A significant portion of the veteran population experiences service-related health issues that they might mistakenly assume is merely the result of aging. Knowing some of the more common veteran service-connected disabilities could be helpful when preparing a claim for military disability benefits.
A Michigan SSDI attorney could talk to you and help you explore military and civilian disability benefits. It could make a substantial financial difference to your monthly benefits check if you include all of your possible service-connected physical or mental conditions in your application.
How Does the Veterans Administration (VA) Treat Toxic Chemical Exposure?
The VA now provides disability benefits to veterans who have certain chronic medical conditions and had known chemical exposure during their period of service. In some of these situations, the veteran does not have to prove that the chemical exposure caused the illness. The veteran might be able to collect benefits if they prove that they have the medical condition and that they had the chemical exposure.
Agent Orange exposure and Gulf War illnesses are two of the more recent examples. Veterans also need to be aware that many of them could have had exposure to asbestos or radiation during their service.
A service member who got wounded when serving in a combat zone could have ongoing challenges because of those injuries. Some examples could include physical conditions affecting the veteran’s back, hips, knees, and feet, for example, but could also include mental impairments such as depression and PTSD. The VA will evaluate a wounded veteran and use a rating scale process to assign a disability percentage rating for purposes of calculating the benefits.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A veteran could develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after suffering a severe injury like an attack from an improvised explosive device (IED) or from observing devastating wounds and deaths. PTSD can affect an individual’s ability to maintain gainful employment, experience healthy relationships, and enjoy life.
Neck, Back, Knee, Hip, and Feet Problems
Because many service members engage in distance hiking, running, or walking with loaded backpacks or have to carry heavy objects during their job assignments, training, or required exercise, back, neck, knee, hip, and feet issues are quite common and could include other conditions as well. A young person on active duty might be able to shrug off the discomfort, but as the veteran ages, the impact of those activities can cause chronic impairment.
Life in the military is rough on the body, to say the least, with injuries being rather commonplace. From minor training wounds to combat scars, extensive scar tissue can be disfiguring. Also, scar tissue can cause loss of range of motion, adhesions, and chronic discomfort.
Amputation and Limb Loss
Many of the individuals one sees with a prosthetic arm or leg lost their limb in a combat injury like an explosion or in another kind of service-connected incident. Amputation and limb loss can receive a high disability rating from the VA.
Many veterans report that they suffer from headaches and even migraines that can be quite debilitating when they strike. This neurological condition can affect a person’s ability to make a living and enjoy life and can result in a high rating depending on the nature and severity of the veteran’s headaches and/or migraines.
Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
What you might think is age-related hearing loss might actually be the result of damage to your hearing from military service that commonly progresses through the years becoming more noticeable as you age. Frequent exposure to things like gunfire, explosives, and jet engines can cause a person to experience hearing loss or develop tinnitus, a ringing in the ears.
Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mental Health Challenges
It is common for veterans to experience sleep disorders, restlessness, elevated anxiety, a feeling of sadness or hopelessness, and other symptoms that can impair a person’s ability to function. Some veterans can get a full disability rating (100%) for mental health issues.
If you are a veteran struggling with physical and/or mental conditions, you will want to talk to a Michigan VA disability attorney about your service-connected disabilities. Our attorneys understand what documents and forms are needed to help you win the highest rating under the law that you deserve. Contact our office today, we offer a free consultation and disability is all we do.