El-Amin v. Shinseki
In El-Amin v. Shinseki, Docket no. 10-3031, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims vacated a VA decision in which VA relied on a medical opinion that did not consider whether the veteran’s service-connected PTSD aggravated his alcoholism, which ultimately contributed to his death. The medical opinion only considered whether the veteran’s PTSD caused his alcoholism. However, a veteran can obtain benefits for a condition that is not directly caused by a service-connected condition, but is made worse (aggravated) by the service connected conditions.
Veterans should check with their doctors to determine whether a non-service connected condition is being made worse by a service connected condition.
Proving Aggravation of Medical Conditions by a Service Connected Condition
More Information on Service-Connected Medical Conditions
- Types of VA Disability Claims
In addition to more commonly known physical injuries (including traumatic brain injuries) and mental disabilities (including PTSD), there are many types of veterans disability claims.
- Veterans Disability Compensation Ratings
Disability ratings are the VA’s way of measuring the potential that any given impairment has to decrease your ability to earn a living.
- Total Disability Due to Individual Unemployment (TDIU)
A veteran who can’t work due to service connected disabilities may be entitled to Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability (TDIU). This benefit is commonly referred to simply as unemployability.