I have a question regarding filing a claim with Veteran Affairs. I currently receive 20 percent disability for left knee. I’m having surgery on August 12 to replace the knee for degenerative knee arthritis.
Will the VA approve for temporary 100 percent disability. And should I have the VA perform this or my Orthopedic Surgeon?
Yes, VA should place you on a temporary 100% rating for 3 to 6 months during your recuperation. See Convalescent Ratings
You will then be rated on the residual effects of the surgery. If you're measurably improved, your rating may drop to 10%. If unchanged, you stay at 20%. If your surgery doesn't give you an improvement or makes things worse, you should get bumped up.
You may have the surgery done either in a civilian setting or by VA. If you have insurance and can afford the copays and like your civilian doctor, by all means have it done outside VA and keep them informed with your records. If you are unsure of the finances of it all, have it done at VA. VA does a lot of TKR so they're pretty good at it.
The trick is to notify the VA regional office that administers your claim if you decide to go outside the VA system. Notify them in writing ahead of the date and then as soon as you can manage after surgery. It's simpler for paperwork to use a VA facility but it won't be a big deal.