Getting Veterans Disability Compensation for
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is very prevalent in today’s society, but even more prevalent in veterans, who are much more likely to develop high blood pressure due to the stress incurred during active military duty.
High blood pressure leads to other health problems, and veterans frequently ask us if their underlying condition of hypertension will qualify for VA disability. It does qualify you, but like any medical condition for which you would get VA disability, your condition must be related to your military service.
Blood pressure is a measure of the force exerted on your artery walls as blood pumps through your circulatory system. A higher than normal blood pressure means that your heart is having to work much harder to circulate your blood. Blood pressure is measured as a ratio of two numbers, such as 120/80, which is a normal pressure. The top number is called the systolic pressure and is measure of blood pressure with each heartbeat as blood is pushed out of the heart. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure and is a measure of the pressure at rest or between heartbeats. Levels higher than 120/80 in the range of 121/81 to 139/89 indicate pre-hypertension, but if you consistently measure at 140/90 or above, you definitely have hypertension.
Hypertension is detrimental because it can lead to heart attacks, strokes and aneurysms–or even heart failure in some cases.
Hypertension is rampant in the veteran population, affecting over half of all veterans. In fact, it is the leading diagnosed condition among veterans, according to the 2016 National Veteran Health Equity Report.
There are several steps you can take to meet the hypertension VA disability requirements. Most importantly, you must have documentation that shows your high blood pressure diagnosis. Your personal physician will also need to document your hypertension diagnosis. For hypertension VA disability claims, the VA requires your physician to complete the Hypertension Disability Benefits Questionnaire, which can be downloaded from the VA website. VA will absolutely not accept the form if it is filled out by the veteran. They will only accept forms from licensed healthcare providers.
At a minimum, your doctor should produce records showing your blood pressure measurements from three different days and measured at least twice each day. . Ideally, it is even better if you can additionally show your home records of daily blood pressure readings over a period of time. On the hypertension form, the doctor will also indicate any other relevant health information that could be creating or complicating your hypertension. Your doctor should include a detailed symptoms list, medications list, health diagnoses, detailed medical history and any other relevant information that could help the VA in making their decision.
The next step in your hypertension VA disability claim involves relating your hypertension to your military service. Your doctor is required on the form to include his or her professional opinion about whether your hypertension stemmed from active duty and also whether it now affects your ability to work. Just remember that lack of sufficient medical evidence is the main reason why veterans are denied benefits.
To make its determination, the VA will assign an examiner to your case. That person will review all the evidence presented by you and your doctor, and then assign you a VA disability rating. The rating scale is a percentage scale, so you will be assigned a number from 0 to 100. For reference, if you show a consistent diastolic pressure (bottom number) of 130 or above, you will be rated for hypertension disability at 60 percent. A lower consistent diastolic pressure of 100 is typically assigned a minimum hypertension VA rating of 10 percent. The VA examiner will also look at whether your hypertension can be controlled with medication.
Because hypertension affects more than half of all veterans, it is important to know the symptoms. Many cases go unchecked, leading to much greater health issues when untreated. Regular blood pressure measurements are the best way to determine whether you have hypertension, pre-hypertension or whether you’re in danger of developing the condition.nbsp;
But there are other signs as well that you should know about:
• Chest pain
• Breathing difficulty
• A heartbeat that is irregular or abnormal
• Abnormal fatigue levels
• Vision difficulties
• Chronic headaches
• Dizziness or balance issues
• Blood in urine
Our firm has years of experience helping veterans file VA disability claims, and we can help you too. We have a network of VA-accredited attorneys, and you may even qualify for legal assistance. We can definitely ensure that you present a strong case to the VA and thus improve your chances of receiving hypertension VA disability.