disability rating for a hypertensive person is determined based on diastolic and systolic pressures:

  • 10% - diastolic usually 100 or more or systolic usually 160 or more or history of diastolic usually 100 or more and requires continuous medication for control of blood pressure
  • 20% - diastolic usually 110 or more or systolic usually 200 or more
  • 40% - diastolic usually 120 or more
  • 60% - diastolic usually 130 or more

High blood pressure can be serious if left uncontrolled and can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, kidney damage, and heart failure.

WHO CAN HELP A VETERAN WITH A HEART DISEASE DISABILITY CLAIM?

Wettermark Keith lawyers understand the VA process for getting disability compensation and filing an appeal for a rejected initial VA claim. Our lawyers have years of experience dealing with the VA, the claim process for VA disability benefits, and appeals for denial. We can go to work helping prepare you for the VA application process and explain what to expect with a veteran disability claim.

Contact our legal team and get started with your veterans disability benefits claim by scheduling a free consultation. We can discuss your situation and answer your questions. Our office operates on a no-fee guarantee basis, so if we can't help you get the VA compensation you  deserve, your won't pay us anything.

Contact Wettermark Keith by phone or email today at: https://wkfirm.com/denied-va-disability-benefits/

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CONTACT HEART DISEASE VA DISABILITY LAWYERS

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