The Most Common VA Disabilities | South Portland, Maine

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Most Common VA Disabilities

Published on August 24th, 2023

Legal Representation for Every VA Disability Benefit Claimant in South Portland, Maine

Are you a Maine veteran struggling to get VA disability benefits? Many ex-military personnel feel confused and uncertain about the most prevalent VA disability because obtaining compensation can be complicated.

Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices support veterans throughout the process because we understand their challenges. VA disability compensation can be complicated, especially for Maine veterans with the most prevalent VA disabilities.

Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices has assisted many Maine veterans navigate the VA disability claims process because of their great commitment to veterans. Don’t battle alone with VA disability compensation for the most prevalent disabilities.

Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices can help you get the benefits you deserve with caring support and legal representation. We’ll fight for veteran rights and respect your service.

Am I Eligible for a VA Disability Claim?

As a veteran, you need to provide evidence that you meet the eligibility requirements for a VA disability claim.

Definition of a Qualifying Veteran

Veterans must meet VA standards to receive benefits. These criteria include the veteran’s military time and discharge type. Veteran service years determine service time requirements. Qualifying veterans must meet two criteria.

First, the veteran’s service time must have lasted 24 months or the entirety of their active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training. These periods of service determine eligibility. Exceptions to service period requirements:

  • Veterans who served before September 7, 1980
  • Veterans who received a discharge due to hardship
  • Veterans who were discharged as a result of a disability worsened or caused during their active duty service

Dishonorable discharges disqualify veterans from VA disability benefits. An “Other than Honorable” discharge may disqualify disability payments. In some cases, the VA may consider the veteran’s service honorable despite such discharges.

Have a Current Disability

A veteran’s disability is essential for Maine VA disability compensation. When applying for benefits, veterans should carefully examine and report all their health issues.

Instead of enduring these healthcare issues, veterans can benefit from getting medical treatment during the claims process. Proper medical care generates official evidence that independently certifies their health issues, supporting their benefits claim.

Show that the Current Disability is Related to Recognized Service

Veterans must prove their military service caused their disabilities when filing a VA disability claim. Veterans should provide the following supporting information to help the VA validate their service-related disability:

  • A medically certified nexus letter from a qualified healthcare professional
  • Documentation from physicians supporting the claim
  • Comprehensive medical records about the condition
  • Statements from buddies, family, friends, or fellow service members detailing their observations of the symptoms’ frequency, severity, duration, and when they first noticed them

What Are the Most Common VA Disabilities?

Military duty causes veterans to have higher rates of certain medical disorders than civilians. Musculoskeletal disorders, the most common disability among veterans, often result from military service.

Exposure to gunfire may also cause hearing loss. Mental health disorders are also prevalent, stemming from the various stressors encountered during military service.


Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. It often develops as an indication of an underlying illness such as hearing loss, ear injuries, or circulatory system issues. Ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, hissing, and humming are the most typical tinnitus symptoms.

Servicemen often hear gunshots, machinery, armored vehicles, airplanes, and other combat sounds. Many veterans have Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) from traumatic events like Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Veterans often have tinnitus due to these experiences.

Bilateral Hearing Loss

Bilateral hearing loss causes muffled speech and sounds, trouble recognizing words and consonants, requesting people to speak louder and clearer, retreating from conversations, and avoiding certain social situations.

The VA will rate bilateral hearing loss based on severity after establishing a connection to military service. Two auditory tests are used to rate the impairment.

  • Speech Discrimination Test. Evaluates how well a person comprehends words and what others are saying.
  • Pure Tone Threshold Test. Measures the faintest sound that an individual can hear at least 50 percent of the time.

The VA has certain requirements that a veteran’s hearing loss must meet to qualify as a compensable disability, making these exams important. Doctor-diagnosed hearing loss may not fulfill VA severity standards. The VA considers it service-connected if it’s impaired enough.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition caused by a traumatic incident. PTSD service connection applicants must demonstrate:

  • A present diagnosis of PTSD
  • A traumatic event that occurred during military service (referred to as a stressor)
  • A professional opinion connecting the current PTSD diagnosis to the in-service event (known as a nexus opinion)

Veterans must also prove a stressor, the military incident they feel caused their PTSD, in addition to service connection. To prove the stressor’s existence, evidence is needed.

Veterans can submit written statements detailing the in-service event. These statements support PTSD and stressors existence.


Scars from military service or service-connected operations might be service-connected for veterans. As previously noted, scars often result from surgery. 

Veterans with service-connected orthopedic issues may receive scarring surgery. Clear, color photos can help support service connection or rating claims. Showing VA examiners and adjudicators your scars may improve your rating. 

This ensures that your scars, military service, or medical treatments are fully understood and addressed during the examination process.

Limitation of Flexion of the Knee

Limitations in knee flexion are common among veterans and may qualify for service-connected compensation. This issue affects the veteran’s knee range of motion when bending or curling it toward the body.

When flexed, the VA analyzes this condition based on knee mobility. This evaluation’s criteria are:

  • 50% – when the extension is restricted to 45 degrees
  • 40% – when the extension is limited to 30 degrees
  • 30% – when the extension is limited to 20 degrees
  • 20% – when the extension is limited to 15 degrees
  • 10% – when the extension is limited to 10 degrees
  • 0% – when the extension is limited to 5 degrees

Lumbar and Cervical Strains

Veterans often have back problems. At a Compensation & Pension (C&P) exam, the examiner will use a goniometer to measure the veteran’s back’s range of motion. 

Based on the examiner’s range of motion measurements, the VA will establish a veteran’s back issue severity. The C&P examiner should also assess the veteran’s functional loss due to back pain during mobility. 

A veteran may be able to bend forward 85 degrees yet feel pain at 55 degrees. In such a circumstance, the veteran should obtain a disability rating that considers both range of motion and back pain-related functional impairments.

Paralysis of the Sciatic Nerve

Sciatica is a nerve disorder that causes pain along the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the legs. A herniated disk or vertebral bone overgrowth might compress or pinch the sciatic nerve, causing it. 

Sciatica causes numbness, tingling, burning, and muscle weakness on one side of the body. 38 CFR Section 4.124a evaluates sciatica for VA rating. Sciatic nerve paralysis rating criteria:

  • 80% – total paralysis, where all leg muscles below the knee fail, making knee bending difficult.
  • 60% – severe but incomplete paralysis with muscle wasting, reduced blood circulation, and limited area function
  • 40% – moderately severe but incomplete paralysis
  • 20% – moderate but incomplete paralysis
  • 10% – mild but incomplete paralysis

Limitation of Motion of the Ankle

Veterans commonly have limited ankle motion due to poor healing or rehabilitation following an ankle sprain. Ankle instability and restricted motion result from improper ankle sprain healing. 

Each sprain weakens or strains the ligaments, increasing the restrictions. The physical demands of military training and service limit ankle motion for many veterans. Fitness-related activities and physically demanding professions during their service may have caused ankle sprains and injuries, causing ankle motion difficulties later on.


Migraines—the eighth most prevalent VA disability—are severe, persistent, extremely debilitating headaches. They force people to isolate themselves in a gloomy area, making it impossible to work or do daily tasks. 

VA diagnoses service-connected migraines under diagnosis code 8100, assessing frequency, severity, duration, and impact on daily life. Diagnostic code 8100 rates service-connected migraines as follows:

  • 50% – when the veteran suffers frequent, debilitating, and chronic migraines that seriously impair their economic functioning.
  • 30% – when the veteran experiences devastating bouts around once a month for several months.
  • 10% – when the veteran experiences devastating bouts every two months for several months.
  • 0% – when the veteran has less frequent migraine attacks

Limitation of Motion of the Arm

The tenth most prevalent VA disability in 2019 is limited arm motion. Compared to last year, this ailment replaced degenerative arthritis of the spine. As with ankle motion, limiting arm motion often results from not fully healed arm or shoulder injuries.

Shoulder and arm injuries, like ankle injuries, can lead to more injuries. Repeated injuries might cause shoulder or arm instability and range of motion issues.

How to Achieve Service Connection for VA Disability Benefits?

The VA requires three criteria for service connection for a VA disability benefits claim:

  • A recent medical diagnosis that confirms the veteran’s current condition
  • Evidence of an event, injury, or illness that occurred during military service and caused or aggravated the veteran’s condition
  • A medical nexus connecting the veteran’s current condition to the event, injury, or illness that occurred during their service

Veterans can use VA Form 21-526EZ to apply for VA benefits. This form allows veterans to provide their details, condition, and military service.

How Can I File My VA Disability Claim?

Online disability compensation claims can be made immediately. File a disability claim using one of these three methods:

Through Mail

You can file your claim by mail by using an Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits (VA Form 21-526EZ). Simply print out the form, complete it with the necessary information, and send it to this provided address:

Department of Veterans Affairs

Claims Intake Center

PO Box 4444

Janesville, WI 53547-4444


Take your application to a nearby VA regional office.

Through the Help of a Trained Professional

You have the option to collaborate with our trusted South Portland VA disability lawyer, who will assist you in filing a claim for disability compensation.

What Evidence Do I Need to Support My VA Disability Claim?

You can strengthen your VA disability claim by submitting the following documents:

VA Medical Records and Hospital Documents

These documents might pertain to the illnesses or injuries you have claimed, or they could demonstrate that your rated disability has worsened.

Private Medical Records and Hospital Reports

These documents may be related to the illnesses or injuries you have claimed, or they might indicate that your disability has worsened.

Statements From Supportive Sources

Family, friends, clergy, law enforcement, and fellow servicemembers may make these declarations. They explain how your stated condition started or worsened.

Supporting papers depend on the claim type. You can acquire the proof yourself or use our legal staff.

What Will Happen If My VA Disability Claim in Maine is Denied?

Insufficient proof or ineligibility are the main causes for claim denials. Our Maine VA disability attorney can help veterans file a claim and present all necessary proof. This improves claim success.

How to Appeal My Denied VA Disability Claim?

Don’t despair if the VA dismisses your disability claim. Appeal their decision. It’s important to read the VA’s denial letter and understand why. This will strengthen your VA appeal.

Choosing a hearing can complicate the appeal procedure. Our VA disability attorney is invaluable in such circumstances. We will help you win your appeal. We can boost your appeal prospects.

Why Do I Need a VA Disability Lawyer in Maine?

If you’re a Maine veteran struggling with VA disability benefits, you might wonder if you need a lawyer. Our professional VA disability lawyer at Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices can significantly boost your chances of success in the claims procedure.

Experience in VA Regulations and Laws

VA disability benefits are governed by complex laws. Veterans may make mistakes and delay their claims due to legal terminology. Our experienced VA disability lawyer ensures your application is exact, thorough, and follows all laws.

Understanding of Complex Medical Evidence

Medical evidence is needed to link your service to a disability. Our lawyers can acquire and provide medical proof to support your claim.

Advocacy During the Appeals Process

Don’t give up if your claim is denied or undervalued. We will represent you before the VA to appeal the judgment and fight for your entitlements.

Avoiding Costly Mistakes

Your application’s slightest mistakes might delay or deny it. Our South Portland VA disability lawyer’s attention to detail will help you avoid costly mistakes that could compromise your claim.

Personalized Guidance and Support

Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices that every veteran’s circumstance is different. Our compassionate VA disability lawyer in South Portland, Maine will provide tailored counsel, addressing your specific problems and supporting you throughout the process.

We Can Assist You in Navigating the Most Common VA Disabilities in Maine

An experienced VA disability lawyer can help Maine veterans understand the most frequent VA disabilities. Our legal staff knows the most prevalent VA disabilities affecting Maine veterans and can help you get the benefits you deserve.

Our experienced disability lawyers can comprehend VA regulations to ensure your claim is correct and complete. We will carefully gather and provide medical records to support your case. If your initial claim fails, our steadfast advocacy will help you appeal any unfavorable rulings.

Since every veteran’s circumstance is unique, Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices prides itself on providing personalized guidance and support. We can help you avoid costly mistakes and expedite the claims process, reducing delays and increasing your chances of success. VA disability compensation might be difficult, so get help.

Trust Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices, where our commitment to assisting Maine veterans remains steadfast. Let us be your trusted ally, ensuring your sacrifices are honored and your rights as a veteran are upheld. We can also guide you with Social Security Disability and Estate Planning. Together, we’ll forge a path toward a brighter future.


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