What Is A Hernia?


What is a Hernia?

A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. The majority of hernias occur in the chest and hips, but they can also occur in the upper thigh and groin area. One of the most common types of hernia is an inguinal hernia, which occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. Symptoms of a hernia include:

  • A bulge or lump in the affected area that is more noticeable when upright
  • A burning or aching sensation at the bulge
  • Pain or discomfort when bending over, coughing, or lifting
  • A heavy or dragging sensation
  • Weakness or pressure
  • Occasionally, swelling around the bulge

Hernias are usually caused by a combination of muscle weakness and strain. Common causes of muscle weakness or strain that can lead to a hernia include:

  • Congenital conditions
  • Aging
  • Damage from an injury or surgery
  • Chronic coughing
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
  • Strenuous exercise or lifting heavy weight
  • Pregnancy
  • Constipation
  • Being overweight

How to Get VA Disability Rating?

To receive VA disability compensation for a hernia, veterans must establish service connection. The most common type of service connection is direct service connection. To establish a service connection for a hernia veterans must demonstrate: (1) a current diagnosis of a hernia; (2) an in-service event, injury, or illness; and (3) a medical link between the current diagnosis and in-service event.

If a veteran’s hernia was caused or aggravated by another service-connected condition, they may be eligible for secondary service connection for their hernia. Veterans would have to demonstrate that their primary service-connected condition is medically linked to their hernia.

How is a Hernia Rated?

The most common type of hernias involve the abdominal cavity and are rated under codes according to the Digestive System rating schedule. These types of hernias include: inguinal, femoral, ventral, and hiatal.

Inguinal hernias are rated as follows:

Rating Symptoms
60% Large, postoperative, recurrent, not well supported under ordinary conditions and not readily reducible, when considered inoperable
30% Small, postoperative recurrent, or un-operated irremediable, not well supported by a supportive undergarment, or not readily reducible
10% Postoperative recurrent, readily reducible and well support by a supportive undergarment or belt
0% Not operated, but remediable; or small, reducible, or without true hernia protrusion

All other types of hernias are rated under the code for Muscle Injuries. Hernias that have not or cannot be repaired are rated at 10%. A 0% rating is given for repaired and healed hernias but if there are lasting symptoms caused by the hernia they are rated separately.

Veterans Help Group have been supporting veterans in getting the benefits they deserve since 1995. If you or a loved one served, and suffer from a hernia, we are here to help. Call Veterans Help Group at 855-855-8992 or complete our free veterans benefits case evaluation form.


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