Typically, scars that are disfiguring or include visible or palpable tissue loss, especially those that involve the face, head or neck are claimed straight away and rated under diagnostic codes 7800-7805. The VA rating percentage and disability compensation rate for such scars depend on multiple factors such as number of scars, size, location, degree of disfigurement, etc.
However all too often, Veteran’s don’t know to claim and the VA doesn’t offer to rate the scars connected to service connected disabilities. Typically scars that are linier, superficial (no underlying soft tissue damage), stable, well healed and non-painful are rated 0%. However, if the scar is deep with underlying soft tissue damage, unstable (frequent loss of covering of skin over the scar), or PAINFUL, then it can be rated at 10% disabling or more.
For example, if a Veteran has surgery on a service connected hernia condition, after the convalescence period, the Veteran will receive compensation for the residuals of that condition. However, the scar resulting from the surgery becomes a secondary condition and should be claimed as well. In this example, often times the scar is PAINFUL due to its location and the irritation resulting from the waist line, zipper, buttons or snaps of the clothing that is worn. By claiming this PAINFUL scar secondary to the service connected hernia condition, the Veteran may well receive a 10% disability rating. NOTE: To better support a painful scar claim, it is advisable to discuss this condition with your doctor so that it is noted in your medical treatment records.
If you would like to research the rating criteria for scars, you can find it under 38 CFR §4.118—Schedule of ratings–skin.
Have any of you had success claiming painful scars?