According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, hypertension is one of the most common, chronic conditions among Veterans. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to severe consequences such as heart attack or stroke. Due to this reason, it is not a condition that should be ignored and if it is a service-connected physical disability, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits.
Common Signs of Hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure has many signs to be aware of. Some of the most common are:
- Problems with vision
- Chest pain or difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
VA Rating for Hypertension
The VA rates hypertension based on a percentage ranging from 10% to 60%. The rating is determined according to your blood pressure reading. Diastolic pressure refers to the bottom number of a blood pressure reading and systolic is the top number.
The VA uses the following criteria to rate hypertension:
- 60% rating is given if your diastolic pressure is 130 or higher.
- 40% rating is given if your diastolic pressure measures between 120 and 129.
- 20% rating is given if your diastolic pressure is 110-119, or your systolic pressure is 200 or higher.
- 10% rating is given if your diastolic pressure is 100-109, or your systolic pressure is 160 to 199.
The rating given determines your monthly disability compensation. Your rating must be at least 10% to be eligible for disability payments.
Proving Hypertension Is Service-Connected
In order to qualify for disability for hypertension, you must prove it is service-related and that the hypertension occurred during or after your service. To do this, you must show the following:
- Medical records that show a diagnosis of hypertension
- Blood pressure measurements on three different days that show at least two high blood pressure readings per day
- That your blood pressure has appeared or worsened during or within a year after your military service release
There are several service-connected conditions that can cause high blood pressure such as:
- Exposure to Agent Orange
- Side effect of medication
- Illegal drug abuse
- Heart or kidney disease
- Metabolic syndrome
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you are suffering from a service-connected disability such as hypertension, contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can help determine if you are eligible for compensation, answer any questions you may have about your disability claim and help get you the full amount of compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.