Muscle Injuries From Gunshots
In the military, service members who are in combat run a high risk of sustaining a gunshot injury at some point during their service. Gunshot injuries can cause mild to severe damage to the body depending on the location of the shot, and depending on the severity of the wound, can lead to chronic issues in the muscle tissues, bones, and organs. Chronic pain from muscle damage is one of the most common long-lasting symptoms that can occur after a gunshot injury. Due to the increased prevalence of gunshot injuries among service members and the subsequent muscular conditions that can result, the VA has developed a disability rating schedule to provide veterans with compensation for their condition(s).
How The VA Rates Muscle Injuries
Under 38 CFR § 4.73, the VA provides disability rating schedules for every muscle group in the body. These disability rating schedules are thorough and extensive, so only a few will be shown below:
|Diagnostic Code 5301 Group I. Function: Upward rotation of scapula; elevation of arm above shoulder level. Extrinsic muscles of shoulder girdle: (1) Trapezius; (2) levator scapulae; (3) serratus magnus||Dominant Rating||Non-Dominant Rating|
|Diagnostic Code 5316 Group XVI. Function: Flexion of hip (1, 2, 3). Pelvic girdle group 1: (1) Psoas; (2) iliacus; (3) pectineus||Rating|
|Diagnostic Code 5319 Group XIX. Function: Support and compression of abdominal wall and lower thorax; flexion and lateral motions of spine; synergists in strong downward movements of arm (1). Muscles of the abdominal wall: (1) Rectus abdominis; (2) external oblique; (3) internal oblique; (4) transversalis; (5) quadratus lumborum||Rating|
The VA rates muscle injuries as severe, moderately severe, moderate, or slight according to the type of injury, the history and complaint regarding the injury (service records showing the response to the injury in service), and objective findings such as exit scars or loss of tissue. The detailed rating guide for VA evaluation of muscle disabilities can be found under 38 CFR § 4.56.
Getting Help With Your VA Disability Claim
If you are a veteran with chronic muscle issues that are the result of a gunshot injury you sustained in service, you are eligible for VA disability benefits. To get assistance with your ongoing VA disability claim or help with an initial filing, please contact our office today. Our veterans disability attorneys are experienced in helping veterans like you get the compensation they deserve.