Episode 42: Secondary Conditions Are Service-Connected Disabilities
Veterans Law Group is here to help veterans cut through the VA’s red tape and get the compensation you deserve for your secondary conditions.
Secondary conditions are conditions that occur as a result of an injury sustained during a veteran’s time under a military contract. The initial, or service-connected, injury could have occurred during a training exercise, active duty, or during their time in reserves. The types of injuries sustained could vary from combat related injuries (back sprains, twisted ankles, a serious head injury, etc.) to mental health issues (PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc.).
Once out of service, a veteran’s initial injury could devolve into a host of other conditions, hereby referred to as disabilities. For example, let’s say you injured your back during service which makes walking difficult. You begin putting more weight on one side than the other to overcompensate. Over time, you notice your hip, knee and/or foot is in constant pain as a result of your overcompensation.
This resulting disability would be considered a secondary condition as it stemmed from the initial back injury.
Remember, each part of your body is connected. When one part is out of sync, the other parts are also out of sync.
If the correlation between your injuries is proven true, you’re entitled to compensation. Compensation is paid monthly and continues for the duration of your disability, which is often the remainder of the veteran’s life.
Some newly recognized disabilities include side effects from medication prescribed to relieve symptoms associated with your service-connected injury. Certain medications have been known to cause weight gain. Some potential side-effects of weight gain are sleep apnea and/or orthopedic issues.
Orthopedic issues resulting from weight gain could make exercising difficult thus making it harder for you to lose weight. This could be considered a secondary condition.
When filing claims to cover your secondary conditions, please make sure you file them as a secondary condition instead of a general claim. If your request is submitted incorrectly, the VA may deny your claim without evaluation as it could be interpreted as a separate, not service-connected disability.
Do you need help with your claims or do you have questions about whether your current disabilities count as secondary injuries? Check out our previous podcasts to see if we’ve previously answered your question.
Whether you’re preparing to leave the military or have been retired for years, we’re here to help.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 800-222-5222 to get started.