10% rating for IHD


Jim, I am a vietnam vet (1967-1968). I received 10% from the VA for heart ischemia in 2013. I had a heart attack in 2001 with 2 stents installed. I started having Afib in 2003 and had a pacemaker (no defibrilator) put in 2005. I had a heart ablation in 2009. I have been going round and round with the VA trying to get a higher rating since 2013. My case was remanded in Dec 2018. I am still waiting for the determination. Should I be getting a higher rating for the Ischemia and Afib? I still have 40-50 fib instances per year. Thank you. John

Jim's Reply:

IHD or ischemic heart disease is the classic clogging of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) that supply the muscle of the heart with fresh blood. IHD is an agent orange presumptive condition that will be rated as disabling to varying degrees for Vietnam veterans. The rating is dependent on how well the muscle or pump of your heart works. 

The veteran may have had heart surgery with bypasses or 1/2 dozen stents installed and if the muscle of the heart is still working well, the rating may be as low as 0% disabled. However, the more damage there is evident to the heart muscle, the higher the rating will be.

Then there are secondary conditions. Once rated for IHD that condition may lead to others. The IHD may cause atrial fibrillation and that may require a pacemaker to control the abarrent heart rhythm. 

In the end any and all conditions that the IHD diagnosis may have caused, contributed to or aggravated will be eligible for rating as secondary conditions. You may want to have your doctor agree with this and make a note to your records as you file a claim.