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War-related injuries series: Ankle and foot

| Jan 10, 2019 | Veterans' Issues |

Welcome you to the first post in our new war-related injuries series. In this series, we will take a closer look at a few of the common injuries soldiers in post-combat deal with on an everyday basis. Upon returning home, our veterans then find themselves in a new war – one to obtain both VA and Social Security disability benefits.

Thousands of soldiers return from war with ankle and foot injuries. The vast majority of them are still younger individuals with a long life-expectancy ahead. They need, and deserve, the ability to maintain an active, productive lifestyle. Ankle and foot injuries can be blast-related. If improperly treated in the field, they can result in extreme deformities and chronic pain. Some individuals also experience muscle dystrophies. Major injuries can result in amputation.

Soldiers with these types of injuries require multiple reconstructive surgeries, prosthesis fitting and training for return to an active lifestyle, vocational rehabilitation for training in a new field to return to the work force, counseling, and ongoing medical expertise. Code 5167 of the Military Disability Code gives amputation at the ankle or below with loss of foot use a disability rating of 40%. The Social Security Administration rules on disabling amputation can be found under 1.05.

Veterans who are suffering from any form of disability in a post-combat period deserve aggressive representation in obtaining all benefits for which they are due. An attorney who is experienced in both military and social security disability will be knowledgeable in navigating both programs simultaneously.

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