Veterans who are unable to use a limb due to a service-connected disability are entitled to disability benefits. The disability rating should account for the functional loss suffered by the inability to use the limb. On top of that, Veterans may be able to receive special monthly compensation in addition to the regular VA disability compensation they are entitled to.
For example, if you have a service-connected disability, such as severe radiculopathy, that causes a functional loss of use of one or both hands or feet, you may be entitled to special monthly compensation in addition to your monthly VA disability payment.
According to the code of federal regulations, loss of use of a hand or foot will be held to exist when no effective function remains in the hand or foot other than what would be equally well served by an amputation stump at the site below the elbow or knee with use of a suitable prosthetic appliance.
What this boils down to is that if, for example, due to a lower back injury, the nerves that travel down to your left foot become completely paralyzed. You have no feeling in your foot, develop foot drop, and you have circulatory issues with the foot.
Your foot is still there, but other than its physical existence, it is not doing much as a foot. The VA considers this as loss of use of the foot, and effectively compensates you as if your foot was not there.
Veterans who are already receiving disability compensation for the loss of the use of a limb may qualify for more disability benefits from the VA—known as special monthly compensation. Special Monthly compensation is an additional form of payment for Veterans who are suffering from conditions that warrant more disability benefits.
Veterans with the loss of use of a limb may be eligible for this special monthly compensation if they develop unfavorable complete ankylosis of the knee, or complete ankylosis of two major joints of an extremity. Complete ankylosis is a condition that can result from trauma to the joint and is essentially means the joint has fused itself into one position and is no longer an effective joint.
A service-connected knee and hip that have no mobility or range of motion would be considered to have complete ankylosis and therefore eligible for this special monthly compensation.
Special monthly compensations can be very confusing but, when properly navigated, can increase earned compensation for your service-connected injuries and conditions.
If you are suffering from the loss of use of a limb or extremity and the VA has denied your application for disability compensation or given you a low disability rating, Berry Law can help you appeal. Berry Law has assisted thousands of Veterans in their fight for disability benefits, and has helped Veterans recover over $170 million in back pay awards. Call the Veterans at Berry Law today at 888-883-2483 to schedule a free case evaluation.
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