Last week, I received a really good question that I think deserves some further discussion.
When filling out the VA Disability Claimform, should I list every condition I have, even if multiple conditions affect the same body part?
Yes! Definitely list every single DIAGNOSED condition that you have. If you are unsure whether or not the condition is officially diagnosed, you might as well list it.
It is true that for many body parts, only one VA Disability Rating will be given for the overall functioning of that body part. So even if you have multiple diagnosed conditions affecting that body part, they may only give you a single rating for it. It’s better, though, for them to decide this after considering all of your conditions than for them to only give one rating since only one condition was listed on the claim.
There may be a VARSD Principle or other obscure regulation somewhere that you’re unaware of that makes an exception in your case and allows multiple conditions to be rated. If you don’t list all the conditions, then you won’t get the full disability compensation you deserve.
For example, a muscle condition and a nerve condition in the foot can both be rated if they affect different functions in the foot. Let’s say a veteran has a muscle condition that affects muscle Group XII in the foot. This group controls the ability of the foot to flex upward. The veteran also has damage to the Tibial Nerve which affects the ability of the toes to spread and close. Both conditions affect the foot, but since one affects the toes only and the other affects the flexion of the foot only, then both can be rated separately. But if the veteran does not list both conditions on the form, he won’t get ratings for both eligible conditions.
Regardless of the conditions, it is always the best option to list every condition separately on the VA Disability Claim form.