Seek The Counsel Of A Social Security Attorney When Applying For Disability With Parkinson’s Disease
If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease, the symptoms which prompted the diagnosis may also serve as the qualifications for Social Security Disability benefits.
With the amount of documentation necessary to prove the presence of these qualifying criteria, it would likely be in your best interests to have your case evaluated by a Social Security Disability attorney who may be able to help with your claim.
While the degree of impairment caused by these symptoms may seem obvious to you, having them sufficiently documented so their impact is adequately illustrated on paper is imperative to receiving a positive decision from the Social Security Administration.
Working in close collaboration with your healthcare providers, a Social Security Disability attorney or disability advocate can be sure the proper documents are provided when your application is submitted so your benefits can begin as soon as possible.
Meeting Ssas Medical Listing For Parkinsonian Syndrome
With that in mind, the fastest way to win SSDI benefits for Parkinsons is to qualify under SSAs medical listing 11.06, Parkinsonian Syndrome. Qualifying under this listing requires detailed medical evidence. In brief, you need a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, supported by medical records of symptoms including:
- Significant rigidity
- Tremors in two extremities
Your symptoms should also show difficulty with fine motor skills, large motor skills, standing, or walking. In addition to various test results, SSA will require your doctors responses to targeted questions concerning your PD, as well as proof of your adherence to prescribed treatment.
If you meet or equal the requirements of the listing, SSA will find you are disabled without considering your age, education, and work experience.
Filing For Social Security Disability With A Parkinsons Disease Diagnosis
The SSA has a complied list guidelines of conditions that qualify for disability benefits. Under it’s listing in the “Blue Book,” Parkinsons Disease is a condition that can qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits provided that certain diagnostic criteria are met and documented which include:
- bradykinesia, or tremor in two extremities causing ongoing problems with movement
- gait, or ability to stand
There is no single test that can provide a definitive diagnosis of Parkinsons Disease. Diagnosis is based upon an evaluation of the symptoms present, as well as a neurological examination.
Also, the presence of at least two of what are considered to be the cardinal symptoms of Parkinsons can be considered to be strongly indicative of the presence of the condition.
Additionally, tremors of the hands that occur while the hand is at rest, symptoms that begin on one side of the body, and/or a positive response to levodopa are also telltale diagnostic tools.
It can be assumed that these symptoms could be used as the basis for a Social Security Disability case on their own should they become serious enough to inhibit ones ability to work. If the disease has progressed to this point, however, the patient has likely already qualified based on physical/motor symptoms.
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Federal Benefits For Veterans Dependents And Survivors
This 76-page Benefits Handbook for Veterans and Dependents provides information on benefits and services currently available by law and regulation. However, due to VAs ongoing response to COVID-19, Veterans, their families, and caregivers are encouraged to visit VA.gov, specifcally for information about COVID-19 and how it affects VA health care and benefits services.
Agent Orange & Parkinsons Disease
Agent Orange was used in chemical warfare during the Vietnam War. Since then, Vietnam veterans have developed a variety of symptoms related to Agent Orange exposureincluding Parkinsons Disease.
There is research that is starting to show exposure to certain chemicals do cause Parkinsons Disease, and some of those chemicals such as TCE and PCE have been found in the water of Camp Lejeune. There is also evidence that Agent Orange herbicide exposure causes Parkinsons, which the VA has now conceded. Parkinsons Disease is one of the presumptive conditions related to Agent Orange that the VA recognizes.
According to the Parkinsons Foundation, the main chemical in Agent Orange, called dioxin, is the main culprit in causing disease.
Agent Orange has also been linked to respiratory cancer, multiple myeloma, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, lymphoma, soft tissue sarcoma, and chronic b-cell leukemias. This service connection is particularly prevalent for Vietnam War veterans.
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Risk Factors For Vets
There are a few factors that can increase your risk of developing Parkinsons disease. First among these is age young people rarely develop Parkinsons Disease. The disease generally starts presenting in middle age, around 60 or so, and gets worse as you age.
If you have a history of Parkinsons in your family, you may be at greater risk of developing the disease. Men are more likely than women to develop Parkinsons, with more than 63 percent of Parkinsons patients being men. People who have been exposed to herbicides and pesticides, including Agent Orange, are also at greater risk.
There is still research ongoing about links to Parkinsons and burn pits and Gulf War syndrome. The important thing about getting your VA disability application in is that sometimes new discoveries only apply to people that get their applications in before a certain date or policy change.
Parkinsons Disease might just be part of your VA disability claim if you were near burn pits during your service. Here is a video detailing burn pit claims.
Examples Of Bradykinesia Va Disability Ratings
The VAs approach to bradykinesia varies widely depending on the case. This is a good thing because it allows the VA to tailor its rating for your case of bradykinesia. For example, in one reported case, a veteran who experienced bradykinesia in his upper extremities was entitled to a 20% disability rating for his non-dominant arm and 30% for his dominant arm. These residual ratings will be aggregated using VA math to produce an overall VA disability rating of 40%.
In another case, a veteran who experienced bradykinesia in his left leg was entitled to a 40% disability rating because it was accompanied by stooped posture and stiffness and weakness in the leg. Besides these, the veterans left foot would drag, and his gait would freeze while walking.
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What Does 70 Percent Va Disability Get You
70 Percent Disability Compensation Rates All veterans with a 70 percent disability rating receive at least the minimum VA disability pay of $1,444.71 per month. Veterans receive additional compensation if they have dependent parents, minor children, or other family members who rely on their financial support.
Can You Get Va Disability Compensation For Parkinsonism
Parkinsonism is a general medical term that refers to a group of neurological disorders that cause movement problems similar to those seen in Parkinsons disease such as tremors, slow movement and stiffness. Although the Parkinsonism and Parkinsons disease share a similar name and similar symptoms, Parkinsonism is not the same thing as Parkinson’s disease.
In the Vietnam War thousands of U.S. service members were exposed to Agent Orange and other defoliants which have been proven to cause Parkinsonism. The disease is on the VAs list of presumptive conditions related to Agent Orange exposure. When a veteran is diagnosed with a disease classified as presumptive, that veteran can qualify for disability benefits without the burden of proving the condition was caused by military service.
In addition, Parkinsonism is also a presumptive condition for veterans who served in the Korean DMZ from April 1968 to August 1971. If you served in any of these places during the specified time periods, to establish your claim for disability you need only show that you have a current diagnosis of Parkinsonism and VA documentation to show when and where you served.
At Cuddigan Law, we understand how critical it is for veterans who have honorably served their country to get the disability benefits they have rightfully earned. Our VA accredited attorneys are ready to fight for you. Call or email us for a free evaluation of your situation.
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So Yes Parkinsons Does Qualify For Disability
Yes, it qualifies, we just have to work on getting it service-connected for you. Parkinsons disease is a presumptive condition for those who served around Agent Orange or at Camp Lejeune. But even for veterans who dont meet that qualification, you can still qualify for disability compensation.
If youd like to get help in filing and appealing your VA disability benefits claim, get in touch with us at Woods and Woods. We fight for veterans every day, and you dont pay anything unless we win your case. Contact us today to start getting the disability compensation youre entitled to.
What Is Va 38 Cfr
You may have heard of VA 38 CFR if youre a veteran. But what is it? VA 38 CFR is the Veterans Affairs Code of Federal Regulations. It contains laws and regulations governing the VA, including how veterans provide benefits. The regulations in VA 38 CFR are designed to ensure that veterans receive the care and benefits they need and deserve.
They cover a wide range of topics, from eligibility for benefits to the types of care and services the VA provides. If you have any questions about your benefits or the care youre receiving from the VA, you can always refer to VA 38 CFR.
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Va Disability For Parkinsons Disease
Berry LawAgent Orange
Parkinsons disease is a very serious progressive brain disorder, meaning it gradually gets worse over time. According to Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical center, typical symptoms associated with the disease include tremors, slowed movement, rigid muscles, balance problems, loss of automatic movements, speech changes, and writing changes.
Anybody who has been diagnosed with Parkinsons is dealing with a serious disorder that can drastically change your life. However, Veterans may be able to receive VA disability for Parkinsons disease if they can prove it was caused by military service.
Is It Hard To Get Disability For Parkinsons
If you have Parkinsons disease, you may wonder if you qualify for disability benefits. The process can seem confusing, but the reality is that it is possible to get a disability for Parkinsons.
The first step is to gather medical evidence documenting your condition. It can include your diagnosis, medical nexus letter, records from your doctor, therapy notes, and test results. Once you have this documentation, you must file a claim to the VA. The review process can take several months, but you will begin receiving monthly payments if your application is approved. If you are considering applying for disability benefits, it is important to understand that the process can be lengthy, but it is possible to get approved.
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Parkinsons Disease And Agent Orange Exposure
Agent Orange is an herbicide agent that was used by the United States during the Vietnam War. More specifically, Agent Orange is a 50/50/ mixture of two kinds of herbicide agents: 2, 4-D and 2, 5-T. Additionally, Agent Orange contains a highly toxic dioxin called TCDD. The United States used Agent Orange during the Vietnam War to destroy enemy crops, disrupt supply lines, and prevent ambushes. As a result, Vietnam veterans have developed a number of health conditions that have been traced to Agent Orange exposure, including Parkinsons Disease.
In July 2009, the Health and Medicine Division concluded in its report, Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008, that there is suggestive but limited evidence that exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides is associated with an increased chance of developing Parkinsons Disease. As a result, VA added Parkinsons Disease to its list of presumptive conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure.
Why Secondary Conditions Matter
A secondary condition can influence the disability rating that a Veteran receives from the VA. If a Veteran is suffering from mental or physical problems stemming from a service-related disability, these problems can lead to an increase in the disability rating that the Veteran receives from the VA. Although secondary conditions may not directly result from service-related events or injuries, if the VA can establish a connection between these problems and a service-related disability, secondary conditions can make a Veteran eligible to receive more benefits each month.
If you are suffering from a secondary condition in addition to your service-related disability, your disability rating from the VA could likely be higher than it currently is. If the VA has only assessed your initial disability and not factored in any secondary conditions, you may have received a lower rating than your condition warrants. Because secondary conditions can make life much more difficult for Veterans and were caused by military service, the VA recognizes secondary conditions as grounds for raising a disabled Veterans disability rating.
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What Is The Va Rating For Parkinsons Disease
One of the questions we often field is, Is Parkinsons disease a 100% compensation disability? The VA Parkinsons disability rating can rise to 100%. However, it is not 100% by default.
Instead, the Parkinsons VA disability rating has a minimum or default rating of 30%, but that is just the starting point. When you apply for VA Parkinsons disability benefits, the VA looks at two numbers.
First, it looks at your individual disability rating using the aforementioned formula. Then, it compares that number to the default or overall disability rating for Parkinsons disease, which is 30%. If your individual disability rating exceeds 30%, that is your disability rating.
In that way, your disability rating can reach 100%. Conversely, if your personal disability rating is, for example, 22%, you will instead receive a combined rating of 30%.
What Is Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, and is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder of aging. Parkinsons affects the nerve cells in the substantia nigra area of the brain that produce dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As Parkinsons progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally.
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Location Of The Bradykinesia
Bradykinesia can manifest anywhere. The most noticeable locations are your arms and legs, making it difficult to lift objects or walk without shuffling. The disorder can also affect your fingers jaw , and face . In some patients, bradykinesia can even affect the mouth and neck, leading to speaking difficulties.
For example, bradykinesia that manifests as an impairment of balance may be rated using the rating table for paralysis of the eleventh cranial nerve under Diagnostic Code 8211 of the VAs regulations. Similarly, bradykinesia in an upper extremity may be rated using the rating table for paralysis of the musculospiral nerve or median nerve under Diagnostic Code 8514 or 8515. On the other hand, a lower extremity may be rated using the rating table for paralysis of the sciatic nerve or external popliteal nerve under Diagnostic Code 8520 or 8521.
Fortunately, you do not need to wade into the VAs diagnostic codes to know which nerve paralysis most closely approximates your case of bradykinesia. You just need your physician to identify where the bradykinesia occurs .
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Use Of Imaging In Diagnosis
Although clinical diagnostic criteria and prodromal features can improve diagnostic accuracy, it can be extremely challenging to distinguish idiopathic PD from nondegenerative parkinsonism or atypical syndromes . Compared with the gold standard of pathologic assessment, the clinical diagnostic accuracy for PD ranges from 73% for nonexperts to 80% for fellowship-trained movement disorders specialists.36 Thus, objective biomarkers are sought to improve diagnostic accuracy both for clinical care as well as for research purposes, such as enrollment into clinical trials.
Multiple potential imaging biomarkers for preclinical PD can aid in early diagnosis and help differentiate PD from related but distinct disorders. While beyond the scope of this review, these techniques have recently been reviewed.7 Of these, the most widely available and accurate is dopamine transporter imaging, which uses a radioiodinated ligand that binds to DAT on striatal dopaminergic terminals binding is detected through single photon emission computed tomography scanning. Thus, a SPECT DaTscan directly assesses the integrity of the presynaptic nigrostriatal system and is well correlated with severity of motor and nonmotor parkinsonism.37,38
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Can I Service Connect For Parkinsons Disease With The Va
What is it? Can you get it service connected? Is it a presumptive condition?
Today, we will be discussing Parkinsons disease. This disease is a chronic and progressive disorder that affects your nervous system, meaning it develops gradually and gets worse over time. As you may know, one of the most noticeable signs of Parkinsons disease is a tremor. However, there are some signs and symptoms you can be watching for if you think you are developing Parkinsons disease.
Please be aware that every person is affected by this disease in a different way. It is common for the signs and symptoms to begin on one side of the body, and may continue to be worse on that side throughout the disease process.
Some typical signs and symptoms are:
· Difficulty with posture and balance
· Loss of automatic movements such as blinking, swinging your arms and smiling
· Changes in your speech
· And difficulty remembering things
If you feel you may be suffering from this disease, please make an appointment to see a private physician or contact your local VA medical center. Typically, you will be referred to a neurologist, who is a physician that specializes in disorders such as Parkinsons disease, for a final diagnosis. There are a few steps you can take to make this appointment more beneficial:
· Make a list of any symptoms you are having and when they began. Also, does anything make these symptoms better?
· Have you had any major stress or big changes in your life recently?