Recovery from Surgery or an Immobilizing Disability (Convalescence)
Are you recovering from surgery or a disability related to your military service that’s left you unable to move? You may be able to get a temporary 100% disability rating and disability compensation or benefits if you have this kind of immobilizing disability. Find out if you can get this benefit.
Can I get disability benefits from VA?
You may be able to get disability benefits if you’ve had a surgery or other treatment performed at a VA hospital, approved hospital, or outpatient center for a disability related to your military service (called a service-connected disability).
If you had surgery, you may be able to get disability benefits if:
- The surgery required a recovery time of at least 1 month or reports show that the surgery or treatment was for a service-connected disability, and
- The surgery resulted in severe issues, such as:
- Surgical wounds that haven’t totally healed
- Stumps of recent amputations
- Being unable to move due to being put in splints or casts to help with healing (known as therapeutic immobilizations)
- Being unable to leave your house (known as house confinement)
- Being required to use a wheelchair or crutches
If you didn’t have surgery, you may still be able to get disability benefits if you had 1 or more major joints immobilized by a cast.
What kind of disability benefits can I get?
- Health care
- Added compensation (payments) while you recover
- A temporary 100% disability rating
How do I get these benefits?
You’ll need to apply for benefits. Apply for benefits.
Recovery time from either a surgery or the immobilization of a joint by a cast without surgery requires a temporary 100% disability rating for a service-connected disability. The temporary 100% rating may continue for 1 to 3 months—depending on your unique case. You may be able to get an extension for up to 3 more months if your case is severe.
Example: A Veteran had a left knee injury that resulted in a 30% disability rating. As the knee problem got worse, the Veteran’s VA doctor recommended surgery to stop further damage. Since the success of the surgery wouldn’t be known for 3 months after the Veteran’s 1-week stay in the hospital, we granted the Veteran a temporary 100% disability rating for 3 months.