I’m currently receiving 30% service connected disability for IHD. I recently suffered a stroke affecting my left side. IHD was presumptive due to agent orange exposure. Can I file a secondary medical condition for the stroke against my rating for IHD?


Jim's Reply:

No. A stroke is a completely different event than IHD. A stroke often or even usually originates in the carotid artery in your neck. That is far separated from the blood vessels involved in IHD.

Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) is the exact same disease as Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) and it makes no sense at all that the ratings schedule includes one disease but not the other but that's what we're dealing with. Both IHD and CAD are diseases where blood vessels clog up and don't deliver an appropriate amount of oxygenated blood to the target organ. In one case, you have a stroke, in the other, you have a heart attack.

In any case, years ago VA made the decision that one event is service connected and the other not. I wish I had better news...good luck sir.