Do I Need a Diagnosis For A VA Chronic Pain Disability Claim?

Chronic pain is a symptom that many veterans with service-connected disabilities suffer because of their condition.

Some veterans without a specific diagnosis or VA rating also suffer from chronic pain due to their military service.

This type of pain, which lingers long after the initial injury, can be debilitating and negatively affect a veteran’s quality of life.

Fortunately, those suffering from chronic pain can file a VA chronic pain disability claim and get needed benefits and potentially have their disability rating adjusted accordingly. 

Do Chronic Pain Claims First Need a Diagnosis?

Do veterans filing these claims need a pain diagnosis first?

Until recently, veterans were unable to submit a VA chronic pain disability claim unless there was a specific diagnosis for the origination of their pain and it was determined to be related to a service-connected disability.

Approval of these claims is typically dependent on three things: 

  1. It is due to a medically diagnosed condition, 
  2. It is connected to an in-service injury or illness, and 
  3. The diagnosed pain condition can be medically linked to an in-service occurrence

While this is possible in some cases, there are also many instances in which the chronic pain suffered by a veteran is not secondary to any other service-connected disability or not identified by a specific pain diagnosis. 

How Did The 2018 VA Rule Change Affect These Claims?

Fortunately, VA chronic pain disability claims experts can now help veterans file claims for their chronic pain based on a rule change in 2018, which overturned the first stipulation in the three requirements to do so.

Now, VA chronic pain disability claims may be filed by a veteran experiencing chronic pain as long as their pain is connected to an in-service injury or illness and the pain can be medically linked to an in-service occurrence.

Even if a specific diagnosis is lacking, the VA can award benefits and adjust ratings so long as the veteran’s chronic pain causes some kind of functional impairment or loss. 

There Is No Specific Rating System for Chronic Pain

It is important to note that the VA does not have a specific rating system for chronic pain, which can complicate the claim process.

Rating chronic pain requires the assessment of the degree of impairment or loss of function caused by the pain.

For this reason, VA chronic disability claims help representatives recommend that veterans seeking benefits for their chronic pain discuss their condition with a VA claims expert first.

A compassionate VA chronic pain disabilities claims expert can help a veteran collect the evidence required, then correctly file their claim to increase the chance that it will be approved.