Knee pain can significantly impact your quality of life. If your knee pain is connected to your military service, you are entitled to receive VA disability benefits. However, it is important to understand how the VA rates different types of knee problems.
Common Knee Problems Eligible for VA Disability Benefits
The VA has several possible ratings for knee pain. Some of the common conditions that are eligible for VA disability benefits include:
Limitation of Flexion of the Knee (Diagnostic Code 5260)
This refers to the range of motion a person has when their knee is moving towards the body. This is the most common knee problem eligible for VA disability benefits, with ratings that typically range from 10% to 30%. The VA’s painful motion rule entitles a veteran to a 10% rating even if they don’t meet the specific diagnostic criteria as long as there is proof that they are experiencing painful motion when the knee is moved.
Limitation of Extension of the Knee (Diagnostic Code 5261)
This code is used to describe conditions where the knee can’t be fully straightened. Possible ratings are 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50%.
Instability of the Knee (Diagnostic Code 5257)
If the knee dislocates regularly or has too much side-to-side motion, this is the code that the VA will use. Disability ratings are generally 10%, 20%, or 30%.
Ankylosis of the Knee (Diagnostic Code 5256)
This type of knee problem is characterized by abnormal stiffening and immobility. Possible ratings are 30%, 40%, 50%, or 60%.
Total Knee Replacements (Diagnostic Code 5055)
This code is used when the entire joint has been replaced by a prosthetic. The veteran will receive a 100% rating for one year following surgery. The rating after that will be based on the results of a C&P exam but will be a minimum of 30%. (Partial knee replacements do not have their own diagnostic code and are rated under the specific symptoms a veteran is experiencing.)
It is possible for a veteran to have multiple ratings related to knee problems. However, the ratings must refer to different movements. This means, a veteran could have ratings for limitations of flexion and extension. If a condition affects both knees, the vete
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