Most Common VA Disabilities

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Most Common VA Disabilities

There is a truly wide range of disabilities that veterans in this country endure. While we help veterans with all different kinds of disabilities pursue the benefits they deserve, we do see some more often than others.  The following are the most common VA disabilities for which veterans pursue benefits

Hearing loss

Hearing loss, tinnitus, and deafness encompass the majority of VA disability claims. Hearing loss can result from time spent on the battlefield, but it can happen in many other situations as well. Recently, the defective 3M earplugs provided to soldiers have resulted in a sharp increase in these claims. Hearing loss can prevent a United States veteran from properly doing their job, force them to take a lower paying job, and reduce their earning power. If you are suffering hearing loss as a result of your time in service, you have options. 

Orthopedic Injuries

Orthopedic injuries resulting from active duty are the second-most cited disability. Generally, the VA will want you to prove that your orthopedic injury limits your range of motion to qualify for benefits. Examples of orthopedic injuries include paralysis injuries or the loss of a limb, but the most common types of orthopedic claims involve range-of-motion problems and chronic pain. Paralysis of the sciatic nerve, which is common among veterans, is the most severe form of sciatica. 

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries are difficult to diagnose and to treat. Symptoms do not always present themselves immediately. What we are learning from the long-lasting impacts seen in NFL players is that these injuries are much more insidious than they originally appeared. Symptoms can emerge decades after the initial trauma and cause psychiatric problems, including mood disturbances, cognition problems, and suicide. Anxiety and depression are common in those suffering from TBI injuries. 

Psychiatric Injuries

What was originally known as “shell shock” now goes by the medical term “post-traumatic stress disorder” or PTSD. First responders, military personnel, and emergency medical personnel are the most likely to suffer job-related PTSD. With more attention paid to PTSD-related suicides in recent years, the VA is growing more receptive to PTSD-related claims, even those emerging from military sexual trauma. This has helped make it easier to get a PTSD-related disability benefits application approved by the VA, however, legal assistance may still be needed for some applicants to gain approval.

Toxic Exposure

In cases in which there is scientific documentation, like in the use of Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome, there is a presumption that a toxic exposure disability is connected to one’s military service, but that was not always the case. While today Agent Orange exposure and Gulf War Syndrome are conditions that will be compensated by the VA, a new generation of respiratory ailments related to toxic burn pit exposure is emerging. Those with toxic exposure may report suffering from a cluster of cancers, respiratory ailments, and other obscure diseases.


A veteran is eligible to receive compensation for injuries that caused scarring, but this is more likely if the scarring has reduced their range of motion, is somewhere visible, or causes psychiatric problems such as depression or isolation. Scarring resulting from serious burn injuries are often the most likely to get full compensation from the VA. 


Migraines may be the result of either traumatic brain injury or persistent exposure to loud sounds. They can also be the result of psychiatric illness. Veterans who are wishing to file a migraine application would need to establish that their migraines were the result of their military service.

Talk to a Chicago VA Disability Attorney Today

The Comerford Law Office, LLC has the experience you need to handle a variety of complex VA disability claims. Call today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing your next moves immediately. 

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