How does the VA rate chronic pain secondary depression?

If you’re a veteran with an injury that doesn’t improve, you feel consistent physical discomfort, and you find it hard to manage daily tasks, sit, walk, or stand, you're likely suffering from chronic pain. This type of pain usually occurs in one or more parts of the body and lasts for three–to–six months.

chronic_pain_depressionMany veterans suffer from chronic pain caused by the ongoing effects of injuries sustained while in combat or during active military duty.

It’s possible that a sustained injury may heal over time, but re-develop throughout the aging process and become a source of chronic pain.

Not only do roughly 100 million Americans suffer from this condition, but also 44 percent of service members in combat suffer chronic pain.
 

Chronic pain can result in other serious, secondary conditions. One of these is depression. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) considers depression a ratable illness, and it’s possible for veterans to file a claim for disability benefits if they suffer from depression as a secondary condition.

If you have service-connected chronic pain that you believe is the cause of your depression, contact an experienced VA disability lawyer to help file your claim.

How the VA Rates Chronic Pain Secondary Depression

The VA rates depression according to a percentage scale: 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, and 100. It’s possible for a veteran to receive a 0 percent rating if she has symptoms of depression that don't impair her ability to function, perform daily tasks, or engage in social activities. However, if the VA gives a 0 percent rating, a veteran may still be eligible for some types of benefits, including healthcare. The VA will give a 100 percent rating only if a veteran has zero ability to work at a job or function socially and cannot manage a daily routine.

For a veteran to receive benefits for secondary depression, it’s important that she:

  • Has a current diagnosis of depression from a physician
  • Has a service-connected disability and can prove it
  • Can show medical evidence of the association between that disability and her depression

It’s essential to provide a doctor’s opinion explaining how the veteran’s physical condition has caused the depression.

Contact Cuddigan Law

Veterans suffering from depression due to chronic pain who would like to submit a benefits application for a secondary condition should call Cuddigan Law. Our attorneys will examine your case, help provide evidence that your chronic pain is service-connected, and work with you to submit your claim to increase your chances of receiving disability benefits. Contact our office today.

 

Timothy J. Cuddigan
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Omaha Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer With Over 40 Years Experience