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VA Disability Rating Criteria for Bursitis: Understanding Your Eligibility

December 9, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • In 2022, about 2.1 million veterans had a service-connected disability rating of 70% or higher.[1]

  • In a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 515,095 veterans (12.8%) were rated as having high disabilities, 1,600,786 (39) medium disabilities, and 1,894,839 (47.2%) low disabilities.[2]

In 2022, about 2.1 million veterans had a service-connected disability rating of 70 % or higher.[1] VA disability ratings are vital for veterans with bursitis, determining compensation based on the condition's severity, ranging from 0% to 100%. Higher ratings mean more support and healthcare access. Veterans must grasp this system to advocate for their rightful benefits, understand how ratings are calculated, and present their cases effectively.

“More than 2.1 million veterans had a 70% or higher service-connected disability rating. ”

Bursitis Symptoms

Symptoms of bursitis include joint pain, tenderness, swelling, and limited mobility, often affecting shoulders, hips, elbows, or knees. Veterans experiencing these signs should promptly seek medical assistance.

Eligibility for VA Benefits

Veterans developing bursitis due to military service may qualify for VA disability benefits by providing evidence linking the condition to their service, such as medical records of joint injuries.

VA Disability Rating System

The VA assesses bursitis severity, assigning ratings from 0% to 100%, with higher ratings indicating more significant impairment and increased compensation.

Seeking Support

Veterans with bursitis should seek medical care and establish a clear service-related link. Consulting healthcare professionals, collecting documentation, and seeking assistance from veteran service organizations or legal experts can strengthen their benefit claims. Understanding bursitis is crucial for securing deserved benefits.

“Veterans with bursitis should seek medical care and establish a clear service-related link.”

VA Disability Benefits Eligibility

Veterans must meet specific criteria to qualify for VA disability benefits, established by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Understanding these requirements is vital for veterans seeking benefits.

Meeting Criteria

Eligibility hinges on having a service-connected disability occurring during active duty or due to military service. Disabilities can be physical, mental, or both.

Active Duty Requirement

Veterans must have served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, encompassing full-time duty, training, or deployments. Reservists and National Guard members may also qualify if called to active duty.

Diagnostic Codes

The VA uses diagnostic codes found in the Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) to assess disabilities' severity. Specific codes exist for bursitis based on affected joints.

Applying for Benefits

Eligible veterans can apply via the VA's website or local VA offices, substantiating military service and providing medical evidence.

Compensation and Rating Decision

The VA assesses the evidence and assigns a disability rating reflecting bursitis severity and its impact on daily life. This rating determines monthly compensation.

Ongoing Evaluations

Disability ratings may change, with periodic evaluations ensuring veterans receive suitable compensation based on their current condition. Understanding eligibility criteria is pivotal for veterans pursuing VA disability benefits.

Establishing Service Connections for Bursitis

To secure VA disability benefits for bursitis, veterans must establish a service connection, linking their military service to the condition. Here's a concise guide on how to do it:

1. Provide Diagnosis and Symptoms: Obtain a medical diagnosis of bursitis from a qualified healthcare professional, confirming the condition through examination and tests if necessary.

2. Gather Service Records: Collect military service records, including medical and deployment records, to demonstrate a direct link between service and bursitis development.

3. Obtain a Nexus Opinion: Seek a Nexus opinion from a medical professional, crucial for confirming the connection between the veteran's bursitis and military service.

4. Submit Supporting Statements: Statements from fellow servicemembers who witnessed or were aware of the circumstances contributing to bursitis can bolster the claim.

5. File a VA Claim: Submit a comprehensive claim to the VA, including all relevant documentation, with a clear explanation of the bursitis-military service connection.

6. Consider Legal Assistance: Seek guidance from Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) or accredited VA attorneys if challenges arise or benefits are denied.

Establishing a service connection is pivotal for veterans pursuing VA benefits for bursitis. By providing diagnosis evidence, gathering service records, obtaining a nexus opinion, submitting supporting statements, filing a VA claim, and seeking legal aid if necessary, veterans can enhance their chances of receiving deserved benefits.

“Veteran disability ratings may change, and periodic evaluations ensure veterans receive appropriate compensation.”

Evaluating Bursitis Severity for VA Rating

To determine the VA disability rating for bursitis, the severity of the condition plays a crucial role. Understanding how severity is evaluated can help veterans gauge their potential compensation accurately. Let's delve into how the severity of bursitis impacts VA disability ratings.

Impact on VA Disability Ratings

The severity of bursitis directly influences the assigned VA disability rating. The higher the severity, the higher the rating, which in turn affects the amount of compensation received by veterans. The evaluation process takes into account various factors to assess the impact of bursitis on an individual's daily life and functional abilities.

Functional Limitations

One key aspect considered when evaluating bursitis severity is its impact on a veteran's functional limitations. This involves assessing how much the condition hinders their ability to perform routine activities such as walking, lifting objects, or bending joints. The more significant the limitations caused by bursitis, the higher the disability rating may be.

Range of Motion Restrictions

Bursitis can lead to restrictions in joint movement due to pain and inflammation. When determining disability ratings, evaluators consider these range-of-motion restrictions caused by bursitis in affected areas such as shoulders, hips, elbows, or knees. Limited mobility resulting from bursitis can result in higher disability ratings.

“The more significant the limitations caused by bursitis, the higher the disability rating may be.”

Treatment Requirements

The treatment required for managing bursitis also contributes to evaluating its severity for a VA disability rating. Suppose conservative treatments like medication or physical therapy prove ineffective and more invasive interventions such as surgery become necessary. In that case, it indicates a more severe case of bursitis that may warrant a higher rating.

Occupational Implications

Another factor that plays a role in assessing bursitis severity is its impact on an individual's occupation or employability. If bursitis significantly limits a veteran's ability to perform their job duties or find gainful employment due to pain or functional limitations, it can influence the disability rating assigned.

Documentation and Medical Evidence

For an accurate bursitis severity evaluation, veterans should provide comprehensive medical evidence, including records, test results, treatment history, and healthcare professional statements on functional impact. Detailed evidence increases the likelihood of an appropriate disability rating. 

Understanding this evaluation process helps veterans anticipate compensation. Gathering relevant medical documents and seeking professional assistance is crucial for a successful claims process.

Applying for VA Disability Benefits: A Step-by-Step Guide

It's important to note the prevalence of disabilities among veterans, as highlighted in a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). According to their findings, out of a studied group of veterans, 515,095 (12.8%) were rated as having high disabilities, 1,600,786 (39%) with medium disabilities, and 1,894,839 (47.2%) with low disabilities.[2] 

This data underscores the significance of understanding and navigating the VA disability benefits system effectively. Applying for VA disability benefits can be a complex and overwhelming process, but following a step-by-step guide can simplify it and increase the chances of a successful claim for veterans with bursitis. 

Application Process for VA Disability Benefits with Bursitis

1. Gather Documentation: Start by collecting essential documents like medical records, test results, and doctor's notes to support your claim.

2. Complete Application Form: Fill out the VA disability benefits application form accurately, detailing your bursitis diagnosis and its impact on daily life.

3. Submit Supporting Evidence: Alongside the application, include all relevant evidence, such as treatment history and healthcare provider statements, to strengthen your case.

4. Attend C&P Examination: If scheduled, attend the Compensation & Pension (C&P) examination conducted by a healthcare professional to assess the impact of your condition.

5. Await VA Decision: Patiently awaits a decision from the VA, considering varying processing times.

6. Appeal if Necessary: In case of denial or unfavorable rating, exercise your right to appeal, providing additional evidence or seeking legal assistance for a stronger case.

This step-by-step guide empowers veterans with bursitis to navigate the VA disability benefits application effectively, ensuring they receive the deserved benefits.

Navigating the VA Appeals Process for Bursitis Claims

Understanding the VA appeals process is crucial for veterans facing initial bursitis claim denials. Here's a concise guide to help secure the deserved benefits:

Understanding the Appeals Process

An appeal is a formal legal process, not just a review request. It involves presenting new evidence or challenging previous decisions.

Initiating an Appeal

File a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) within a year of receiving the denial letter. Clearly state the challenged parts of the decision and provide additional supporting evidence.

Review by Decision Review Officer (DRO)

Opt for either a traditional review or a Decision Review Officer (DRO) review. A DRO conducts an independent assessment based on the provided information.

Requesting a Hearing

If unsatisfied with the DRO review, request a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge at the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA). Present oral arguments and new evidence during this hearing.

Submitting New Evidence

Gather and submit any new evidence supporting your case throughout the appeals process, including medical records, healthcare provider statements, or testimonies.

Seeking Legal Representation

Consider seeking assistance from qualified Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) or VA disability claim attorneys to navigate the complex appeals process.

Patience is Key

The appeals process can be lengthy, taking months or even years. Maintain patience and persistence throughout the journey.

By understanding the appeals process, initiating an appeal with a Notice of Disagreement, exploring review options, submitting new evidence, seeking legal representation when needed, and remaining patient, veterans can effectively navigate the VA appeals process and increase their chances of securing deserved benefits.


Veterans pursuing VA disability benefits for bursitis must grasp the process outlined in this article. It covers eligibility criteria, service connection establishment, severity evaluation, benefit applications, claim reinforcement, appeals, and treatment considerations.

Veterans should note that each case is unique, and seeking assistance from a VA disability attorney or advocate can significantly improve their chances. Staying updated on VA regulations and being persistent can help veterans secure the compensation they deserve.

Learn more about PTSD claims and navigating the process from our resources at American Veteran today.

Michael Blair contributes his expertise to help veterans access government benefits and resources. Through his informative articles and guides, he plays a vital role in empowering veterans and improving their quality of life.
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