Hip-related complaints are common among older adults. For many people, hip pain can start slowly but become a chronic and borderline debilitating condition. Compared to the general public, Veterans face an elevated risk of developing significant and potentially disabling hip injuries.
U.S. Military Veterans and Hip Pain
Hip injuries can be acute or chronic, appearing overnight or troubling Veterans for years.
While hip injuries have a variety of potential causes, they are often traumatic in origin. Veterans could develop hip pain if they:
- Served overseas
- Were injured in combat
- Held a physically strenuous military occupational specialty
Making Sense of Hip Pain
Hip pain is most often the result of an underlying physical condition. Any of the following injuries could be responsible for emergent or chronic hip pain:
- Muscle or tendon strains
- Broken or fractured bones
While hip pain is often localized, it can cause discomfort in the thigh, groin, and buttocks.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Ratings for Hip Pain
The Department of Veterans Affairs disability ratings for hip pain depend on the condition’s underlying cause and severity. For example:
Hip Replacement Hip Pain
The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a separate disability rating schedule for hip replacement-related hip pain:
- 100%. For four months following either the implementation of a prosthetic hip or hip resurfacing.
- 90%. For Veterans who have received hip implants that have caused significant pain or weakness requiring the use of crutches or other mobility assistive devices.
- 70%. For hip-related pain that causes serious residual weakness, pain, or a limited range of motion.
- 50%. For hip-related pain that causes moderately severe weakness, pain, or a limited range of motion.
- 30%. For total hip replacements with no pain or residual effects.
Osteoarthritis-Related Hip Pain
If a Veteran’s hip pain is attributed to osteoarthritis, the Department of Veterans Affairs will assign a rating in accordance with its Schedule of Ratings for the Musculoskeletal System. Diagnostic Code 5003 details the following disability ratings:
- If the Veteran has X-ray evidence suggesting the involvement of two or more major joints, with occasional incapacitating pain, they may receive a disability rating of up to 20%.
- If the Veteran has X-ray evidence suggesting the involvement of two or more major joints, or two or more minor joints, they may receive a disability rating of up to 10%.
Ankylosis-Related Hip Pain
Ankylosis-related hip pain is classified under Diagnostic Code 5250, which defines ankylosis as a fusion of bones causing abnormal stiffness and immobility.
Similar to other diagnoses, ankylosis-related disability ratings vary, ranging between 60% and 90%.
Limitation of Motion Diagnoses
If the hip pain does not result in an ankylosis diagnosis, the Department of Veterans Affairs may consider the hip pain a limitation of motion disability. Before providing a disability rating, the agency will assess and evaluate the claimant’s overall range of motion and assign a rating in accordance with the Veteran’s level of impairment.
TDIU and Hip Pain
Some Veterans with certain hip pain causes and ratings may be eligible for Total Disability Individual Unemployment benefits, or TDIU. In general, TDIU is only available to claimants who are unable to work or maintain employment as a result of their service-related disability.
However, to qualify for TDIU, you must be able to demonstrate that your hip pain is both service-related and sufficiently severe to prevent you from working.
Contact an Experienced Veterans Physical Disabilities Attorney Today
The Department of Veterans Affairs rigid disability ratings can make obtaining benefits for service-related hip pain unnecessarily difficult. Any mistake on a claim could result in a denial. Although the government affords Veterans the right to file an appeal, challenging an adjudication is almost always a time-consuming process that forces Veterans to spend months awaiting relief.
You do not have to take risks with your physical health and financial well-being. Sean Kendall, Attorney at Law, has spent years protecting the rights of American heroes. Our experienced team of physical disability lawyers could help you, or a loved one, file a compelling claim for benefits or appeal a denial of benefits. Please send us a message online or call us at 877-629-1712 to schedule your initial consultation as soon as possible.