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VA Disability: Secondary Conditions

Veterans who are in need of VA disability benefits should be aware that presence of secondary conditions can lead to a higher VA disability rating. Sometimes secondary conditions can increase the chances of getting full disability pay.

Many medical conditions that veterans experience, due to service-related injury or illness, can exist and be treated as a primary condition. In some cases however, one medical condition can arise as a result of another. This is known as a secondary condition.

Secondary conditions can be very significant in determining your ability to work if you are considering applying for VA disability benefits or seeking an increased disability rating. Secondary conditions are not uncommon among veterans who have acquired a primary service-related condition.

Service-Connected Primary and Secondary Conditions

Some service-connected conditions that can be rated by the VA as a primary condition can also be secondary to another condition.

Diabetes: Can be a primary condition that could lead to blindness or kidney failure. But diabetes can also emerge as a result of depression, heart disease, or a stroke. In some cases a treatment or medication for a primary condition like cancer or heart disease can lead to diabetes.

Asthma is also a condition that can be service-connected or develop as a result of a service-related condition. Sleep apnea is a condition that can arise from asthma, but asthma could also be a secondary condition resulting from diabetes, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or depression.

PTSD, Depression and Anxiety

Psychological disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression can cause obvious emotional symptoms such as irritability, nervousness, persistent sadness, and withdrawal from family and friends. But these conditions can also result in a sedentary lifestyle and a reduction in physical activity which can lead to asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension (high blood pressure). Psychological disorders can also in some cases be secondary to these conditions.

These are just some of the service-related conditions that can lead to secondary conditions or be secondary to another condition.

A Secondary Condition Can Increase Your VA Rating

disability rating increased

Friedman Law Firm

The attorneys of the Friedman Firm know that a veteran’s condition can worsen over time and that secondary conditions can emerge from a service-connected medical condition. We have experience in getting our clients an increase in their VA ratings, having secondary conditions recognized by the VA, and attaining individual unemployability, which offers the benefits of a 100% VA rating without reaching that actual rating.

Feel free to contact us with any questions on your VA claim.

More in VA Benefits: Veterans Disability Claims