The VASRD gives every condition that it rates a four-digit code. When a condition is given a Military Disability Rating, the Rating Authorities will assign each condition one of these VASRD Codes. VASRD Codes are used as identification. If you have sleep apnea, then your condition will be assigned the sleep apnea code, etc.
It is not always easy to find the right VASRD Code for some conditions. The VASRD cannot possibly list every single condition, so conditions that aren’t listed have to be assigned the VASRD Code that is the closest to the condition. This is called an analogous rating.
The VASRD Codes chosen by the Rating Authorities can be found on the Physical Evaluation Board results and the VA’s Rating Decision. These VASRD Codes are listed as a way to explain exactly how the Rating Authorities chose to rate a condition. Ultimately, choosing the proper VASRD Code is up to the opinion of the particular Rating Authorities dealing with a particular case. While the VASRD has many guidelines on how to apply the VASRD Codes, there is still quite a bit left of to interpretation.
In most cases, as long as the Rating Authorities can properly justify their use of a particular VASRD Code, the decision will not be changed if an appeal is filed. Because of the amount of interpretation that must be used when deciding on a VASRD Code, however, there are many cases where the VASRD Code can be changed if an appeal is filed. Unfortunately, a lot of it simply depends on the people making the final decision at the time.
If you feel that your condition was incorrectly rated, you can submit an appeal to have the case reviewed. While you may not directly be able to influence the people making the rating decisions, you can improve your chances for having your VASRD Code changed by understanding exactly how the VASRD works, which VASRD Code is more appropriate than the one originally assigned, and why. With this information, you can make sure that all the appropriate documentation needed to prove that a change in VASRD Code is justified is included with the appeal.
All this information can be found on this site. Make sure to carefully read our VASRD, VASRD Principles, Musculoskeletal Principles, and the various applicable condition pages. Understanding the differences between VA Disability and DoD Disability is extremely important to properly utilizing VASRD Codes.