VA Disability Ratings for Hallux Valgus (Bunions)

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Hallux valgus, commonly known as bunions, is a foot condition that can significantly affect veterans, especially those with service-related foot strain or injuries that can become bilateral.

This article will discuss how the VA assesses and rates this condition.

What is Hallux Valgus?

Hallux valgus is a deformity characterized by the lateral deviation of the big toe toward the other toes, coupled with the enlargement of the first metatarsal joint.

Common causes include tight footwear, genetic predisposition and biomechanical imbalances, often exacerbated by service conditions such as prolonged use of military boots.

Symptoms and Progression of Hallux Valgus

The progression of hallux valgus typically starts with slight misalignment of the big toe, which gradually worsens.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness around the joint.
  • Swelling and readiness from overlapping toes.
  • Difficulty in walking and footwear discomfort.
  • Potential development of secondary issues like gout and rheumatoid arthritis due to altered foot mechanics.

How the VA Rates Bunions

The VA assigns disability ratings for hallux valgus based on the severity and impact on the veteran’s mobility and daily activities.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Mild (10%): Slight deformity with occasional pain, not affecting mobility significantly.
  • Moderate (20%): Persistent pain with noticeable difficulty in walking, requiring special footwear.
  • Severe (30% or higher): Significant deformity and chronic pain, equivalent to the disability of a great toe amputation, severely affecting mobility.

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Linking Hallux Valgus to Military Service

To qualify for VA benefits for hallux valgus (or bunions), veterans must establish service connection.

This may involve:

Connecting Secondary Conditions to Bunions

Hallux valgus can lead to a variety of secondary conditions which may also be compensable.

Some of them may include:

Getting TDIU for Hallux Valgus

While TDIU is far less common for Hallux Valgus alone, severe cases that drastically limit employment capabilities (especially, for instance, if you do manual labor activities that require a lot of time on your feet), may still qualify.

This is especially true if you are able to combine other service-connected disabilities to strengthen your need for TDIU benefits.

To learn more about what TDIU can do for you, click below for our guide.

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Click here to learn all you need to know about IU benefits.

Cassandra Crosby, an Accredited Agent and claims advocate for Matthew Hill & Shelly Mark’s teams, reviewed the information provided in this post.

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