Starting off our list of the top 5 easiest claims to file in 2022 is the most commonly filed disability among veterans, Tinnitus. This condition affects one in every ten American adults. Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing noise in one or both ears that may be constant or come and go, often associated with hearing loss.
What if I Notice Symptoms of Tinnitus?
If you think you have tinnitus symptoms, get a hearing test done. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but reducing your condition can help you cope with everyday life.
The VA determines disabilities for hearing loss by speech recognition and tone tests. There are specific ways to prove your case with the VA for tinnitus.
First, did you have exposure to loud noises such as gunfire, flight line work, or operating with or near explosives? If so, these are all factors that can help determine a nexus. This nexus can show you had an exposure that is relative to your tinnitus.
Finally, if something else causes your condition, there must be some evidence of what you are claiming. For example, if you are claiming it was due to medications, you must be able to prove that cause. This can be done with documentation or through lay statements. The VA needs evidence that can help prove that you have taken medication that has caused the tinnitus.
The second easiest VA claim in 2022 is mental health conditions. Service-connected mental health issues have affected many veterans. For example, one of the most recognized mental health conditions is PTSD. PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.
Why File for a Mental Health Condition?
Mental health conditions are generally regarded as a ‘high-value’ claim because mental health issues are more likely to receive a disability rating of 30% or higher. According to the 2018-2019 Veterans Benefits Administration Report to Congress, over 13% of disabled veterans with mental health conditions were assigned a 100% disability rating.
Moving onto the third easiest claim to file in 2022, musculoskeletal injuries. Musculoskeletal injuries affect the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, or other connective tissue in the body. They affect a person’s ability to perform work and participate in their respective social roles. Unsurprisingly, knee and ankle injuries are some of the most commonly approved claims.
How to be Considered for Musculoskeletal Injuries
To be considered for a musculoskeletal injury, you will have to show some persistent and recurring symptoms. Some common symptoms of musculoskeletal injuries are:
- weakness or fatigue in the extremity
- painful motion
- limited or reduced range of motion
- loss of movement control.
On their own, Musculoskeletal Injuries have a VA rating of 20% or less but don’t forget that you can claim them as a secondary condition as well.
The fourth easiest VA claim in 2022 is scars. Depending on the severity, a VA disability rating for scars can be anywhere from 10% to 80%. Luckily, Injuries incurred on active duty that are significant enough are almost always documented in the military service record.
Scar tissue can occasionally qualify as a secondary condition for musculoskeletal injuries due to reduced arm, leg, back, or neck mobility. It is typically a simple matter of getting qualifying scars VA approved.
Wrapping up our top 5 easiest claims to file in 2022 is agent orange presumptions. What is a Presumptive Condition? A presumptive condition that the VA presumes was caused by military service. This is because of the unique circumstances of a specific veteran’s military service.
What about Agent Orange?
Agent Orange was used during the Vietnam era as an herbicide. Short-term exposure to dioxin or Agent Orange can cause skin darkening, liver problems, and a severe acne-like skin disease called chloracne. Additionally, dioxin is linked to type 2 diabetes, immune system dysfunction, nerve disorders, muscular dysfunction, hormone disruption, and heart disease.
The VA considers the following conditions to be presumptive for Agent Orange:
- Type 2 diabetes
- AL amyloidosis
- B-cell leukemia
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Hodgkin’s disease
- Ischemic heart disease
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Prostate cancer
- Porphyria cutanea tarda
- Respiratory cancers
- Soft-tissue sarcoma (not including osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
- Chloracne or another similar acneform disease
You DO NOT have to show a service connection if you served in Vietnam between Jan. 9th, 1962, and May 7th, 1975, and were diagnosed with any of the above conditions. Since Agent Orange was so widely exposed during the Vietnam era, the VA presumes that these conditions are service-connected. Due to that presumption, veterans have an excellent chance of getting these claims approved and receiving a higher VA rating.