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VA Disability for Bell’s Palsy
Bell’s Palsy VA Disability
Many Veterans realize they are eligible for disability benefits for any injuries that occurred while in service. However, most Veterans fail to realize that degenerative conditions that are often associated with age can also be connected to military service. For example, most Veterans do not realize they may be eligible for VA disability for Bell’s Palsy if they can prove it was caused by their military service.
What is Bell’s Palsy?
Bell’s Palsy is a condition that causes temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face. Symptoms and severity of Bell’s Palsy range from person to person, but the most common symptom is weakness of one side of the face. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, other symptoms may include:
- Drooping of the mouth
- Inability to close eye (causing dryness of the eye)
- Excessive tearing in one eye
- Facial pain
- Abnormal sensation
- Altered taste
- Intolerance to loud noise
- Facial distortion.
Veterans are eligible for disability compensation for Bell’s Palsy if they can prove that it was caused by military service.
How Can Bell’s Palsy be Service-Connected?
To receive VA disability for Bell’s Palsy, a Veteran must first get the condition service-connected. To prove service connection for Bell’s Palsy, there must be:
- Evidence of a current medical diagnosis for Bell’s Palsy
- Evidence of incurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury in service as provided by either lay or medical evidence
- A nexus, or link, between the in-service disease or injury and the current disability as provided by competent medical evidence
Alternatively, Bell’s Palsy can be service-connected by proving it was caused by another service-connected condition, known as secondary service connection. Establishing service connection for Bell’s Palsy on a secondary basis requires evidence sufficient to show that the Bell’s Palsy was either: (a) proximately caused by, or (b) proximately aggravated by a service-connected disability.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the cause of Bell’s Palsy is unknown. Yet, most cases are associated with a viral infection. Impaired immunity from stress, sleep deprivation, physical trauma, minor illness, or autoimmune syndromes are the most likely triggers.
How is Bell’s Palsy Rated:
This condition involves the seventh cranial nerve, so the condition is rated under Diagnostic Code 8207 Seventh (facial) cranial nerve. The evaluation depends on relative loss of innervation of facial muscles and ranges from zero to 30 percent.
- Moderate incomplete paralysis warrants a 10 percent rating
- Severe incomplete paralysis warrants a 20 percent rating
- Complete paralysis warrants a 30 percent rating
Additionally, Veterans are entitled to a separate disability rating for certain disabilities attributed to the Veteran’s Bell’s Palsy, such as lagophthalmos.
Veterans Serving Veterans
Berry Law is America’s Veterans Law Firm, and your fire support team to battle the VA. If you were denied VA disability for Bell’s Palsy or were given a low rating, Berry Law can help you appeal. The attorneys and Veterans at Berry Law have helped thousands of Veterans in their fight for disability benefits. Contact Berry Law today to schedule a free case evaluation.