Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for Flat Feet (The Insider's Guide) (2023)

In this post, I explain the top 3 ways to get a VA score for flat feet, along with expert-level tips for your flatfoot C&P exam.

Many veterans suffer from a variety of foot conditions, including flatfoot (better known as flatfoot) and plantar fasciitis, and seek to use their impairments for VA services.

Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for Flat Feet (The Insider's Guide) (1)

In 2022, VA disability ratings for flat feet range from 0% to 50%, with intermediate ranges of 10%, 20%, and 30%.

The planner's maximum rating for severe bilateral flat feet (flat feet) is 50%.

Your final VA score for flatfoot depends on whether the condition is unilateral or bilateral and the severity of your symptoms in terms of frequency, severity, and duration.

Okay, let's see how to assess your flatfoot for VA disability purposes.

Index

  • What is Flatfoot (Pes Planus) in Veterans?
  • How to Bandage Your Flat Feet in VA Deficiency
    • In order for your flatfoot VA claim to be approved, you must demonstrate 3 essential elements:
  • How do I get a VA disability rating for flat feet?
  • Have VA deficiency classifications of flat feet been considered?
    • 50 percent AV assessment of flat feet (bilateral)
    • VA rating of 30 percent for flatfoot (unilateral)
    • 30% AV disability rating for flat feet (both sides)
    • VA rating of 20 percent for flatfoot (unilateral)
    • 10% Pes Planus VA assessment (bilateral or unilateral)
    • 0% VA rating for flat feet (bilateral or unilateral)
  • What is the principle of pain movement in flat feet?
  • List of VA minor conditions for flat feet
    • List of the most common diseases as a result of flat feet:
  • Can I get an AV disability assessment for flat feet and plantar fasciitis?
  • About the author

What is Flatfoot (Pes Planus) in Veterans?

Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for Flat Feet (The Insider's Guide) (2)

Seniors have flat feet when they have little or no arch (flat foot), which causes the entire sole of one or both feet to touch the ground when standing or walking.

Flat feet are a common condition that is usually painless; However, they can become painful over time due to overuse, obesity, running, military combat boots, or wearing bad shoe inserts.

Keep in mind that flat feet can also develop after injury or everyday wear and tear, such as military service.

Also note that you may have entered the military with flat feet, which is known as a "pre-service disability".

Many veterans haveFlat feet made worse by military service(in addition to its natural progression), in which case you are eligible for VA disability benefits on the basis of “worsening of an inability to work prior to service,” provided you have medical evidence that your flat feet have worsened over time.

Flat feet can also cause problems with the ankles, knees, hips and back as the condition can change the alignment of the legs - these are all common secondary conditions for minor service connections.

There are several risk factors for flat feet, including: obesity, foot or ankle injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, aging and diabetes.

How to Bandage Your Flat Feet in VA Deficiency

Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for Flat Feet (The Insider's Guide) (3)

In order for your flatfoot VA claim to be approved, you must demonstrate 3 essential elements:

  • #1. Medical diagnosis of flat feet. This can be found in Service Treatment Records (STRs), VA Medical Records,ORany private records, but must be in a medical record. It is helpful to have a "recent" medical diagnosis of flatfoot within the last 12 months, although it is not required.
  • #2.You caused or exacerbated your flat feetACTIVITYmilitary service ("nexus")ORis directly attributable to or aggravated byOTHERSService Disability with 0% or greater for secondary service connection.
  • #3.Current symptoms of flat feet, which we call "Symptom Severity". How severe are your symptoms and how are your flat feet affecting your work, life and social functioning? Also think of “functional impairment” or “economic loss” due to the severity of your flat feet.

If you think you have a foot problem such as flat feet (flat feet) but don't have a medical diagnosis, pick up the phone and call VA unit near youto make an appointment immediately.

You will likely be referred by your doctor to a podiatrist, who is a health professional who specializes in treating conditions of the foot, ankle and related leg structures.

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If you attempt to raise your VA rating for flat feet, you must demonstrate to the VA that your symptoms are now worse and legally justify the higher rating criteria.

The best way to increase your VA score for flatfoot is to have objective medical evidence showing how your symptoms have worsened over time.

How do I get a VA disability rating for flat feet?

Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for Flat Feet (The Insider's Guide) (4)

There are three main ways a veteran can get a VA rating for flat feet:

  • #1:Service direct connection for flat feetscored unilaterally or bilaterally, with VA scores of 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, or 50%.
  • #2:sidelineConnection for flat feetscored unilaterally or bilaterally, with VA scores of 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, or 50%. For example, a senior may be graded for flat feet as a result of ankle pain.
  • #3:Pre-service disability worsening for flat feet scored unilaterally or bilaterally, with VA scores of 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, or 50%. For example, a veteran may be classified for flat feet due to a worsening disability. This means you had the condition before joining the military, but your military service made your flat feet worse than its natural progression.

Have VA deficiency classifications of flat feet been considered?

Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for Flat Feet (The Insider's Guide) (5)

The VA also assesses flat feetTitle 38 CFR, Part 4, Disability Classification Schedule, Diagnostic code (DC) 5276, Flat tire, purchased.

Flatfoot disability scores range from 0% to 50% with ranges between 10%, 20% and 30% depending on whether they are unilateral or bilateral and the severity of their symptoms in terms of frequency, severity and duration.

50 percent AV assessment of flat feet (bilateral)

A VA rating of 50 percent is reasonablesevere bilateral flat feetpronounced with pronounced pronation, extreme sensitivity of the plantar surfaces, marked internal displacement and severe spasm of the Achilles tendon when manipulated,not improved by orthopedic or assistive shoes.

VA rating of 30 percent for flatfoot (unilateral)

A VA rating of 30 percent is reasonablesevere unilateral flat feetpronounced with pronounced pronation, extreme sensitivity of the plantar surfaces, marked internal displacement and severe spasm of the Achilles tendon when manipulated,not improved by orthopedic or assistive shoes.

30% AV disability rating for flat feet (both sides)

A score of 30 percent for flat feet is reasonable.flat feet on both sideswith objective signs of pronounced deformity (pronation, abduction, etc.), increased pain during manipulation and use, signs of swelling when used, characteristic calluses (yellow calluses). The photo below is an example of yellow calluses and cracked heels.

Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for Flat Feet (The Insider's Guide) (6)

VA rating of 20 percent for flatfoot (unilateral)

The 20% rating for flat feet is reasonable.unilateral plane footwith objective signs of pronounced deformity (pronation, abduction, etc.), increased pain during manipulation and use, signs of swelling when used, characteristic calluses (yellow calluses).

10% Pes Planus VA assessment (bilateral or unilateral)

VA rating of 10 percent for flatfoot is reasonablemoderate symptomsas B. Line of load above or medial to the big toe, internal flexion of the Achilles tendon, pain with manipulation and use of the feet, bilateral or unilateral.

0% VA rating for flat feet (bilateral or unilateral)

The VA disability rating of 0 percent for flat feet is appropriate formild symptomsrelieved by built-in shoe or arch support.

What is the principle of pain movement in flat feet?

Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for Flat Feet (The Insider's Guide) (7)

The Painful Motion Principle means that regardless of range of motion, the veteran must receive at least the minimum level of compensable disability for that condition when in pain.

For example, suppose you have full range of motion for your flat feet and no impairment or loss of function, but experience pain during movement, then you should be assigned the minimum disability level for flat feet, which is 10%.

List of VA minor conditions for flat feet

Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for Flat Feet (The Insider's Guide) (8)

Symptomatic veterans may present with complaints of metatarsal, heel, leg, knee, hip, and/or back pain, all of which may be associated with flat feet and may be assessed as comorbidities.

Other conditions associated with flat feet in a two-way relationship include leg length discrepancy, pregnancy, Marfan syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and scoliosis, obesity, foot or ankle injuries, and diabetes.

List of the most common diseases as a result of flat feet:

  • plantarfasziite
  • back pain
  • Radiculopathy
  • degenerative disc disease

Can I get an AV disability assessment for flat feet and plantar fasciitis?

Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for Flat Feet (The Insider's Guide) (9)

AV assesses flatfoot (flat foot).Title 38 CFR, Part 4, Disability Classification Schedule, Diagnostic Code (DC) 5276, Flatfoot versus Plantar Fasciitis, classified under DC 5269.

The highest scheduler rating fordifficultbilateral flat feet is 50%, while the scheduler's highest rating fordifficultbilateral plantar fasciitis is 30%.

As the symptoms associated with flat feet and plantar fasciitis are very similar, it is highly unlikely to obtain separate VA scores for flat feet.Eplantar fasciitis byavoiding the formation of pyramids.

However, as per the "higher of two classifications" principle, if a veteran is diagnosed with both disorders with similar symptoms for each disability, the higher classification will be assigned if the disability profile is closer to the required criteria for this rating.

For example, if you both have severe bilateral flat feetEsevere bilateral plantar fasciitis, the VA Ratinger should award a 50% rating for flatfoot, as this is the higher of the two ratings (the maximum planner rating for severe bilateral plantar fasciitis is 30%).

What can I expect from a C&P VA Flatfeet exam?

Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for Flat Feet (The Insider's Guide) (10)

A C&P exam for flat feet includes a physical examination of the feet for tenderness, swelling, calluses, pain, and functional impairment or loss, and a walk test for overpronation.

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Sometimes the C&P examiner will order x-rays of one or both feet to look for foot deformities such as calcified heel spurs.

The following 24 questions will be answered by the C&P Verifier in the electronic version of theDisability benefit questionnaire for foot disorders, including flatfoot (pes planus).

1. Does the veteran feel pain when moving his feet?

If yes, indicate the affected side(s) and whether pain increases with application.

2. Does the veteran feel pain when manipulating the feet?

If yes, indicate the affected side(s) and whether the pain is managed with the application.

3. Is there any evidence of swelling during use?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

4. Does the veteran have characteristic calluses?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

5. Does the veteran wear arch supports or elevated shoes?

If so, please indicate the impact of the symptoms and whether the veteran feels relief on one or both sides of the foot.

6. Does the veteran have extreme plantar sensitivity in one or both feet?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

7. Do shoes or orthopedic devices improve sensitivity?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

8. Does the veteran have reduced longitudinal arch height in one or both feet under load?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

9. Is there objective evidence of a pronounced deformity of one or both feet (pronation, abduction, etc.)?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

10. Is there a pronounced pronation of one foot or both feet?

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If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

11. Will the condition improve with shoes or braces?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

12. Is the weight-bearing line for one or both feet above or medial to the big toe?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

13. Is there any deformity in the lower extremity besides the flat foot that causes alteration in the weight-bearing line?

If yes, identify the affected side(s) and describe the lower extremity deformity, except flatfoot, which causes alteration in the weight-bearing line.

14. Does the veteran have an "inward" flexed Achilles tendon (ie, hindfoot valgus with lateral deviation of the heel) in one or both feet?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

15. Does the veteran have significant internal dislocation and severe Achilles tendon spasm (stiff back foot) with manipulation of one or both feet?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

16. Are severe internal dislocation and severe Achilles tendon cramps relieved by shoes or braces?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

17. Does the veteran have "loss of function" due to flat feet?

The VA defines loss of function as "the inability, due to damage or infection to parts of the system, to carry out normal working movements of the body with normal excursion, force, speed, coordination and/or endurance".

With regard to joints, the disabling factors reside in the reduction of their normal range of motion in different planes.

Using information based on a review of all information obtained to include the veteran's statement for the examination, case-specific evidence (to include records of medical treatment and provide evidence where appropriate), the examiner's medical experience and physical examination, select The following factors contribute to loss or impairment of function (regardless of repetitive use) or to further limitation in range of motion (ROM) after repetitive use of the joint or limb assessed in this Flatfeet Disability Benefit Questionnaire:

  • No loss of left lower extremity function attributable to the claimed condition
  • No loss of right lower extremity function attributable to the claimed condition
  • Less movement than usual
  • More movement than usual
  • weakened movement
  • swelling
  • Deformity
  • disuse atrophy
  • station instability
  • interruption of locomotion
  • sitting disability
  • standing commitment
  • dor
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • lack of resistance
  • in coordination
  • Miscellaneous, please describe:

18. Does the evidence obtained (veteran's statement) indicate pain, fatigue, weakness, lack of endurance or incoordination that significantly impairs functioning during flare-ups and/or after repeated use over time?

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

If yes (there is loss of function due to pain, during flares and/or after repeated use over time), describe the loss of function and provide and discuss evidence (must be case specific and based on all available evidence).

19. Are there other declines in function during flare-ups and/or after repeated use over time?

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If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

20. Is there evidence of pain in any of the following?

  • passive movement
  • active movement
  • Weight support
  • not pregnant
  • At rest/not moving

If so, please indicate the site(s) affected.

21. Were diagnostic tests performed?

Note: Diagnostic testing is not required for all conditions. The diagnosis of flatfoot does not require plain or weight-bearing radiographs of the foot. The diagnosis of degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) or post-traumatic arthritis must be confirmed by imaging tests. Once such arthritis has been documented, even if it has been in the past, no further AV imaging is needed, even if the arthritis has worsened.

22. Were imaging tests performed related to this exam?

If yes, provide type of test or procedure, date and results.

23. Does the veteran have "functional impacts" on his work, life, and social functioning?

Note: Only report the impact of the diagnosed condition(s) without considering the impact of other conditions or factors such as age.

24. Regardless of the veteran's current employment status, do the conditions listed in the Diagnosis section affect his ability to perform any type of occupational task (eg, standing, walking, lifting, sitting, etc.)?

If yes, describe the functional implications of each condition and provide one or more examples.

About the author

Brian Reese

founder

Brian Rees is a VA Services expert and #1 Amazon bestselling authorYou Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Perks You Deserve, and founder of VA Claims Insider–"The most trusted name in educational resources for veterans."

Your frustration with the8-Step VA Disability Claim Processled him to create„Informant of VA Claims“,which provides US military veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons for successfully filing or re-filing a successful VA disability compensation claim.

Brian isalso the managervonFacilitated disability, the world's largest free search database for all things related to DoD and VA disability claims, serving more than 4,600,000 military and veterans since its inception in 2013.

Your ebook, the"9 Secret Strategies for Winning Your VA Disability Claim"has been downloaded more than 300,000 times over the past three years and is the #1 free guide to VA disability claims for veterans.

He is oneformer active duty Air Force officerwith extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and cross-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a 2011 combat tour of Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

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Brian ist ein Distinguished Graduate of Management derUnited States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, and holds an MBA from the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (top 1% of graduate class).

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