At first glance, you may not think the terms daily pain and depression apply to you. But consider this: has daily or chronic pain caused physical discomfort affected your normal routine? An injury or painful condition that just doesn’t get better commonly causes irritability, depression, and sleep issues. And while many people experience acute pain at some point in their lives, for several veterans, chronic prolonged pain is all too common. When it comes to VA ratings, if depression from pain is linked to their service-connected disabilities, the veteran may be entitled to additional compensation.
Chronic pain can negatively impact daily activities – preventing one from participating in regular pursuits of work, play and relationships. For some, prolonged pain can limit even fundamental functions including the ability to simply sleep, sit or stand comfortably. With so many impacts to daily living, chronic pain has negative economic and psychosocial consequences – it’s no wonder so many can feel depressed or hopeless.
While many Veterans receive disability compensation for physical conditions, many are often unaware that their mental health symptoms may be eligible for a secondary rating. When physical pain causes depression the VA may grant a secondary rating for Depression from Chronic Daily Pain.
The foundation of the Chronic Daily Pain Claim must be physical pain. Tinnitus or hearing loss does not qualify. Most commonly, orthopedic conditions are the foundation of this claim type, but other disabilities may also be eligible. It is important to note though, that the painful condition(s) must be service-connected already. This means that a veteran must already have a rating of 0% or higher for the physical condition that causes them the pain. If the vet does not yet have a rating for the condition, they may not apply for this type of claim.
Once a link is made between the physical chronic pain and the depression, the veteran is then eligible to receive compensation for the depression.
In order to see a successful outcome when pursuing a Chronic Pain claim it’s important to demonstrate a direct link between the chronic pain and the accompanying mental health symptoms. A history of counseling or mental health treatment is generally not necessary, but the depression/anxiety must be formally diagnosed. A diagnosis by a licensed Psychologist is critical to establish the nexus for this claim type. The good news is that this can frequently be accomplished in a single consultation. The Doctor’s diagnosis will provide the necessary medical evidence linking the physical ailment to the depression symptoms to substantiate the claim.
When the necessary diagnosis and evidence is included in the paperwork, a claim of this nature generally takes under four months to be decided. For veterans suffering chronic pain and depression, employment may not be feasible, so the additional compensation may provide a big relief. Ratings for this claim type may be as high as 30-70%.
Any veteran suffering from Depression from Chronic Daily Pain would be well served to see if they may be eligible for this claim type. Contact our claims specialists today and see if you are eligible for additional compensation under the Chronic Daily Pain Claim.