VA Disability Ratings For Vertigo

VA Disability Ratings For Vertigo

Balance issues, vertigo, and dizziness are common afflictions among Veterans, especially combat Vets who were exposed to loud noises, explosive blasts, and other environmental factors that can contribute to the brain and hearing injuries.

Unfortunately, many who file disability claims with the VA find that obtaining the rating they’d hoped for can present unexpected obstacles, including claim denials.

If you or a loved one is a military Veteran who was diagnosed with vertigo or a related condition that includes vertigo as a symptom, reach out to the experienced attorneys at Berry Law for more information about how our legal team can assist you.
Our law firm is composed of Veterans helping Veterans, and our mission is to continue the fight alongside our nation’s heroes in seeking the full VA compensation they deserve.

What Is Vertigo?

Vertigo is a term used to describe a range of symptoms including dizziness or a lack of balance.

Other common sensations associated with this condition include:

  • Spinning
  • Swaying
  • Feeling that the world is moving around you
  • Feeling as if you are being pulled to one side
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

Problems in the vestibular system or inner ear may contribute to vertigo. However, our sense of balance is closely related to our other senses, including vision. Hence, many people with vertigo also experience irregularities or dysfunction related to their visual and auditory perception. For this reason, doctors and patients may find vertigo alongside other conditions, such as tinnitus. Vertigo may also manifest as a symptom of another condition, such as Ménière’s disease or Parkinson’s disease

One of the most common conditions associated with vertigo is known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BPPV often presents with a rapid onset and may improve quickly with the administration of certain therapies. For other sufferers, recurrent episodes or long-term symptoms may cause distressing long-term changes to their balance. 

Some evidence to suggest that traumatic brain injuries (concussions) and exposure to shock and explosive blasts, such as Veterans may encounter in training or battle, may contribute to vertigo.

Other causes of vertigo may include viral infections, such as in the case of ​​vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis. These illnesses attack the nerves around the inner ear, leading to balance issues and vertigo.

Injuries to other areas of the body, such as the neck or spine, may cause vertigo, as can certain medications.

Is Vertigo Considered a VA Disability? 

The VA has a schedule of ratings for conditions and diseases of the ear, including vertigo and dizziness. The Department of Veterans Affairs rates these conditions separately from other potentially related conditions, such as hearing damage and loss. However, the VA will consider these factors together when calculating your disability rating.

Additionally, your VA rating may depend on whether doctors diagnosed your vertigo as a symptom of another condition or on its own. The VA may evaluate some conditions, such as Ménière’s disease, separately, not in conjunction with a diagnosis of vertigo or loss of balance. However, the intensity and frequency of the symptoms you experience as part of your illness may affect your overall rating.

How to Get a VA Disability Rating for Vertigo

You may have a good idea of what your VA disability rating is already based on compensation charts on the VA’s website that explain the benefits you may deserve. However, if you already submitted an application to the VA and received a lower rating than you expected or a denial of certain benefits, you may wonder what you should do next. 

Seek the advice of a legal team that handles VA claims like yours, such as the PTSD attorneys at Berry Law. Our lawyers can help you increase your VA rating and submit an appeal if the VA unfairly denies your claim.

What is the VA Disability Rating for Vertigo? 

The VA classifies vertigo as its own diagnosis as a peripheral vestibular disorder.

The schedule of ratings for this condition is as follows: 

  • Dizziness and occasional staggering: 30 percent
  • Occasional dizziness: 10 percent

Other Types of Vertigo VA Disability Claims

Vertigo Secondary to Tinnitus

Tinnitus can sometimes accompany other symptoms, such as dizziness and nausea. When another condition does not cause the tinnitus but it presents as a recurrent symptom for the Veteran, the VA gives it a 10 percent disability rating. However, the VA will evaluate tinnitus as a symptom of another condition under the rating applied to that disability or illness. 

Vertigo Secondary to Migraines

Vertigo can sometimes present as a symptom of certain types of migraines. Traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, insomnia, and depression may cause migraines. Depending on their severity and whether the migraines with secondary vertigo are comorbid or causally related to another condition, you may receive a different VA rating.

However, the VA rating schedule for migraine is as follows: 

  • With very frequent completely prostrating and prolonged attacks productive of severe economic inadaptability: 50 percent
  • With characteristic prostrating attacks occurring on an average once a month over the last several months: 30 percent
  • With characteristic prostrating attacks averaging one in two months over the last several months: 10 percent
  • With less frequent attacks: 0 percent

Here, the VA defines prostrating attacks as migraines whose intensity requires the sufferer to lie down or be immobile throughout their duration. Severe migraines, with or without vertigo, can disable you, even if they strike sporadically.

Ménière’s Disease with Vertigo 

Ménière’s syndrome is a condition of the inner ear that can cause a range of symptoms affecting one or both organs. Frequently, these effects include vertigo and dizziness, tinnitus or ringing in the ears, hearing loss, and a sensation of pressure in the ear, or aural fullness.

The VA disability rating for this condition is as follows: 

  • Hearing impairment with attacks of vertigo and cerebellar gait occurring more than once weekly, with or without tinnitus: 100 percent
  • Hearing impairment with attacks of vertigo and cerebellar gait occurring from one to four times a month, with or without tinnitus: 60 percent
  • Hearing impairment with vertigo less than once a month, with or without tinnitus: 30 percent

The VA evaluates Ménière’s syndrome separately or under the criteria of tinnitus, vertigo, or hearing loss, depending on which evaluation method produces the highest rating.

Degenerative Disc Disease with Vertigo

Another potential cause of vertigo and dizziness is degenerative disc disease (DDD), a condition that frequently affects Veterans who have sustained back and spine injuries or have developed this condition due to activities during their military service that, over time, put a strain on the discs of the spine and led to the development of this musculoskeletal disorder.

Those affected by this condition should look to a Veterans disability claims attorney for help determining whether their service-related DDD could potentially qualify them for a higher VA rating for vertigo.

Our VA Benefits Attorneys Can Help You Increase Your VA Rating for Vertigo 

Veterans applying for disability benefits often struggle to know how their eligibility affects their VA rating and may even face obstacles such as claim denials or undervaluation.

If you or a Veteran you love is embarking on the process toward obtaining VA benefits or increasing the value of your claim, look no further than the skilled attorneys at Berry Law. We’ve helped thousands of Veterans across the country in obtaining the compensation they deserve and will gladly fight alongside you, too. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your rights and options.

Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your rights and options.

Berry Law

The attorneys at Berry Law are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and the reader, and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this blog are not a substitute for legal counsel.

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