What Is Voiding Dysfunction?
Voiding dysfunction is a broad term used to describe conditions that result in inconsistent coordination within the urinary tract between the urethra and the bladder muscle. Individuals with voiding dysfunction tend to exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:
- Urinary frequency – urinating more than 8 times a day
- Urinary urgency – a strong and sudden onset of the need to urinate
- Urine retention – being unable to empty one’s bladder
- Dribbling urine or a weak urine stream
Overactive pelvic floor muscles are the most common cause of this condition. Other possible causes include nerve problems affecting contractions of the bladder and blockages within the urethra. Among veterans, other conditions they have as a result of their service can also cause voiding dysfunction, such as prostate cancer or PTSD. In those cases, the veteran can apply for secondary service connection for his or her voiding dysfunction.
Getting Service Connected For Voiding Dysfunction
For veterans with voiding dysfunction who plan to apply for VA disability benefits, it is incredibly important that they include medical evidence as a part of their claim. Ideally, this evidence will show that the veteran’s voiding dysfunction was diagnosed in service or that the veteran began exhibiting symptoms of the condition in service and it was diagnosed within one year of discharge. If the veteran applies for secondary service connection, his or her medical records will need to show that the voiding dysfunction is directly caused by one of his or her already service connected conditions through a medical nexus (a causal connection point between the two conditions). For example, if a veteran with prostate cancer applies for service connection for voiding dysfunction, he or she would want to show that a change in the shape of their prostate or some other symptom caused by his or her cancer resulted in the voiding dysfunction. Ideally, he or she would have medical records that directly state there is a connection between the two conditions.
How Does The VA Rate Voiding Dysfunction?
The rating schedule for voiding dysfunction includes conditions such as continual urine leakage, post surgical urinary diversion, urinary incontinence, and stress incontinence. Under 38 CFR § 4.115a, the VA rates voiding dysfunction based on urine leakage, frequency, or obstructed voiding:
- 60 – Requiring the use of an appliance or the wearing of absorbent materials which must be changed more than 4 times per day
- 40 – Requiring the wearing of absorbent materials which must be changed 2 to 4 times per day
- 20 – Requiring the wearing of absorbent materials which must be changed less than 2 times per day
Voiding dysfunction can severely impact a veteran’s ability to engage in everyday activities. For some veterans, this condition can even impact their ability to work. In those cases, veterans with voiding dysfunction can apply for a total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) rating. Any veteran who is unable to maintain a substantially gainful occupation due to his or her service connected condition(s) qualifies for TDIU, regardless of the schedular disability rating he or she has for that condition. A TDIU rating provides the veteran with compensation at the 100 percent schedular disability rate.
Help With Your Voiding Dysfunction Claim
If you are a veteran seeking help with your VA claim for voiding dysfunction, please contact our office today. Our veterans disability lawyers are experienced in getting veterans with voiding dysfunction the proper schedular disability rating for their condition.