What You Need to Know About Kidney Disease and VA Disability Benefits
If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, you likely know it is a serious medical condition that can impact your overall health and well-being. If you have kidney disease that is connected to your service in the U.S. military, you may qualify for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
However, before seeking benefits for this condition, there are a few things you must know. Keep reading to learn more.
Kidney Disease Explained
If you have kidney disease, it means regular kidney function has been impaired. It impacts your body’s ability to regulate body systems, control blood pressure, and filter your blood. If your kidneys are impaired, they can’t filter out waste effectively, which may cause fluid and waste to build up in your body. Over time, this can lead to serious health conditions.
Kidney Diseases and disorders seen in VA disability
Kidney disease is an umbrella term that is used for several different conditions.
Acute Kidney Disease
If your kidneys stop working suddenly, you are said to have acute kidney disease or kidney failure. Symptoms of this type show up in a few days and can accompany another disease or condition.
Individuals who have diabetes often experience this. As a progressive condition, it means it will likely worsen as time passes. As it worsens, it causes more damage to the capillaries inside the glomeruli and can eventually lead to kidney failure in the worst of cases.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Also called chronic renal disease, this is another progressive condition involving losing kidney function over several months or years. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, you have likely been screened for this and may be at increased risk.
If a veteran has chronic recurrent kidney stones that began on active duty or are caused by another service connected disability they may be able to receive disability for this issue.
There are many types of renal (kidney) cancers that can be evaluated and rated for VA disability purposes. Many veterans exposed to occupational hazards such as Trichloroethylene (TCE) solvent develop this type of cancer. This is often seen in veterans working in mechanics. Jet fuel exposure gas also been linked and there are some studies gaining traction related to PFAS exposure. Bladder cancer was recently added to the list of presumptive conditions from agent orange exposure and many veterans are also connected for renal cancer due to herbicides. Camp Lejeune water contamination/exposure also has been found to be related to kidney cancer.
Pyelonephritis is often referred to as a urinary tract infection that extends beyond the bladder and reaches the level of the kidneys. Typically, this is an acute condition but in some veterans especially those with abnormal anatomies they can have frequent recurrent infections and ultimately be diagnosed with the chronic form of the disorder.
And many more....
VA Ratings for Kidney Disease
If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease and are a veteran, you may acquire disability benefits. The VA will consider a few things when rating the condition to determine if this is the case. Typically they will look at this from both a diagnosis standpoint and a functional standpoint.
Getting Help with VA Benefits for Kidney Disease
Are you dealing with military related kidney disease? You may already know that the codes and rating system used by the VA can be complicated. Because of this, getting help with your situation is highly recommended and a Veterans Service Officer or Accredited Claims Agent may be a good start. Taking the right steps can help ensure your claim for benefits will be approved, which is the goal, after all. Understanding what to expect can help prepare you for the battle you may face to acquire benefits.