Atrial fibrillation (AFIB) is a condition that causes irregular or rapid heartbeat. Some people show no symptoms, while others may have shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dizziness, weakness, chest pain and confusion. AFIB can be linked to cardiovascular issues as well as to chronic stress from PTSD. If you have PTSD, you may be able to file a secondary connection to it for AFIB and qualify for additional VA benefits. A specialized PTSD benefits lawyer can help.
The Connection Between AFIB and PTSD
Those with atrial fibrillation have an increased risk of heart failure, stroke, and other heart-related complications. AFIB can be linked to conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and sleep apnea. More recent studies connect it to PTSD.
PTSD has been linked to cardiovascular disease and hypertension, and due to the psychological stress from PTSD, the risk for an irregular heart rhythm is increased. Being able to connect both conditions to service is essential to the Veteran’s total disability compensation and getting the maximum amount of payment.
How the VA Rates Atrial Fibrillation
If you are already given a service-connected rating for PTSD and later develop AFIB, you may be able to file a secondary service connection. You will need to provide proof to the VA that there is a direct link between the two conditions, and PTSD increased the risk of AFIB and caused it to occur.
The VA rates AFIB the following ways:
A 30% rating is given for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation or other types of supraventricular tachycardia. To get a 30% rating, there must be four or more AFIB episodes per year that are documented by an ECG or Holter monitor.
A 10% rating is given for permanent, or lone, atrial fibrillation. To get a 10% rating, there can be one to four episodes per year of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation or other types of supraventricular tachycardia that are documented by an ECG or Holter monitor.
If you have questions about your disability benefits and ratings, contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law for a free, no-obligation consultation. We work with Veterans who have PTSD and have questions about their secondary conditions and help ensure that you get the full amount of compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.