Several laws and initiatives emerged this year that promise some key changes in the financial support of Veterans in 2024. Starting in January, the Veterans who have a VA disability rate of 10% or higher will see a 3.2% increase in their monthly VA benefits checks.
According to the latest Service-Connected Disability or Death Benefits report, there are over 33,000 service-connected disabilities that make you and your dependents entitled to VA disability compensation.
Here are the top 5 disability claims to file in 2024. In this post, we will specify their diagnostic codes according to the Schedule for Rating Disabilities and estimated VA disability rates and compensation they provide. Based on our years of experience, these are the VA disability claims that are usually the easiest to win.
#1 – Tinnitus (code 6260)
Tinnitus remains the #1 VA disability claim for Veterans. Also known as “ringing ears” ” tinnitus is a condition that makes you hear ringing, buzzing, hissing, or other similar noises when there is no source of such sounds around you.
Affecting over 15% of all adults in the United States, Tinnitus is the most common disability claim among American Veterans. It often results from ear injury or exposure to loud noises, which makes it a common service-related condition.
As of today, the only VA disability rate you can get for Tinnitus is 10%.
There are two types of Tinnitus:
- Objective Tinnitus
It is a rare condition that makes you hear a ringing sound, which is generated by the structure of your ear itself. Sometimes the noise from an Objective Tinnitus may be so loud that it can be heard by other people.
- Subjective Tinnitus
Tinnitus is considered Subjective when only the patient can hear the sound.
While Subjective Tinnitus is the most common type of the condition, today there are no tests that allow to diagnose it or check its severity. That is why it is considered the easiest VA disability claim.
However, you need to make a strong case describing the severity of your Tinnitus and its effect on your daily life to receive the 10% VA disability rate. That is why we strongly recommend using the assistance of experienced professionals when you file your VA disability claim for Tinnitus. They will help you create a strong statement and win the claim easily.
#2 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD (code 9411)
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), PTSD occurs in about 20% of all individuals who experience or witness a traumatic event. It is a severe mental health condition that is often associated with those who have been in combat situations, making it another common VA disability claim.
The VA disability rates for PTSD vary from 0% to 100%. The average VA rating Veterans get for this condition is 70%.
Here is a general breakdown of the PTSD evaluation according to the VA rating system:
- 0% means that you have been formally diagnosed with PTSD, but its symptoms are non considered severe enough to interfere with your everyday life and employment.
- 10% rating is assigned when the symptoms may decrease your ability to perform at work and your social interactions, but they only occur under high stress.
- 30% will be assigned if your PTSD symptoms become more severe, leading to anxiety, panic attacks, or even memory loss, which occur weekly.
- 50% rating means that the symptoms of PTSD appear more often than once a week and lead to serious problems with social interactions and work.
- 70% PTSD rate comes to action when the condition leads to suicidal ideas, difficulty coping even with the slightest stress, neglect of personal hygiene, etc.
- 100%, the highest possible VA disability rate, is assigned when the symptoms of PTSD are so severe that they lead to total professional and social impairment. In some cases, a Veteran may pose a danger to themselves and even people around them.
Technically, you can file a claim for PTSD VA disability if you recall that at any point in your service history, you have seriously feared for your life at least once.
With the help of qualified experts and thorough medical examination statements, you will be able to build a strong case and claim your VA benefits.
#3 Knee Impairment (code 5257)
Knee pain is another common complaint among Veterans, which makes it a popular VA disability claim today.
Knee impairment can be caused by all sorts of injuries as well as arthritis, gout, and infections, making it easy to connect the symptoms to military service.
The most common claim in this case is the Limitation of Flexion of the Knee, which can give you a VA ratio from 0% to 30%. However, if you suffer from constant pain, you may claim the Unfavorable Ankylosis of the Knee (code 5256), which has a VA disability rate of up to 60% if the limitation of flexion of your knee reaches 45 degrees or more.
Over 1.6 million Veterans have already successfully claimed their VA disability benefits for Knee Impairment. Technically, if you experience any pain upon flexion or extension of your knee, the VA will normally award you at least the minimum compensable disability rate if you file for the benefits following all the regulations.
#4 Lumbosacral or Cervical Strain (code 5237)
Neck pains can be caused by trauma, carrying heavy items, poor posture, and many other factors that you may face during your military service. That is why Lumbosacral or Cervical Strain is another popular and relatively easy VA disability to claim and prove today.
The VA rates for neck pains vary from 10% to 100% depending on the severity of symptoms and possible secondary conditions related to it.
The 10% rate is assigned in case of visible posture distortion, regular muscle spasms, and tenderness in the neck. You will receive 100% VA disability in case of a severe ankylosis of the entire spine.
Here we usually see the same “Painful motion” principle as with the knee impairment, which means that any kind of pain in the neck can get you entitled to at least a 10% VA disability rate.
#5 Scars (codes 7801, 7802, and 7805)
Scars come in all shapes and sizes and, unfortunately, they are a pretty common outcome of military service. All sorts of service-related accidents, thermal and chemical burns as well as some illnesses and, of course, surgeries are likely to leave you with a lifetime reminder on your body.
VA recognizes scars in the Schedule for Rating Disabilities and has a rating system for them that varies from 10% to 80% with breaks at 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% depending on the severity of the permanent damage.
For example, a visible tissue loss with severe distortion of:
- Eyes (and eyelids), ears, nose, mouth (and lips), chin, forehead, or cheeks, are rated 80%
- Two of the mentioned above – 50%
- One of the mentioned – 30%
The average VA rating for scars is 10%.
It is the easiest and probably the best VA disability to get today. Uploading the pictures of your scars through the VA.gov for the C&P examiner and VA Rater is generally all you need to give your case a go.
These conditions are considered the best possible VA claims because they are relatively easy to prove and relate to your military service. However, it is always best to have a qualified expert to make sure that you are providing a strong statement and all the documentation needed to claim and receive your rightfully deserved.
To make the first step on the way to your disability benefits, schedule a free 30-minute call with our Veterans Specialists. Our team will help you get full control of your case, make informed decisions, and get fairly rewarded for your honorable service.