Between 2001 and 2018 more than fifteen hundred service members have lost limbs in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense. If you suffered an amputation or lost the use of a part of your body whether in combat or due to an accident in connection with your military service, you may be entitled to VA disability benefits.

The VA defines amputation as either traumatic amputation or amputation by surgical removal. They define “loss of use” as no remaining function in the limb.

As you may know, the VA uses a sliding scale—a rating—from zero to one hundred percent to determine the amount of your monthly benefits when you are awarded service-connected disability compensation. The rating the VA assigns is determined by the severity of your particular condition.

Ratings for amputations can be very complex. For example, the VA rates amputations that render the knee joint unusable at 60 percent, but an amputation below the knee is rated at 40 percent. For an amputation below the shoulder but above the deltoid the rating is 90 percent if it’s in the dominant arm, but 80 percent if it’s in the non-dominant arm.

And, as you would imagine, the ratings become more complex when more than one extremity must be amputated, because with VA math it is not simply a matter of adding rating percentages together. Additionally, if you have lost one or more of your body parts in connection your military service, you may be entitled to Special Monthly Compensation in addition to regular VA disability benefits.

The best way to determine what benefits you may be entitled to and the best strategies for pursuing your claim is to consult with the skilled legal staff at Cuddigan Law. We can help you obtain the disability benefits you need to care for yourself and your family. Call us today for a free evaluation of your case. At Cuddigan Law you have a dedicated team of professionals in your corner who will fight for your rights.



Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska