While on duty, many veterans report chronic skin conditions as a result of being exposed to environmental and chemical hazards. This commonly leads to skin disorders that remain even after returning home from service. A chronic or long lasting skin disorder may be grounds for disability benefits, so long as the condition was related to service.
To establish a connection, a veteran must show the following:
- A diagnosis of the skin condition;
- Proof of an incident happening during service;
- Corroboration by a doctor that the condition was related to service.; or
- Presumptive Service Connection for Vietnam Veterans that developed chloracne one year from the date of exposure to Agent Orange or herbicides.
Common skin diseases reported by Veterans include:
Eczema is chronic inflammation of the skin. A person with inflammation may experience dry, scaly, or itchy rashes that often bleed. Most often, chronic inflammation is treated with powerful topical or internal steroids that have poor side effects.
Psoriasis causes an overgrown of cells at rapid pace, which leads to thick patches of flaky skin that may be white or red in color.
Any scar related to military service that occurred as a result of an injury or an illness entitles a veteran to a percentage of disability benefits. This includes scars from a burn or even a surgery.
The Veteran Affairs (VA) uses a rating schedule to determine the amount of disability compensation a person may be entitled to receive. In terms of chronic skin conditions, the schedule lists the type of skin condition and the severity rating for the condition. For instance, a small scar on the nostril has a ten percent rating assigned, whereas Chloracne effects may have a forty percent rating if it caused deep acne all over the face and neck.
If you or a loved one is a Veteran seeking to apply for disability compensation for a chronic skin condition, it is important to contact an experienced VA lawyer who may assist you or a loved one through the application process. Filing an application for Veteran’s benefits or appealing an application that has been denied, is a complex process that requires the attention of a skilled Veteran’s Affairs attorney. The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP concentrate their practice in Veterans Disability Law. With over 50 years of combined experience, our attorneys may assist you or a loved one in obtaining disability benefits. Call our office at (800) 395 -7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office.