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What Is My VA Disability Rating for Degenerative Disc Disease?

Tucker Law Group
July 10, 2020

The people serving in our military work hard. Men and women like you often perform strenuous tasks, including running, jumping, and lifting. These tasks can place extreme amounts of pressure on your body. This pressure can cause you to suffer from a condition known as degenerative disc disease, a spinal condition that can cause severe pain.

To recover service-connected compensation disability benefits for degenerative disc disease, you must meet a certain threshold required by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, getting these benefits is often challenging. It is important to learn more about this condition and the process of recovering VA disability benefits.

Do you wonder what is the maximum disability rating for degenerative disc disease? Our attorneys answer this question and more in the following text. Contact us to take advantage of our free consultation. Receive answers to more of your VA disability claim questions.

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease is also referred to as osteoarthritis of the spine. It mostly occurs in your lower back or neck. The discs between your vertebrae will lose their cushioning and begin to fragment, often causing them to herniate. There are different levels of pain associated with degenerative disc disease. However, you may experience some numbness or tingling in your arms or legs.

Is It Hard to Get Disability for Degenerative Disc Disease?

It is often hard to get disability for degenerative disc disease. It can take a long time for you to develop symptoms for this condition, and doctors often do not document the things VA needs to assess your condition. Your symptoms can also get progressively worse over time. The VA may attempt to deny your claim by saying there is no way to determine your condition is due to time spent in service. They may allege that your condition is due to the natural progression of aging.

Have you received a VA disability claim denial? If so, then you need the help of an experienced attorney. He or she will gather evidence that proves the VA came to the wrong conclusion. This evidence will show that you are suffering from degenerative disc disease due to conditions on the job.

Determining Your Degenerative Disc Disease Disability Rating

The VA uses diagnostic code 5003 to determine your degenerative disc disease disability rating. Spine conditions are usually rated based upon how limited your back or neck range of motion is.  If your doctor orders bedrest, the frequency of your incapacitating episodes can also be the basis for a rating. It is very common to receive only a  10 or 20 percent rating for neck or back conditions.

However, you may wonder what is the maximum disability rating for degenerative disc disease?

What is the Maximum Disability Rating for Degenerative Disc Disease?

The VA can assign you a disability rating outside of the normal range. This occurs when your level of disability is beyond what the rating criteria typically reflects. While the VA diagnostic code has a maximum rating of 50%, it is possible to get a greater rating if you can prove how your spinal condition limits your function and your life.

To receive an extraschedular disability rating, you must show the VA why your condition is worse than the 50% maximum.  Since that requires you to show that you have no range of motion (i.e., you cannot move your back), it can be very difficult, and you have to show why your back condition severely limits you.

You may also qualify for Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability.  To get TDIU, you may prove why your service-connected condition prevents you from working.

An attorney can help you find the evidence you need to make your argument. Consult with our nationally recognized law firm to receive assistance.

Contact Our VA Disability Law Firm

Are you a veteran suffering from degenerative disc disease? If so, then you deserve to recover VA disability benefits. If you have received a VA disability claim denial, the attorneys at Tucker Law Group can step in to help you appeal your claim. Our attorneys will use our expertise to help you fight for your benefits. We have helped thousands of clients nationwide fight for the disability benefits they deserve.

For a free consultation, contact our nationally recognized law firm today at (866) 233-5044. Also, feel free to message us through our online contact page. You may have questions like, what is the maximum disability rating for degenerative disc disease? Our attorneys can help you answer this question and more. We help disabled veterans nationwide. Call today!