Military Veterans who suffer from erectile dysfunction may be eligible to receive disability benefits if their condition developed during or because of military service. The VA often denies benefits for erectile dysfunction on an initial application. But a properly crafted appeal with supporting evidence can be successful in securing VA benefits for erectile dysfunction.
If you can prove a service connection to your diagnosed erectile dysfunction, the VA should grant Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) benefits for loss of procreative function. In many cases, erectile dysfunction is considered a secondary disability proximately due to service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder, including cases in which medication for PTSD causes erectile dysfunction.
The attorneys at Berry Law Firm represent Veterans across the United States who need help appealing denied claims for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs for service-connected injury or illness that has caused the loss of sexual function. Our firm concentrates on appealing denied claims and helping Veterans’ gain all the VA benefits available. We are here today to help you.
We Are Veterans Serving Fellow Veterans Nationwide
The attorneys of the Berry Law Firm are Veterans serving Veterans. Founder John S. Berry, Sr. is a Vietnam Veteran (1968-69) who got involved in Veterans’ law when he began representing fellow Vietnam Vets who suffered from PTSD in court. John S. Berry, Jr. is a former Army Ranger who deployed to Bosnia for Operation Joint Forge and served as a company commander in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Additional attorneys on the Berry Law Firm team spent time in our country’s military service, as well.
Our firm has helped thousands of former servicemen and women obtain VA disability benefits they have earned through their service and sacrifice. We know the way forward. We can guide your claim through the VA appeals process efficiently and effectively to help you pursue VA compensation for erectile dysfunction.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is recognized as a potential Veterans’ disability and VA benefits for erectile dysfunction are available. In July 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Boston, Massachusetts, ruled for a Veteran claiming service-connected erectile dysfunction on appeal, stating that the criteria for entitlement to SMC based on loss of use of a procreative organ had been met. The VA’s Schedule for Rating Disabilities provides a 20% rating for “penis, deformity, with loss of erectile power.”
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and maintain an erection firm enough to engage in sexual intercourse. It is also known as “impotence” or “ED.” Erectile dysfunction may be caused by damage to tissue in the penis, the blood or its ability to flow easily and regularly.
Common physical conditions that may cause a secondary issue of erectile dysfunction include:
- Heart disease
- Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome — a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Tobacco use
- Peyronie’s disease — development of scar tissue inside the penis
- Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
- Sleep disorders
- Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
- Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
- Low testosterone
The Mayo Clinic states that male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. Psychological issues can contribute to erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response might cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction. If the dysfunction is service-related, VA compensation is available.
Common psychological issues that may lead to a secondary problem with erectile dysfunction include:
- Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
- Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication, or other concerns.
Post-traumatic stress syndrome also involves anxiety, stress, and often, interpersonal communication problems and depression. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, which may be prescribed for veterans who develop PTSD symptoms, can cause erectile dysfunction, as can other medications.
A review study published by the Journal of Sexual Medicine in February 2015 found that male Veterans with PTSD were significantly more likely than their civilian counterparts to report erectile dysfunction or other sexual problems.
In one study of male combat Veterans diagnosed with PTSD, 85 percent reported erectile dysfunction, compared with a 22 percent rate among male combat Veterans without any mental health diagnosis. Another study of 90 male combat Veterans with PTSD found more than 80 percent were experiencing sexual dysfunction.
Obtaining VA Compensation for Service-Connected Erectile Dysfunction
It is possible to obtain a disability rating for erectile dysfunction. Within “§4.115b Ratings of the genitourinary system—diagnoses” of the VA’s Schedule for Rating Disabilities, Diagnostic Code 7522 addresses “penis, deformity, with loss of erectile power” and provides a 20% rating.
Certain conditions among the VA’s ratings of the genitourinary system disabilities potentially establish entitlement to SMC, and loss of erectile power is among them.
Special Monthly Compensation is awarded to Veterans with a service-connected condition or a combination of service-connected conditions that the VA considers to be especially serious and debilitating. The first level of Special Monthly Compensation, SMC-K, covers loss of limbs or loss of use of a body part(s) or function(s), including loss of organs used for reproduction.
The SMC-K rate as of December 1, 2019, was $110.31 per month. An SMC-K rate can be added to the Veteran’s basic disability compensation rate for any disability rating from 0% to 100% and to most other SMC basic rates.
To obtain VA benefits for erectile dysfunction, the Veteran must establish a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction and prove that its existence is service-connected. As suggested above, erectile dysfunction is often a secondary issue brought on by a primary physical or psychological condition for which the Veteran may already have a disability rating.
In an appeal filing, you would need to submit:
- Current medical records of examination, diagnosis, and treatment for erectile dysfunction, including a statement that your ED is a consequence of a primary disabling condition or a medication prescribed for it if that is the diagnosis.
- Service records or in-service medical records that provide evidence of an incident or conditions during military service that caused or aggravated your primary disabling condition and/or your erectile dysfunction.
However, the VA may require you to go to a local VA medical center for a Compensation and Pension Examination, or C&P exam. A medical exam to identify underlying conditions that may lead to erectile dysfunction may include:
- Physical examination of your penis and testicles and checking your nerves for sensation.
- Blood and urine tests for signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels, or other health conditions.
- Ultrasound, which involves holding a wand-like transducer over the blood vessels that supply the penis to see whether you have blood flow problems. This test may include injecting medications into your penis to stimulate blood flow and produce an erection, which allows problem areas to show up.
- Psychological exam to screen for depression and other possible psychological causes of erectile dysfunction.
How the Berry Law Firm Can Help Raise Your VA Rating
The Berry Law Firm would like to spare you the hassle and indignity of a C&P exam and/or other bureaucratic hoops if you deserve VA compensation for erectile dysfunction. We help Veterans to appeal denied claims and improper ratings decisions. Our attorneys have decades of experience fighting for the benefits that disabled Veterans deserve.
We can review your existing disability claim file, discuss your condition, and identify a solid basis for an appeal that helps you obtain an additional rating and SMC pursuant to erectile dysfunction. We know what evidence the VA wants to see when a veteran’s disability claim is presented in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).
If you do not have strong documentation of your condition, we can refer you to doctors, psychologists, and/or other medical experts who are familiar with the requirements of VA appeals.
If the appeal deadline has passed, the Veteran can reopen a claim. After the Veteran has reopened the claim, we can appeal if the Veteran’s claim was denied.
We have worked thousands of successful appeals requiring in-depth knowledge of VA rules, regulations, Diagnostic Codes, and court decisions guiding how the VA should evaluate claims and allocate disability benefits. Berry Law Firm attorneys are accredited by the VA to represent Veterans filing appeals for VA benefits. We have obtained millions of dollars in disability compensation for thousands of U.S. military veterans.
Contact Our Veterans Law Attorneys to Appeal for VA Benefits for Erectile Dysfunction
You do not have to face the VA and its bureaucratic system on your own. At Berry Law Firm, we know the way forward. Our attorneys understand the appeals process, the evidence necessary to establish service-connected erectile dysfunction, and how to determine the proper amount of back pay that disabled Veterans deserve.
Contact Berry Law Firm online or phone us at (888) 883-2483 from anywhere in the U.S.A. for a free consultation to discuss reopening and appealing your VA benefits claim.