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The secondary condition benefit is an important one to you.


Other examples that may be secondary are:
If you have a rated hip condition and it affects your back, you may
want to file for the back pain as a secondary condition.
If you take medications for service connected PTSD, you may be eligible
to file for erectile dysfunction. Many psychiatric medicines will cause or
contribute to ED. If you are rated (service connected) for hearing loss,
don't overlook the tinnitus that may accompany acoustic trauma.
Severe hearing loss may also lead to mental health conditions like depression.
If you have a condition that has caused significant disability to a leg,
that injury may affect the other leg, the hip or your back.
The VA will almost certainly deny your secondary condition. You
should
consider obtaining an IME/IMO at your earliest convenience.




Diabetes (DMII) as a primary condition  
Diabetes is known to be very hard on the human vascular system. The veteran who

has diabetes will be monitored for diseases of the arteries of the heart, the neck, the

kidneys and the legs. If diabetes affects those arteries the veteran may develop

ischemic heart disease, carotid artery disease, renal artery disease or peripheral artery disease.
Those diagnoses may lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and difficulty

in walking or even loss of a leg.
If there is a diagnosis of DMI and that diagnosis is rated by VA as service

connected, vascular diseases that are diagnosed later will be viewed as

secondary conditions and will deserve an award of compensation.
Interestingly, the diagnosis of service connected DMII must come first. If a

veteran claims carotid artery disease in 2006 and is denied and then in 2009

he is diagnosed as having service connected DMII, the original denial is likely to remain as is.
For a claim of a secondary condition, the primary service connected condition

must be of record first. If the veteran has service connected

diabetes, he or she may consider filing for;
Peripheral Artery Disease 
Ischemic Heart Disease 
Carotid Artery Disease 
Stroke 
Kidney Disease 
Hypertension 
Diseases of the Eye 
There are many more conditions that may be caused by service connected diabetes.



In our example of DMII, not all other conditions can be successfully claimed.


This is a common error made by many veterans.Veterans who have a service

connected condition like DMII will often begin to try to claim all other conditions as

secondary to that DMII.  We receive frequent emails asking if we think that a claim of

arthritis,  mental conditions like  depression, various cancers

and so on can be claimed as secondary to  the DMII. The answer is always "No".


Veterans are allowed to make any  claim they believe is appropriate. Our answers

are based on whether or  not we believe the veteran will be awarded the benefit or

if he is  wasting his time. Many claims of a secondary condition may be

won with an expert Independent Medical Opinion.


Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans Disability Benefits

Secondary Conditions

Conditions Caused Or Aggravated By

Other Service Connected Disabilities



Secondary Conditions are disabling injuries, illnesses or diseases that may

be caused or aggravated by your existing service connected conditions.


Nomenclature is very important when working with VA so it helps for you to understand

the language.The term "condition" is used to describe any physical or mental health

problem you may have.  A condition is an injury or an illness that occurred

during your military service. The condition may be disabling or not.


You may have had a condition like a fungal infection that was treated and cleared up

with treatment. That isn't disabling but it may be rated as service

connected at 0% disabling. Or you may have had a significant injury such

as a gunshot wound. Even though it was treated, that wound may have left

you with only a partial use of the affected limb and a big scar.

That's a disabling condition and will likely be awarded

an appropriate rating for purposes of compensation.



The term "service connected" implies that the illness or injury occurred during your service

or if it shows up later in your life, was caused, contributed to or aggravated by your service.

The condition doesn't have to be from combat or even while you're performing a military duty.

You're military 24 x 7 so anything that happens before you have that DD 214 in hand counts.

These conditions can be physical illnesses or mental health problems.

Some service connected conditions are pretty easy to understand. If you lose a finger or a

toe in an accident or in combat, you'll get a clear cut rating for the loss of the digit. That

loss isn't pleasant but it isn't very likely to disrupt your life to any great extent and

it won't lead to any other physical problems for you.

Then again, you may be diagnosed with an illness or incur an injury that can cause other problems.

If you have a service connected condition and that condition leads to other physically or mentally disabling conditions, you may have a reason to file a claim for a secondary condition.



For example...

Veterans who served in Vietnam are known to have been exposed to agent orange.

Agent orange is known to cause or contribute to a variety of health problems.

Your VA cedes that many health problems that occur in Vietnam veterans may be caused

by the exposure to agent orange. In fact, there's a well defined list of these presumptive conditions.

One of the common conditions that may be seen in the Vietnam veteran is adult onset

diabetes, often called Type 2 Diabetes or DMII. Any Vietnam veteran who receives a

diagnosis of DMII should file a claim for disability compensation. The claim is likely to

be awarded without too much fuss if the veteran has his paperwork in proper order.

Once an individual is diagnosed with DMII his health care team will begin to watch for

conditions that are known to be secondary to the diabetes. Medical science recognizes

that diabetes can be a brutal disease and it may cause other physical health problems.

Most of these problems may be avoided or minimized with good

medical care like a proper diet and medicines.

Some manifestations of DMII will come up for some veterans though.

These may be viewed as secondary conditions and when they occur,

they should be claimed as service connected and secondary to the primary DMII.​


Permanent and Total Rating


VA SPOTLIGHT

Brett Valette, PhD


UPDATED...April 2017

This is a series of stories

bringing light to the dark side of the

VA’s treatment of some Veterans

applying for disability.  Whether out

of frustration, desperation, anger, or

‘just to make it right” they contacted me, and together, we fought the injustice. 

These are actual cases and claims. 

I have changed names and identifying

information for confidentiality reasons.


Spotlight March 2017

This is the first in a series of stories bringing

light to the dark side of the VA’s treatment

of some Veterans applying for disability. 


Spotlight April 2017

Claim Killer DBQ Questions.
VA Spotlight is a series of stories bringing

light to the dark side of the VA’s treatment

of some Veterans applying for disability.

Whether out of frustration, desperation,

anger, or ‘just to makeit right” they contacted

me, and together, we fought the injustice.


Click Here To Contact Dr. Valette



Things You'll Need














Mail your forms, documents
and evidence here...
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 5235
Janesville, WI 53547-5235


Toll Free Fax: 844-822-5246


We recommend that you mail a copy
and then fax a copy!  Yes, it's twice the
work but maybe VA will only lose one
and the other will be processed.
Remember: Use Certified Mail!

Forms to File Claims

VA Form 21-526EZ
For...
Disability Service Connection
Secondary Service Connection

IncreasedDisability Compensation

Temporary Total Disability Rating
 Individual Unemployability
Compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1151
 Special Monthly Compensation
Specially Adapted Housing

Special Home Adaptation

Automobile Allowance/Adaptive Equipment
Benefits Based on a Veteran's
Seriously Disabled Child


VA Form 21-0958 - NOD
​Notice of Disagreement

VA Form 21-534 EZ

Application for DIC, Death Pension
Change of Address​

TDIU Annual - VA Form 4140
Declaration of Status
of Dependents
VA form 21-686c


How To

How To Apply For SSDI

How To Apply For

TDIU Unemployability

How To Use

Disability Benefits Questionnaires

(DBQ's)

How To Apply For A Disability Rating

How To Apply For An Increase

to an existing rating

How To Retrieve Your

Military Personnel Records


Research Your Claim

The M21-1MR
The CFR
TDIU
SMC

The Schedule For Rating Disabilities




The Veterans Voice

International


Opinion   Editorial

News & Views


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