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The Link Between Military Service and Flat Feet

Flat feet, a condition characterized by flattened arches, is common among veterans. The condition can lead to discomfort and pain, affecting a veteran’s quality of life. The physical demands and required uniform of military service often exacerbate or contribute to the development of flat feet. Flattened arches are a significant health issue among veterans. 

The prevalence of flat feet in the military  

Military service often involves rigorous physical activity, prolonged standing, and the need to carry heavy loads while wearing uncomfortable boots—any of which can contribute to the development or worsening of flat feet. Also known as pes planus, flat feet is a common disability for which you can seek military benefits. 

VA disability for flat feet  

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes flat feet as a disability that can be service-connected. Veterans suffering from flat feet arising from military service, secondary to another military-related condition, or aggravated during service can seek compensation through VA disability claims.  

The process requires establishing a connection between military service and a current pes planus diagnosis, as well as a medical evaluation to determine the severity of the condition. 

Understanding the VA disability rating for flat feet  

The VA disability rating for flat feet varies based on whether a veteran has pes planus in one or both feet, the condition’s severity, and its impact on a veteran’s life.  

The rating for flat feet, as shown below, ranges from zero to 50 percent, with intermediate ratings at 10, 20, and 30 percent. These ratings correspond to the amount of compensation a veteran is entitled to receive each month. The VA assesses factors such as pain, the impact of shoe or arch support, the efficiency of the feet under strain, and how these symptoms affect a veteran’s daily activities. 

The Rating Schedule for Flat Feet (Diagnostic Code 5276) is: 

Pronounced: marked pronation, extreme tenderness of plantar surfaces of the feet, marked inward displacement and severe spasm of the tendo achillis on manipulation, not improved by orthopedic shoes or appliances 

Bilateral  – 50 percent 

Unilateral30 percent 

Severe: objective evidence of marked deformity (pronation, abduction, etc.), pain on manipulation and use accentuated, indication of swelling on use, characteristic callosities: 

Bilateral30 percent 

Unilateral20 percent 

Moderate: weight-bearing line over or medial to great toe, inward bowing of the Achilles tendon, pain on manipulation and use of the feet, bilateral or unilateral 10 percent 

Mild; symptoms relieved by built-up shoe or arch support zero  

Navigating the VA claim process for flat feet  

Filing a VA disability claim for flat feet entails submitting appropriate medical evidence and service records. Veterans should provide documentation of the severity of their flat feet; the nature of related medical treatments, and evidence of how their condition is linked to their service. Veterans may find assistance from VA-accredited representatives in navigating this process. 

Questions on military benefits for flat feet? 

Flat feet is a significant concern for many veterans. Understanding the VA’s approach to disability claims for flat feet and the process for obtaining a fair disability rating is crucial for veterans seeking compensation.  

As awareness of this issue grows, more veterans can access the support and resources they need to manage their condition effectively. Let the veterans advocates at Vets National help you navigate your claims. Call us today, at 877-777-4021, or contact us online 

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