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Secondary Service-Connected Claims

January 30, 2018

Under 38 C.F.R. § 3.310 a veteran is entitled to service-connection for a disability or illness proximately caused by an existing service-connected disease or injury.  In VA terminology, the causative disability is called the primary disability and the resulting disability is referred to as the secondary disability.    For some time, the VA interpreted § 3.310 as requiring a primary disability …

Challenging Effective Dates

October 1, 2015

Reviewing Cases for Proper Effective Dates More and more we are seeing decisions coming out of the VA in which there is an inappropriate assignment of an effective date for the awarded disability. This bulletin will help you to understand proper application of 38 U.S.C. § 5110(a)so as to better prepare you for effective representation of your clients. Effective dates …

Painful Motion and Flareups

August 1, 2015

In theory, the VA rating schedule is based upon the veteran’s loss of earning capacity caused by a service-connected disability.  The VA compensates the veteran due to the loss of capacity to earn income.  Functional impairment is one of the most obvious factors that affect the loss of earning capacity. If a service connected disability impairs the veteran’s ability movement, strength, …

Effects of Medication on VA Disability Claims

April 21, 2015

MEDICATED AND NON-MEDICATED VETERANS 1. Medicated Service-Connected Disabilities Many veterans suffer severe side-effects from taking medication for their service-connected disabilities. For instance, the taking of prescribed narcotics to relieve the painful effects of a service-connected back disability may cause the following symptoms: sleep impairment, loss of cognitive function, anxiety and so forth. A rating specialist, or decision review officer must …