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Hflyr51
04-06-2018, 01:17 PM
Over the last year as a Private pilot, I initially applied for a class 1 medical to make sure I could obtain one due to planning to go ATP. I'm due to renew my class one before starting training with ATP flight school. However, I have some minor questions that I've been trying to find answers to with no avail as every person's situation is different. I'm very close to leaving the service and I haven't applied for VA benefits yet. However, I have a couple issues I could likely apply for.

I currently have a permanent service profile for lower leg pain attributed to running and high activity. Though, I haven't been specifically diagnosed with compartment syndrome my provider has unofficially said this is the likely issue. That being said, I'm not sure exactly how to go about this for my renewal.

Second, I have been going through treatment of my left shoulder attributed to bursitis, impingement, and pain associated with an overuse injury. Though, I have yet to see orthopedics for any declaration. I would assume if this isn't fixed I could apply for VA benefits.

These conditions didn't exist when I had my last class 1, nor am I worried about them disqualifying me. My main question revolves around if I did get VA disability for these conditions how that would affect my Class 1 medical and FAA exam either way. My last AME suggested avoiding getting any disability unless necessary.

Thanks


Excargodog
04-06-2018, 02:17 PM
Over the last year as a Private pilot, I initially applied for a class 1 medical to make sure I could obtain one due to planning to go ATP. I'm due to renew my class one before starting training with ATP flight school. However, I have some minor questions that I've been trying to find answers to with no avail as every person's situation is different. I'm very close to leaving the service and I haven't applied for VA benefits yet. However, I have a couple issues I could likely apply for.

I currently have a permanent service profile for lower leg pain attributed to running and high activity. Though, I haven't been specifically diagnosed with compartment syndrome my provider has unofficially said this is the likely issue. That being said, I'm not sure exactly how to go about this for my renewal.

Second, I have been going through treatment of my left shoulder attributed to bursitis, impingement, and pain associated with an overuse injury. Though, I have yet to see orthopedics for any declaration. I would assume if this isn't fixed I could apply for VA benefits.

These conditions didn't exist when I had my last class 1, nor am I worried about them disqualifying me. My main question revolves around if I did get VA disability for these conditions how that would affect my Class 1 medical and FAA exam either way. My last AME suggested avoiding getting any disability unless necessary.

Thanks

There are disabilities and there are VA disabilities. Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency so I’ll assume what you are referring to is chronic compartment syndrome - generally due to athletic overuse. That typically resolves with conservative treatment but worst case could go on to require elective surgery.

It is difficult to envision a situation in which an AME would consider this a disqualifying defect. The same could be said for shoulder impingement. During an acute flare, it might be recommended that you abstain from arm use for a few days, but between flares the shoulder ought to be reasonably normal and functional. Unless you take your physical in the midst of a flare, I doubt the AME would know or care.
Unless you were at the point of actually requiring surgery, you arn’t going to get much of anything in the way of VA disability for either of these conditions but I see nothing wrong I claiming the conditions as service connected disabilities as a hedge against the conditions worsening in the future.

BUT IF WHAT YOU ARE REALLY ASKING IS IF YOU SHOULD CLAIM THEM BUT THEN NOT REPORT THEM ON YOUR CLASS I PHYSICAL, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. The FAA won’t give a rat’s rear about the conditions. Lying on the history by denying a condition they can might eventually discover they WILL care about and it is a BAD IDEA. For that matter, if you have a military profile for them, they really ought to be reported to the FAA on your physical regardless of the VA claim status. Why perjure yourself on the history for something so trivial that they might easily find out?

Hflyr51
04-06-2018, 05:43 PM
There are disabilities and there are VA disabilities. Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency so Iíll assume what you are referring to is chronic compartment syndrome - generally due to athletic overuse. That typically resolves with conservative treatment but worst case could go on to require elective surgery.

It is difficult to envision a situation in which an AME would consider this a disqualifying defect. The same could be said for shoulder impingement. During an acute flare, it might be recommended that you abstain from arm use for a few days, but between flares the shoulder ought to be reasonably normal and functional. Unless you take your physical in the midst of a flare, I doubt the AME would know or care.
Unless you were at the point of actually requiring surgery, you aren't going to get much of anything in the way of VA disability for either of these conditions but I see nothing wrong I claiming the conditions as service-connected disabilities as a hedge against the conditions worsening in the future.

Yes, I would say I'm on the lines of chronic compartment syndrome due to the physical nature of the service. It is not severe enough that I felt I needed the insane surgery that could help it!

As far as my shoulder I don't foresee it being detrimental in the case of being a pilot. I've done many, many patterns with no issues. As long as I don't have sudden movement overhead I'm good.


BUT IF WHAT YOU ARE REALLY ASKING IS IF YOU SHOULD CLAIM THEM BUT THEN NOT REPORT THEM ON YOUR CLASS I PHYSICAL, DONíT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. The FAA wonít give a ratís rear about the conditions. Lying on the history by denying a condition they can might eventually discover they WILL care about and it is a BAD IDEA. For that matter, if you have a military profile for them, they really ought to be reported to the FAA on your physical regardless of the VA claim status. Why perjure yourself on the history for something so trivial that they might easily find out?

OH NO! No way was I trying to insinuate that I wouldn't report it. I was more or less wondering how VA disabilities coincide with FAA medicals this is all. I need to get my Class 1 completed, but I haven't filed my VA claims yet. I have no issues reporting any medical history that needs to be pointed out. Mainly just concerned how service-related disabilities and how they can affect Class medicals. Obviously, if I had disqualifying issues then this would be a pointless question. However, with my last AME he suggested avoiding getting disabilities if possible. However, report things either way.


rickair7777
04-07-2018, 07:03 AM
The latest FAA medical form asks about government disability benefits, so you have to disclose it. But as excargodog mentioned, a VA disability rating is not an actual disability per se.

So no harm in checking the disability benefits box. You just have to list the conditions.

Your suitability for an FAA 1C will depend on the actual status of the conditions on the day you take the medical.

I have a very small rating for residual stuff very similar to what you describe, and have had no problems with the FAA. There are plenty of folks with 50-70% ratings flying airliners.

Now if you try to maximize your VA rating by claiming severe impairment, that might create problems with with the FAA.

Hflyr51
04-07-2018, 08:03 AM
The latest FAA medical form asks about government disability benefits, so you have to disclose it. But as excargodog mentioned, a VA disability rating is not an actual disability per se.

So no harm in checking the disability benefits box. You just have to list the conditions.

Your suitability for an FAA 1C will depend on the actual status of the conditions on the day you take the medical.

I have a very small rating for residual stuff very similar to what you describe, and have had no problems with the FAA. There are plenty of folks with 50-70% ratings flying airliners.

Now if you try to maximize your VA rating by claiming severe impairment, that might create problems with with the FAA.

Very good advice! I'm not expecting nor do I feel I would have or want a severe impairment. I figure if I can get some VA disability due to service related issues then why not. Every little bit counts.

I posted here to see what other experience other veterans were having in regards to VA disabilities.