Functional limitation or loss for VA purposes is simply what you can and cannot do as a result of your injuries. You should be as specific as possible when answering questions about your VA functional loss or limitation in your C&P exam or personal statement with examples such as cannot pick up my child; cannot ride a bike; cannot lift, squat, or drive a car. The following are common examples of functional limitations for joint conditions:
Sitting Standing Bending Twisting Lifting Climbing Carrying Limited stamina Pain Activities in daily living (severe cases) Additional limitations due to side effects of medications Unable to drive a vehicle for long periods
Be sure to list these and explain them on your VA documents and statements such as the QTC questionnaires or DBQs in order to get higher ratings. The more explanation, the better.
Submit A Lay Statement Describing Functional Loss
ALWAYS submit a statement describing the limiting effects of your daily life with your conditions with you claim(s). Describe how the disability impacts all normal working movements. How does the pain, weakness, etc. limit your ability to move and function with normal strength, speed, coordination, and endurance? For example, if your knee weakness prevents motion after walking several blocks, you should submit a statement to that effect. Similarly, if you cannot bend and must use a hangar to lift objects from the floor, that should be stated. The VA examiner would then be required to review the statement and address whether there is additional limitation of motion and at what point functional loss affects motion. This can be all the difference in the eventual rating you get.