Veteran Experiencing Vertigo While WalkingVertigo is a disorder that affects balance. It is often caused by an infection or a disease of the ear. Vertigo can cause a range of symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, and double vision. If you developed vertigo during your time in service or it is the result of another service-connected condition, you may qualify for VA disability benefits.

Common Signs and Causes of Vertigo

Vertigo creates a spinning sensation and can be accompanied by a range of symptoms, including:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty with balance

When a person is experiencing vertigo, the symptoms can last for hours to days. Some cases of vertigo are mild, while others are more severe and debilitating. Vertigo is commonly caused by an infection of the inner ear or a disease affecting the ear, such as:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Chronic suppurative otitis media
  • Chronic otitis externa
  • Mastoiditis

VA Ratings for Vertigo

The VA rates vertigo under the rating schedule for peripheral vestibular disorders, diagnostic code 6204, or under Meniere’s syndrome (endolymphatic hydrops), diagnostic code 6205. The rating given depends on the severity of the condition and what caused it to occur.

Peripheral vestibular disorders affect balance and can often be accompanied by hearing loss or fluid leaking from the ears. For vertigo under diagnostic code 6204, peripheral vestibular disorders, the following ratings are given:

  • 30% rating is given if there is dizziness that includes occasional staggering when walking.
  • 10% rating is given if there is occasional dizziness.

Meniere’s disease is a condition that affects the inner ear and can cause issues with balance and a loss of hearing. For vertigo under diagnostic code 6205, Meniere’s syndrome, the following ratings are given:

  • 100% rating is given if there is a hearing loss with dizziness and staggering when walking that occurs more than one time weekly. This can be with or without tinnitus.
  • 60% rating is given if there is a hearing loss with dizziness and staggering when walking that occurs one to four times per month. 
  • 30% rating is given if there is a hearing impairment with dizziness that occurs less than one time per month.

In cases where vertigo affects a Veteran’s ability to work or are unable to be employed due to the severity of symptoms, they may be eligible for total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) and can receive a rating of 100% regardless of their schedular rating.

Proving a Service Connection

In order to qualify for disability benefits for vertigo, a service connection must be proven. If the condition was caused by an injury that occurred during your time in service or an event caused an existing injury to worsen, and you can prove that with medical documentation and evidence, you can file a claim. You will need to show proof that:

  • Diagnosis and symptoms of vertigo started while in service
  • Diagnosis and symptoms of vertigo started within one year of being discharged from the military

Any evidence that shows that there was exposure to loud sounds such as machinery, gun fire, or combat that damaged the inner ear or that there was an event while in service that caused a traumatic brain injury that caused vertigo can be used as proof for a service connection. Vertigo and other ear conditions can also be secondary to another service-connected condition.

Contact a Disability Benefits Attorney

If you have been denied disability benefits, contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, at (877) 629-1712 for a free, no-obligation consultation. You may still qualify for benefits and we will help with your appeal to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

 

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