Veterans who served in the Armed Forces are entitled to disability compensation for any injuries or disabilities they sustained while serving. However, many Veterans have trouble getting their claim approved after filing for disability benefits. This is especially true for Veterans who served as welders in the Armed Forces.
All the services have welders and their jobs are difficult. Not only do they have to perform all the normal tasks of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, but they’re often put into extremely difficult situations trying to make welding repairs in less than ideal situations. In this article, we are going to look at some of the most common VA disabilities for welders, from burn injuries to musculoskeletal injuries.
Some of the most common VA disabilities for welders in the military are burn injuries or flash burns. Obviously, working with the immense heat associated with welding can lead to a variety of burn injuries. While personal protective equipment (PPE) can minimize the chances of sustaining a burn injury, operational tempo and expedited field repairs often put Veterans in situations where they are unable to use PPE as intended.
According to WebMD, Flash burns are a form of eye injuries that are caused by exposure to UV light. Basically, flash burns are similar to getting a sunburn on your eye. Flash burns can affect both eyes and are common among Veterans who welded while serving. These injuries can cause pain, vision changes, or even loss of vision in some situations.
Welders are often exposed to a variety of fumes and chemicals that can lead to respiratory conditions. Often, these Veterans are welding in small or confined spaces which can lead to smoke inhalation.
So not only do these troops have the opportunity to be injured through normal welding type injuries such as burns, but they’re also dealing with a greater chance of toxic fumes because of the conditions that they may be welding under. So, respiratory conditions are definitely a concern for Veterans who worked as welders in service.
Veterans could also suffer from respiratory conditions related to Burn Pit exposure, which is prominent among Gulf War Veterans. These burn pits contained a large array of toxic smoke that could lead to a respiratory condition.
We previously discussed the possibility of getting a flash burn, or a burn on the eye. However, welding helmets are designed to minimize this risk. That doesn’t mean a Veteran can’t get other eye injuries in service. For example, a Veteran could accidentally suffer eye injuries due to toxic chemical exposure or penetration from foreign objects.
Musculoskeletal injuries are common among Veterans from all branches, regardless of MOS. Welders working conditions, however, could possibly lead to musculoskeletal conditions such as back injuries or leg injuries. For example, many welders are working in confined spaces with heavy equipment. Moving the equipment or bending over for long periods of time could lead to a variety of musculoskeletal injuries.
Another common injury among welders is penetrating trauma, which is caused by a foreign object piercing the skin and damaging the underlying tissue. These aren’t simple puncture wounds, but instead serious trauma severe enough to damage the tissue under the skin. Most welders know another welder who has suffered some form of penetrating trauma while welding and these injuries can be especially debilitating.
In addition to the regular duties performed by welders in the Armed Forces, they have collateral duties. These collateral duties could include a variety of combat-related tasks, including convoy duty, perimeter security, or even patrols. Veterans who are exposed to combat could sustain a myriad of injuries or conditions. For example, Veterans exposed to combat could develop PTSD or other mental health conditions. They could also suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other battlefield injuries.
Berry Law is America’s Veterans Law Firm, and your fire support team to battle the VA. With over 300 years of military service on our staff, we understand what you’re going through and have the legal firepower to help you fight back. The VA claims process can be confusing and overwhelming, but we can help you get the disability benefits you deserve. If you served as a welder in the military and need assistance appealing your VA claim, contact Berry Law today to schedule a free case evaluation.
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