Hand injuries can be extremely debilitating. They can make it difficult or impossible to complete everyday tasks. Do you have a hand injury caused by military service? You may be eligible for VA disability for hand pain.
There are several different hand injuries that can occur. These range from scars to damaged nerves to amputation. Some hand injuries may only require a short period of recovery, but others can cause permanent disability.
The amount of VA disability for hand pain you receive depends on the severity of your hand injury. In addition, it matters how your hand affects your ability to work and use your hand in day-to-day tasks. As a result, we will look at three common hand claims. We will show you how to fight the VA and WIN your claim.
VA Disability for Hand Pain: 0%-10% For Scars
Do you have a scar on your hands or fingers from active duty? Did you know you should be filing for a claim for those scars? Scars are typically a low value claim, and the VA rates most at 0% or 10%. However, the VA can use several scars together to award a higher rating. In addition, the VA rates a large (5″ or more) or unstable scar at a higher rating.
VA Disability for Hand Pain: 10%-20% For Arthritis
The VA typically rates arthritis in the hand under Diagnostic Code 5003. The VA divides the hand into interphalangeal (fingers), metacarpal (hand), and carpal (wrist) joints. As a result, VA disability for hand pain under arthritis is possible when multiple portions of the hand have arthritis visible in a x-ray.
VA Disability For Hand Pain: Amputation of Fingers
Unfortunately, many veterans are missing one or more fingers. The VA disability for hand pain (amputated fingers) is under diagnostic codes 5126 to 5156. In addition, the exact rating varies based on the severity and and number of fingers amputated. Notably, a thumb is rated higher than a finger.
In addition, the VA rates dominant hand fingers at a higher rate than the non-dominant hand. Typically, the VA rates a single finger between 10% and 20%. However, the loss of all fingers and the thumb is rated at 70%.
VA Disability for Non-Standard Hand Claims
This veteran successfully argued that her VA disability for hand pain should be paid as if her finger was amputated. However, she still has the finger. As a result, the VA awarded a 10% rating for her finger using diagnostic Codes 5126 and 5227.
On the surface, this rating is not logical. How can the VA award an amputation rating to a veteran who still has her finger?
This veteran used several tools to win her claim. First, the VA has a duty to assist. She was initially denied compensation. However, her denial letter from the VA articulated what evidence was needed to win. The veteran gathered this information and used it in her appeal.
Second, the veteran used medical evidence and personal statements together. The veteran is a full time mail carrier, and the finger injury interferes with her daily tasks at work. However, the VA could not prove that the finger interferes with her career. As a result, she needed to use a personal statement to ensure that the VA has the information. In addition, she provided a statement detailing the regular spasms and pain from the finger.
This statement was a key to her success. As a result, the rater used the pain and spasms as part of the basis for his decision. He noted “under 38 C.F.R. ї 4.59, painful, unstable, or malaligned joints, due to healed injury, are entitled to at least the minimum compensable rating for the joint.”
This is an excellent example of a veteran using all the tools at their disposal to win VA disability for hand pain. Remember, a denial a normal part of the VA claims process.
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