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Can I get VA Disability for my Hypertension?

Published on March 3rd, 2020

Like many other veterans you may suffer from hypertension, or high blood pressure. And this condition may have been caused by your military service. But it can be hard to show that your time in the military caused your hypertension, when around 50% of all Americans suffer from this condition. Fortunately, hypertension is a condition that benefits from a presumption of being service related. In other words, if you develop hypertension at the 10 percent rating level or higher within one year of your discharge, the VA will conclude that the condition was caused by your military service.

If the onset of your high blood pressure occurs more than a year after your discharge, you will have a harder time getting compensation–but it’s not impossible. You will need to present your detailed medical history and service records to show that the conditions of your service caused your increase in blood pressure. And if the VA rejects your claim, we at Jackson & MacNichol can help. For a free consultation with one of our veterans disability lawyers, call us today at 1(800) 524-3339.

Hypertension Is One of the Most Common Disabilities Among Veterans

One in three veterans may suffer from hypertension, but if you haven’t had a physical recently, you may not be aware that you have it. The symptoms can be subtle, or confused with symptoms from other medical conditions. Left unchecked, your high blood pressure could result in devastating health problems including stroke, heart attack, and organ failure. Some common symptoms of hypertension include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or inability to concentrate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Pounding in your ears, neck, or chest

According to the VA guidelines, you may receive a disability rating of 10% to 60% for hypertension:

  • 10% rating–When your diastolic pressure is 100 to 109, or your systolic pressure is 160 to 199
  • 20% rating–If your diastolic pressure is 110 to 119, or your systolic pressure is 200 or higher
  • 40% rating–When your diastolic pressure is 120 to 129
  • 60% rating–If your diastolic pressure measures 130 or higher

Diastolic pressure refers to the pressure of your blood against your arteries in between heart beats. For people with normal blood pressure, the reading should be between 80 and 90. Systolic pressure, on the other hand, refers to the pressure of your blood against your arteries during each heartbeat. Normally this number should be below 120. You’ll notice that the VA’s threshold for hypertension starts much higher at 160.

The key to a successful disability claim for hypertension–or any other condition–is good medical evidence. For this reason, you should bring extensive medical records with you to your compensation and pension examination at the VA regional office. This is especially important with hypertension, because a good diagnosis requires blood pressure measurements over three days at least, measured twice daily. You’ll also want to show the VA the evolution of your blood pressure over a longer period of time, to show that the condition either appeared or got significantly worse during or shortly after your military service.

For many veterans, it is important to know that other service connected conditions such as anxiety or PTSD may cause high blood pressure.  If you have one of these conditions and have been denied benefits for hypertension, you should contact an experienced VA benefits lawyer right away.  Also, there is medical evidence that service in Vietnam with exposure to Agent Orange may cause hypertension.  Once again, if you served in Vietnam and have been denied benefits for hypertension, you should contact an experienced VA benefits lawyer right away

Appeal Your Disability Claim Denial with a Veterans Benefits Lawyer

Many veterans make the mistake of giving up if the VA denies their initial claim for veterans disability compensation. The truth is, many of these claims are denied in error, and even those that were denied because of a lack of evidence can often succeed on appeal–especially if you put your case in the hands of an experienced veterans disability claims lawyer. If the VA has denied your hypertension claim, call Jackson & MacNichol at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation about how we can appeal your case.


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