Many Veterans are not aware that they can get VA disability compensation for varicose veins that are service-connected. Even more important, a Vet may not need a doctor to identify varicose veins in some situations.
In a 2007 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (abbreviated “USCAVC” or often called “the Veterans Court”) explained that “[o]nce service connected, varicose veins are rated pursuant to Diagnostic Code (DC) 7120, which, inter alia, assigns a noncompensable rating for “asymptomatic palpable or visible varicose veins,” and a 10% disability rating for “intermittent edema . . . or aching and fatigue in leg after prolonged standing or walking, with symptoms relieved by elevation . . . or compression hosiery.” 38 C.F.R. § 4.104, DC 7120 (2006).” James P. Barr v. James Nicholson, 2007 WL 1745833 *7-8 (Vet. App. 6/15/2007).
However, the Veterans Court went on to “conclude…that a lay person is competent to identify veins that are unnaturally distended or abnormally swollen and tortuous. … Although the symptoms of the initial stage of varicose veins (which Merck identifies as exhibiting tense superficial veins) do not appear identifiable features, the presence of varicose veins is not a determination “medical in nature” and is capable of lay observation.” James P. Barr v. James Nicholson, 2007 WL 1745833 at *8 (citations omitted).
If you suffer from varicose veins that are the result of an injury or in-service event, you may be able to support your claim with affidavits, declarations or letters from lay people who have observed your legs and can explain the types of observable symptoms listed in the regulation.
If your claim for service-connected veterans compensation was denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs and you would like help with an appeal anywhere in the United States, call VA Disability Attorney John Tucker toll free at (866) 233-5044.