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!

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