Can You Get VA Disability for Hypertension?

VA disability for hypertension

Veterans are more likely than civilians to develop hypertension due to the stress they face during active military service. Because high blood pressure often causes additional health problems, many veterans wonder if they can qualify for VA disability benefits. Since your condition must be service-related to get your VA disability for hypertension claim approved, we’ll explain the process below.

The Risks of Hypertension

Every heartbeat pumps blood through your body’s arteries. Blood pressure measures the amount of force exerted on those artery walls throughout your circulatory system. So when your blood pressure rises to higher-than-normal levels, your heart works much harder to circulate blood through your body. Ideal blood pressure numbers are 120/80 or lower (the top number’s called “systolic,” and the bottom one’s called “diastolic”). If your blood pressure usually ranges anywhere from 121/81 to 139/89, you may have what’s known as “prehypertension.” But if your blood pressure readings consistently show numbers at 140/90 or higher, then you definitely have hypertension.

Hypertension can lead to long-term adverse health effects, including heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, and even heart failure. And according to the 2016 National Veteran Health Equity Report, hypertension was the number-one diagnosed condition among veterans, affecting 51%.

VA Disability for Hypertension: Claim Eligibility Requirements

Your physician must clearly document your high blood pressure diagnosis before you can get a VA disability for hypertension rating. To file your VA disability for hypertension claim, have your physician fill out the Hypertension Disability Benefits Questionnaire for you. Understand that the VA won’t accept veteran-submitted forms — only from licensed healthcare providers. Your doctor should measure your blood pressure twice or more daily on three different days to accurately diagnose your condition. The form also asks for relevant information pertaining to any additional hypertension-related health diagnoses. Your physician should include a detailed medical history and any conditions, symptoms, etc. that may influence the VA’s determination decision.

The form also requires your physician to submit a professional opinion on whether your hypertension affects your ability to work. The claim examiner reviews your medical history and physician’s opinion before assigning your claim a VA disability for hypertension rating. Here’s an example: An average diastolic pressure at 130 or above gets a VA disability for hypertension rating of 60%. If your diastolic pressure consistently reads 100 or more while controlled by prescription medication, then the minimum rating is 10%. These rating percentages help claim examiners determine whether you may qualify for monthly VA disability for hypertension benefits.

Do You Have Undiagnosed Hypertension? Check These Symptoms

Regular blood pressure readings are the best way to know whether you’re in danger of developing hypertension. However, some signs and symptoms typically associated with hypertension include:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Dizziness/loss of balance
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty with vision
  • Abnormal fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Problems catching your breath or general difficulty breathing
  • Irregular or abnormal heartbeat
  • Blood in urine

Get your healthcare provider to document your high blood pressure diagnosis before you file a VA disability for hypertension claim. Without sufficient medical evidence to support your VA disability for hypertension claim, your request for benefits may result in denial.

How A VA-Accredited Attorney Can Help You

If you’re a veteran diagnosed with high blood pressure, you may qualify for VA disability for hypertension benefits. Before you apply, see if you may qualify for legal assistance from our network of VA-accredited attorneys in your area. Getting experienced legal help filing your VA disability claim improves your chances of receiving any monthly benefits you’re rightfully owed.

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