Conditions That Are Not Ratable

Topics:

Personality Disorders
Learning or Developmental Disorders
Conditions caused by Substance Use or Impulse Control
Congenital or Genetic Conditions
DoD-only Conditions

There are some conditions that do not qualify for either VA Disability or DoD Disability. This could be because they are not considered service-connected, they existed prior to service (EPTS), they do not significantly limit the overall functioning of the service member or make them Unfit for Duty, they are caused by natural causes, or they are caused by a person’s own bad decisions.

These conditions and any symptoms they cause do not qualify for Military Disability Benefits and so cannot be given Military Disability Ratings. Not all conditions that are not ratable are on this page. We discuss only the most commonly seen conditions here. 

These conditions cannot be rated in any way, in any circumstances, unless there is an exception clearly stated in the discussion of that condition below. This is the case even if the condition is caused by another condition that is ratable.

For example, let’s say a service member has schizophrenia that causes him to become a kleptomaniac. While being a kleptomaniac is definitely a bad thing and could easily cause him to be fired from a job, it is not ratable. Period. The schizophrenia is ratable, but when analyzing the condition for a rating, the fact the he lost his job because of stealing things cannot affect the rating. The schizophrenia can only be rated based on how severe it would be without the kleptomania. 

Similarly, any symptom or circumstance that is directly caused by one of these conditions cannot be taken into account when rating another ratable condition, even though it may make the service member Unfit for Duty.  

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Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are behaviors that seriously clash with social expectations, like not following rules, always laughing too loud, always invading people’s physical space—anything that makes the person significantly stand out. They are a form of Mental Disorder.

Personality disorders are divided into 3 main groups: 

Odd or Eccentric Disorders 

Paranoid Personality Disorder is a condition where the individual is always irrationally suspicious of others.
Schizoid Personality Disorder is a condition where the individual is not interested in social interaction or relationships.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder is a condition where the individual behaves or thinks in odd ways, like mumbling or saying completely unrelated things in a conversation. 

Dramatic, Emotional or Erratic Disorders 

Antisocial Personality Disorder is a condition where the individual doesn’t care about the basic rights of others. People with this condition are often doing illegal or violating things.
Borderline Personality Disorder is a condition where the individual sees everything as distinctly right or wrong (no gray area). These people will often have trouble with relationships and with their own self-esteem and self-identity.
Histrionic Personality Disorder is a condition where the individual is constantly seeking attention. People with this condition will do radical and often inappropriate things to get attention.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a condition where the individual is excessively self-involved. These individuals care little for others, are often deeply involved in grand dreams and fantasies, and feel like others should always admire them. 

Anxious or Fearful Disorders 

Avoidant Personality Disorder is a condition where the individual is very shy, feels inadequate, and is very sensitive to rejection. People with this condition suffer from excessively low self-esteem and never feel that they are good enough. They often avoid any kind of social interaction.
Dependent Personality Disorder is a condition where the individual depends too much on others to meet their emotional and physical needs. This dependency can be fixed on one particular person or multiple people. A person with this condition would not be able to make any decisions for himself or perform various tasks.
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is a condition where the individual is very strict about following every rule and being extremely orderly. A person with OCPD tends to be a perfectionist. They may withdraw emotionally when they are not able to control a situation. This can interfere with their ability to solve problems and form close relationships.    

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Learning or Developmental Disabilities

– Intellectual disabilities, like mental retardation
– Learning disabilities, including dyslexia
– Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders (ADD, ADHD)    

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Conditions caused by Substance Use or Impulse Control

– Impulse control disorder (ICD) is defined by the inability to resist any urge or impulse that could cause harm to yourself and/or others.  
– Substance abuse. No drug, alcohol or any other addictive substance abuse can be rated at all.
– All conditions caused by the use of tobacco products, including cancers.
– All other abuse disorders or addictions (excluding anorexia or bulimia).
– Obesity    

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Congenital or Genetic Conditions

Congenital conditions are conditions that occur at birth or within the first month after birth. Hereditary and genetic conditions are natural physical developments based on genetics that would occur no matter the circumstances of a person’s life.

Some examples include:

– Developmental defects
– Physical birth defects (missing, deformed, or extra body parts/organs)
– Being too tall or short ( gigantism, dwarfism)
– Vision defects (must occur before joining the military to not be ratable), like refractive error
– Genetic or inherited diseases

Congenital, hereditary, and genetic conditions are not ratable, merely because they cannot be caused by military service. They can, however, be worsened by military service. If a hereditary or genetic condition is worsened by military service (“service-aggravated”), it can be rated. See our discussion on service-aggravated conditions for more information.

Some genetic conditions will not develop until later in life. If a genetic condition develops while a service member is in the military, it is automatically assumed service-aggravated, and thus ratable, unless it can be definitely proven that it would have developed at the exact same time and to the exact same degree outside of the military.

All of these conditions are considered EPTS.  

EXCEPTION: If the service member is on active duty for 8 years or more, all congenital, hereditary, genetic and EPTS conditions are service-connected and thus ratable. See the full discussion on our Service-Connected page.

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DoD-only Conditions

The following conditions are only considered not ratable by the DoD. This does not mean that the VA will always rate them—just that the VA may consider them ratable in special circumstances.

– Sleepwalking
– Stammering, stuttering and other minor speech problems
– Gender and identity disorders
– Sexual dysfunctions and paraphilias. Erectile dysfunction (code 7522) is ratable by the DoD in certain cases
– Sexually transmitted diseases and other conditions caused by unsanitary habits
– Allergies to stinging insects and to uniform clothing
Factitious disorders
Adjustment disorders (except for a clearly diagnosed Chronic Adjustment Disorder)
Psuedofolliculitis barbae of the face and neck
– Certain anemias that are genetic, like Von Willebrand’s Disease and G6PD Deficiency
– The inability to have required immunizations because of other medical conditions

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