Ensuring the VA Properly Evaluates Joint Disabilities (Attorney)

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Presenter: Alexis Ivory

Length: 90 minutes

Recorded: October 2021

Approved for 1.5 CLE credits by the Virginia State Bar


Webinar Description:

Whether due to a specific injury or the general stress that military service places on a service member’s body, many veterans suffer from joint disabilities. For veterans advocates, establishing service connection for a joint condition is just the first step; the challenge is ensuring that the VA correctly evaluates the disability. The various diagnostic codes under which a joint can be rated, as well as caselaw and regulations related to consideration of functional loss, lead to confusion on the part of both VA adjudicators and advocates. Additionally, VA examinations for joint disabilities are often inadequate. The result is frequent VA rating errors and veterans being under evaluated for their joint conditions. This webinar will guide advocates through the complicated rules that govern how to properly rate joint disabilities.

This webinar will cover the following and much more:
• VA’s duty to maximize benefits, including when VA must assign multiple diagnostic codes to rate the disability of a single joint
• How to ensure that a veteran’s rating properly accounts for functional loss caused by flare-ups and repeated use over a period of time
• How to use lay evidence to successfully advocate for higher evaluations
• How to identify an inadequate VA joint examination
• When pain in a joint is enough to warrant a compensable rating