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October 7, 2017

What is a Lifestyle Impact Claim?

Last updated on March 31, 2021

A Lifestyle Impact Claim is a high-value secondary claim that many veterans are eligible for due to one or more primary service-connected disabilities. Most veterans, lawyers, and VSOs DON’T know about secondary claims, which are eligible for compensation under the law, just like any other ratable disability.

A Lifestyle Impact Claim provides a veteran with additional compensation if a current primary service-connected disability has impacted or limited your life in a negative way. The chronic pain you suffer from as a result of a current service connected disability must directly impact your work, life, and social functioning, and typically causes you to have depression and anxiety.

To qualify for a Lifestyle Impact Claim, you must have a primary service-connected disability rated 0% or higher, and that primary disability must be significantly affecting or limiting your life in a negative way. Further, it must be causing you chronic pain.

For example, you may have chronic pain due to your service connected back problems. Because your back pain is chronic and reoccurring, you can no longer run, lift weights, bend over, or play golf. The result of this chronic pain is that you’ve become depressed, have gained weight, and no longer enjoy recreational activities.

A Lifestyle Impact Claim is actually a mental health claim, which will be classified under 38 CFR as Somatic Symptom Disorder or “Chronic Pain Syndrome with Depression/Anxiety.” When you go to file a claim for Chronic Pain Syndrome with Depression/Anxiety, you’re actually filing a secondary mental health claim.

You need a medical diagnosis of Somatic Symptom Disorder from a U.S. Board Certified Psychologist or Psychiatrist. We recommend you have the doctor complete a full independent medical evaluation, Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBA) for mental health, and provide a Nexus statement linking your Chronic Pain Syndrome with Depression and Anxiety back to your active duty military service.

We can help you file for and win your VA Lifestyle Impact Claim. Please reach out to us at VA Claims Insider, and we’ll get you the VA disability compensation YOU deserve.

Learn more about the VA disability claims process, and a Lifestyle Impact Claim here, please visit the VA Claims Insider Website!

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About the Author

VACI

VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. We’re here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Independent Medical Opinions & Nexus Statements (Medical Nexus Letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.

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