Plantar Fasciitis: How VA Ratings Work

Plantar Fasciitis, a common inflammatory issue, has a disproportionately high impact on service members. Fortunately, the following blog post is designed to explain the VA rating system for veterans who may have the condition.

Overall, the Plantar Fasciitis VA ratings for 2020 operate on a 0% to 50% scale (including intermittent benefit percentiles at 10%, 20%, and 30%). Depending on several factors that determine the severity of the service member’s Plantar Fasciitis, they could be eligible for up to 50% coverage.

Additionally, there are secondary benefit claims that may be available for back, hip, knee, and joint conditions related to Plantar Fasciitis.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis

As one of the leading causes of foot pain in veterans, Plantar Fasciitis is when the heel bone tissue that connects to your toes becomes inflamed, as demonstrated in the image below.

The condition could be worsened by long distance running, age, poor heel support, obesity, and long periods of standing.

How Do VA Ratings Work For Plantar Fasciitis?

Initially, the service member may experience symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis to include swelling, tenderness, heel pain, and a painful range of motion. Upon diagnosis, the VA operates on the following scale:


  • 50% (VA Rating) for Plantar Fasciitis – extreme tenderness or displacement that cannot be resolved by arch support or proper footwear


  • 30% (VA Rating) for Plantar Fasciitis – severe deformities and acute pain accompanied by swelling or callosities on the foot


  • 20% (VA Rating) for Plantar Fasciitis – severe deformities and moderate pain resulting in swelling or callosities on the foot


  • 10% (VA Rating) for Plantar Fasciitis moderate symptoms that exhibit a downward concave for the tendon Achilles, accompanied by foot pain


  • 0% (VA Rating) for Plantar Fasciitismild symptoms that are resolved with arch support or more supportive footwear

Secondary conditions resulting from Plantar Fasciitis that could lead to back, hip, knee, or joint pain could also be eligible for benefits, and require “proximately due to/ aggravated by” or “showing of causation” diagnoses by a qualified medical professional.

Closing Remarks

Overall, a C&P examiner will utilize medical records, a physical exam, and X-Rays to determine the severity of your condition. In closing, we would like to thank you for your service, and hope you have gained valuable insight from this post! Thank you for reading.

Nursing Home Care for Veterans: Things to Know to Claim the Benefit

Veterans who were afflicted with major and aggravating disabilities are at a distinct disadvantage post service. 

The topic of receiving benefits as a veteran can be a rather complicated. But to make the subject easier to comprehend, we’re here to break it down for you.

Are you eligible for a Nursing Home Care?

Not all former military members who accumulated the right amount of service time, are honorably discharged, and suffering from a case of disability are fit to claim the benefit of a Nursing Home Care.

Ideally, there is only one of two ways by which an honored veteran may take advantage of this privilege—he must either be recently released from a VA hospital, possibly as a result of a service-oriented disability, or have a disability that is rated at 70% or a total disability that renders him unemployable.

If a veteran meets any of these two criteria, it is guaranteed that Nursing Home Care is within reach.

What are the options?

Eligible veterans seeking 24/7 care have a variety of options they could choose from, which include:

  • Community Living Centers (CLC)

Aimed to provide the veteran an accommodation that mimics the ambience of home, Community Living Centers are usually situated within the vicinity of the VA Medical Center or, in some other cases, at a distinct, closed-by building. Typically, CLCs strive to keep the environment a “fun” place for the veterans by entertaining them with a host of different activities regardless of the age, letting them bring along their pets, and even giving them the leeway of decorating their own rooms.

  • Contract Nursing Home Care

Not many valid veterans get into either a public or private nursing homes, as accommodation in this facility prioritizes those of the severely disabled. In addition, a stay in a nursing home would typically have a limit of at most 6 months only and is subject to a drastic reduction to as short as 30 to 60 days.

  • State Veterans Homes

As the name implies, State Veteran Homes are nursing homes which are operated by the state along with the approval of the Veterans Affairs. In general, nursing homes under this category are subject to different states which make eligibility requirements and degree of services varied from each location.

Things you Need to do When you Have an Abnormal Heartbeat

Have experienced an abnormal heartbeat? Does your heart beat extra fast? Or extra slow? Any of these and you have an arrhythmia.

Arrhythmia is a heart condition that caused an abnormal heartbeat. There are two types of arrhythmia: tachycardia and bradycardia.  

Tachycardia pertains to an extremely fast heartbeat. On the other hand, bradycardia refers to an irregularly slow heartbeat. 

I know you might be asking, Is an irregular heartbeat serious? Well, not all of the time. There are times that an arrhythmia only just happens out of the blue. in this case, there’s completely nothing to worry about. You will get better without asking for medical assistance.

However, if the irregular heartbeat symptoms persist, this could mean an emergency. Visit your doctor as soon as possible.

The following are some the conditions that may trigger arrhythmia:

  • Heart Illness
  • Imbalanced blood electrolytes
  • Heart attack injury
  • Heart muscles changes or adaptation
  • Cause by after-surgery heart healing

Whatever the reason for your arrhythmia, you need to be very careful. Regular checkup is the key to prevent complications of abnormal heartbeat

To understand how serious your irregular heart beat is, your doctor will ask you to undergo an electrocardiogram (ECG). ECG is a test that is used to detect signs of heart problems. 

The following are the most common signs of arrhythmia:

  • Palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

When you experience any of these, immediately consult your doctor. You need to treat arrhythmia as soon as possible to prevent complications. 

But unfortunately, arrhythmia can also be asymptomatic. Meaning, the usual signs of the abnormal heartbeat are not observed. In cases like this, you need to consider your health history. If you have underlying health conditions that may trigger an abnormal heartbeat, you need to see your doctor. 

VA Benefits for People With Heart Disease

Before you can take advantage of VA benefits, there are requirements that you need to submit. 

The most important requirement that you need to pass is the result of your MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) exam. MET is a medical exam used to measure the amount of oxygen consumed by the body during strenuous activities. The result of the MET will be used to determine your disability privilege. 

Below is the rating system used by the VA for heart-related diseases:

  • 100%. Those people with continuous congestive heart failure may avail of this VA benefit. But of course, you need to comply with some requirements first. What are those? Well, you need to score 3 METs or lesser to qualify for this benefit. Another requirement is the doctor’s certification that, indeed you are experiencing shortness of breath. Proof of chest pain, dizziness, and fatigue may also qualify you. People whose left ventricle is pushing less than 30% of blood (each beat) may also apply for a 100% VA claim. 
  • 60%. If you experience congestive heart failure, two times in a year, then you are entitled to this benefit. Aside from this, a 4-5 MET score is also needed. VA will also ask for proof of shortness of breathing, dizziness, and even chest pain. 
  • 30%.  This rating is given to people with a 6-7 MET score. You will also be required to present evidence of hypertrophy (heart muscle thickening). If in case you have an enlarged heart, just show results of your laboratories, and you will be entitled. 
  • 10%. When you have MET score anywhere between 8-10, you fall into this rating. Evidence of fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath must also be established beforehand. And of course, you have to convince the VA that you need to undergo continuous medication. 

These are the ratings used by the VA to determine the scope of benefit given to a patient. But this rating system is only good for irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath. For other heart conditions such as hyperthyroid and supraventricular arrhythmias, a different rating system will be used. 


Although an abnormal heartbeat could be a sign of severe health conditions, you don’t need to panic. You can always ask for assistance from the VA. But before you apply for benefits, make sure to undergo a medical checkup first and comply with all the requirements to avoid a hassle.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries are one of the more common brain injuries to happen to veterans. 

Let’s take a look at what causes a TBI. If a soldier is on duty and receives blows, or jolts to the head, or a penetrating head injury this can disrupt how the brain works. Obviously not all hits to the head cause severe damage, in truth, the majority of head trauma is actually quite mild.

The number of soldiers with brain injuries has increased in recent years. However, the methods for checking on a TBI remain the same. You’ll want to keep an eye out for depression, chronic migraines, sleep disorders, or irritability. 

The VA acknowledges that TBI’s are quite common, and so they allow for an exam that can be completed by a psychiatrist, neurosurgeon, neurologist, or physiatrist. You’ll want to get checked as soon as possible. Your medical professional will likely check to see if you have memory loss, or trouble performing normal tasks.

Generally when you first receive a diagnosis you’re going to want to prove that your diagnosis is service related. If there are no records of your head injury, a nexus letter will help to get your injury related to your service. The VA can rate TBI’s all the way from 0-100.

Secondary Tinnitus Claims

Tinnitus is recognized as as the most common disability by far, more than PTSD and TBI which are the two conditions you’d think would be most common.

Obviously as a veteran you’re more predisposed to have this condition because you’re around loud machines, gunfire, etc.

So you might be asking, what is Tinnitus? It’s typically a high-pitched constant noise in your ear, that can sound like static, hissing, or buzzing.

Service-connected disability claims aren’t particularly hard to win because tinnitus is hard to disprove, however let’s talk about secondary mental health claims. There exists a high correlation between Tinnitus and psychiatric problems. The VA is aware of this, and as a result can often get you approved for a secondary mental health claim.

Imagine the negative emotion of having to deal with tinnitus frequently. Now what you’ll want to do is prove your secondary mental health connection. You can do this by getting a diagnosis for your anxiety or comorbid condition and stating that your tinnitus may be related.  You would then furnish a Nexus letter with your doctor’s analysis on how your psychological problems are caused by the service connected tinnitus.

Additional secondary disabilities include sleep disabilities, chronic fatigue syndrome and dizziness and vertigo. Each one of these conditions are interrelated.

We hope this helps.

How The VA Looks At Arthritis Benefits

Arthritis is one of the more common conditions that affect those who have served in the military.

How you can show your service connection

A service connection is needed meaning that you have to show that your arthritis is related to your time in the service. If your arthritis symptoms are at a 10% or higher rating within the first year it is possible to obtain a presumptive service connection which removes the need to present a nexus letter linking arthritis to your service.

This type of a service connection is possible because the VA treats arthritis as a chronic disease.

If your symptoms appear later, it’s still possible to establish a service connection with a great nexus letter. It’s also possible to receive a secondary service connection which basically means that the VA acknowledges that your first condition caused your arthritis.


VA ratings

Degenerative Arthritis

10% if two or more joint groups have arthritis but aren’t incapacitating

20% if two or more joint groups have arthritis and are occasionally incapacitating


Rheumatoid Arthritis

20% with one or two incapacitating episodes a year

40% if there is a definite decline in health or 3 or more episodes per year

60% if there is an overall health decline but short of complete incapacitation or if there are 4 or more severe episodes a year

100% completely incapacitated and bedridden regardless of how many joints are affected


We hope that helps!

The VA Caregiver Program

Depending on the severity of your disability, you might be eligible to enroll in the VA caregiver program.

In order to qualify both of these must be true for the veteran you’re caring for.

#1 This program is available to veterans who have had a serious brain injury, psychological trauma or other mental disorder that is service related on or after September 11, 2001. Remember that service-related means that your disability can be connected to your time spent in the military.

#2 Needs personal care services because they can’t perform one or more activities of daily living and needs supervision or needs supervision or protection because of symptoms based on neurological damage or injury. In other words, living your daily life is difficult without the help of a caregiver.

If you’re the caregiver you can receive

  • Caregiver training
  • A monthly payment
  • Travel lodging and assistance when traveling with the veteran
  • Access to health care benefits
  • Mental health services and counseling
  • Up to 40 days per year of respite care

In order to get these benefits fill out Application for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (VA Form 10-10CG). You’ll need identification and health coverage information for both you and your Veteran—and you’ll both need to sign and date the form.

Download VA Form 10-10CG (PDF)

To find the name of your local coordinator:

If you need help filling out the form, you can contact your local support coordinator, or call the main VA information line at 877-222-8387. Note this is not contact information for Gumps.

We hope that helps!

Adding a Dependent

Much like filing taxes with a dependent, filing a VA claim with a dependent means that you can receive a higher compensation payment or benefit rate per month.

There are a couple of requirements, the first being that you must have a combined disability rating of at least 30% and that you must be eligible to receive VA disability compensation yourself.

A dependent can be a spouse, a parent, or an unmarried child including any adopted children or step children. Your dependent has to be under 18 years old or between 18 and 23 and enrolled in school full time or permanently disabled.

If you haven’t yet filed a claim for disability compensation you can file a claim for additional compensation for a dependent at the same time as you file your original claim for disability compensation. If you want to add a dependent after having filed your claim you can still file later.

A common situation that we see is when a recipient of va compensation gets married, has a children or is adopted. Visit this page to add a dependent. And of course if your dependent is between 18-23 and attending school full time complete this form ( as well.

We understand that the claims process can be confusing; if you have any questions about your claims process Gumps V.A. Comp. Services would be more than happy to help answer them. Please give us a call at (888) 854 8677 or book an appointment with an accredited agent here.

Causal vs. Temporal Service Connections

There are two ways to establish service-connection for disabilities that are related to service. The first is called a temporal service connection. Temporal service connections focus on the timing of the disability not the cause of it. If for example a marine is serving and develops cancer that he’s genetically predispositioned to, this would be an example of a temporal service-connected disability. Certain illnesses such as bipolar disorder we’re unsure of why they happen, and if they are actually service related. But if symptoms manifest themselves during service the condition can be deemed service related.

The second way to establish service connection is the more common of the two. A causal service-connected disability is a disability that is directly related to a vets service. An example would be a physical injury or accident while in service or a psychological trauma or toxic exposure. Your disability doesn’t need to occur immediately it can occur months or even years later. An example of this would be people that were exposed to agent orange in Vietnam, symptoms didn’t manifest until months or even years later, however vets are able to obtain a high disability rating.

We understand that the claims process can be confusing; if you have any questions about your claims process Gumps V.A. Comp. Services would be more than happy to help answer them. Please give us a call at (888) 854 8677 or book an appointment with an accredited agent here.

Getting The Best Nexus Letter

Without sufficient evidence, a veteran’s disability claim will be denied. On the other hand, if a good nexus letter is written, a veteran might get a high disability rating due to their service-connected disability.

You might ask what is a nexus letter? A nexus letter is proof or evidence from a medical practitioner or professional that is given to a veteran to support their disability. You aren’t necessarily required to submit a nexus letter; however, a nexus letter could make the difference between a VA claim denial or a VA claim award. It’s suggested to file a nexus letter at the earliest possible date.

Finding a doctor that will write you nexus letter can be difficult. Doctor’s don’t exactly advertise that they offer this kind of service, so what we’d suggest is you look into a VA lawyer or advocate that can find a doctor that knows how to write a proper nexus letter.

There are a couple of things that you’re going to want to see in a nexus letter. You’ll want to be sure that your nexus letter uses specific language, and ties together the facts that draw a conclusion that your disability is related to your service.  Make sure that the VA terminology is relayed to your doctor, for example, the terms “more likely than not” should be used to express that there is a 50% likelihood that the veteran’s current disability is related to his service. Also make sure that your doctor mentions in their letter that they’ve reviewed the entire file and medical records.

Keep the letter brief but still complete, do so by focusing on facts. Use a doctor who is board certified in the area of disability. Make sure that the doctor states that they have access to all medical records. If you use a doctor that has examined you recently, uses that to your advantage and states that in the letter.

We understand that the claims process can be confusing; if you have any questions about your claims process Gumps V.A. Comp. Services would be more than happy to help answer them. Please give us a call at (888) 854 8677 or book an appointment with an accredited agent here.