Do you feel like there is a nail stabbing the bottom of your heel? You may need to file for a plantar fasciitis VA rating. This VA claim was rolled into other claims for many years. However, the VA has recently upgraded it to a solo mid-level claim. It can be very helpful towards a 100% overall rating.
What Exactly is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar facia is the tissue on the bottom of the feet. Plantar fasciitis is when that tissue becomes inflamed and tender. This condition is very common among veterans. PT, ruck marches, and long hours of standing in low quarters or boots are common causes. In addition, those with “Pes Planus” (flat feet) are much more likely to develop these issues.
Plantar Fasciitis VA Rating
Plantar fasciitis became its own separate rating on February 7, 2021 (Diagnostic code 5269). A plantar fasciitis VA rating will typically fall between 10% and 30%. In addition, the VA rates severe cases of plantar fasciitis at 40%, but that is not typical.
The VA rates plantar fasciitis that causes pain at 10%. In addition, they rate veterans with pain that is not treatable with inserts or surgery at 20% (one foot) or 30% (both feet). It is not a high value claim like PTSD, but a 20% or 30% rating is very useful toward a 100% overall rating.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Physical therapy, rest, and over-the-counter painkillers are the normal treatments for plantar fasciitis. However, the Mayo clinic also notes that orthopedic inserts, injections, and surgery are other potential treatments. We want you properly rated, but it is important to also receive proper medical treatment.
Steps to Service-Connecting My Plantar Fasciitis?
Don’t be the reason your VA claim fails! Make sure you have everything together before you submit your claim. A winning VA claim requires three pieces: service-connection, nexus, and a diagnosis (with symptoms).
VA Rating for Plantar Fasciitis: Current Diagnosis
First, go see a doctor for plantar fasciitis. The physician will be able to provide a diagnosis. It is critical that you take advantage of all medical care opportunities available to you. The doctor will probably prescribe therapy to alleviate your symptoms. In turn, this therapy will provide further documentation toward your claim.
VA Rating for Plantar Fasciitis: Service-Connection
You’ll need to get a copy of your C-File (military medical records). You are looking for records of being treated for plantar fasciitis (or general foot pain) while on active duty. This is your service-connection.
What if you are lacking medical records? You can use personal statements to help prove your claim. The VA prefers medical documentation, but some veterans will need to work around a lack of documentation.
Plantar Fasciitis VA Rating: Nexus (Tie It All Together)
Finally, there must be a nexus. Nexus is the link between service-connection and current diagnosis. In other words, you prove that your current issues started on active duty.
Are you currently on active duty? Nexus is likely not an issue for you. Have you visited a doctor regularly since separating from the military? As likely as not, you will be fine. This ongoing treatment is your nexus.
However, large periods without medical treatment is an issue. You will need to work harder to prove nexus. The VA never requires a “nexus letter.” However, it can help overcome a lack of medical evidence. A nexus letter is a statement from a medical professional. This professional will evaluate you, and they can offer their opinion that your current issues stem from active duty service.
Plantar Fasciitis VA Rating: Secondary Claims
A plantar fasciitis VA rating is a mid-level value claim, but it creates the opportunity for secondary claims. A secondary claim is one that is caused or aggravated by a service-connected issue.
In plain English, your plantar fasciitis may cause issues with your knees, hips, back, etc. These issues can then be their own claim. These secondary claims can be very important. My overall rating is 90%, but half of that rating is from secondary claims.
Remember, secondary claims are equal in value to primary claims. The ratings and payment are the same. However, you do not need to prove that a secondary issue started on active duty. In fact, you need only prove that your service-connected issue caused or aggravated it.
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