Worsening foot injury worth 100% VA disability?


Hello Jim, First off, thank you for your service. Jim, I'm 56 and work at the V.A. in XXX, I'm 40% disabled. My disability is rt. foot, I have pins and screws in foot. My condition has worsened over the years with medical documentation from the V.A. I have nerve damage now in foot and ankle and started losing balance. The pediatrist said I should be medically retired and would support that on my records, I've been there 9 years. My service officer put me in for 100% since it was service connected and I have to use a cane now. Jim, can you give me some insight on this. Am I eligible for any of this? The 100% and medical retirement pay. I support my wife who is sick, cancer. Thank You Jim.

Jim's Reply

I'm not sure I understand how a service officer applied for a 100% rating for a foot injury?   Any time we seek new ratings or increases to existing ratings we will often begin at The Schedule For Rating Disabilities.  In your case we drill down to the section that describes the ratings for musculoskeletal conditions, and we more or less work our way down the ratings for the skeleton to arrive at the foot.  Once we read through all the complex language, we arrive at the rating for; 5284 Foot injuries, other: Severe...30% - Note: With actual loss of use of the foot, rate 40 percent.

Thus it sounds as if your rating is likely correct and it's at the maximum allowed, 40%. If your representative applied for the 100% TDIU benefit via the "extraschedular" path, that's probably a reach since it sounds as if there is only the single 40% disability rating and the TDIU 100% rating usually requires at least a 70% overall rating with at least one 40% rating or a single rating of 60% or higher.

I'd suggest that you check with your advocate to be sure you understand just what has been applied for. I'm sorry to hear of the illness of your spouse but as you know, that won't have any effect on the disability rating. Beyond that, any medical retirement pay is between you and your employer per the usual federal workplace rules.