The Arteries and Veins
The Arteries and Veins Overview
The VA awards disability compensation for each Artery and Vein condition that is service-connected. The DoD will also rate service-connected Artery and Vein conditions as long as they also make the service member Unfit for Duty. For Reservists, the condition must have occurred in or resulted from an injury in the Line of Duty to qualify.
The Arteries and Veins are a vast network of blood vessels responsible for carrying blood throughout the entire body. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart, and veins are the blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart.
Although the Artery and Vein network is vast and complex, it’s purpose is fairly simple. Thus, the VASRD offers rating options that mainly focus on the ability of the Arteries and Veins to transport blood effectively.
To honor the Pyramiding Principle, only a single rating can be given for multiple Artery and Vein conditions unless it is possible to clearly and definitively separate the symptoms of multiple conditions. In most cases, the Arteries and Veins will be rated using all of the symptoms combined together to reflect the overall functioning of the blood vessels. The VA will choose the single code they feel best covers the overall Artery and Vein disability. Exceptions, if any, are noted in the specific codes to which they apply (see The Artery and Vein Condition Ratings page).
Artery and Vein Condition Ratings
The VASRD offers ratings for the following conditions of the Arteries and Veins:
- Arteriovenous Fistula
- Blood Flow Restrictions and Blocks
- Severe Allergic Swelling (“anaphylaxis”)
- Varicose veins
- Post-phlebitic syndrome
- Circulatory disturbances
- Overexposure to the Cold
- Cancer of the Blood Vessels
If an Artery and Vein condition is not directly listed, it is rated under the code that best describes it or its dominant symptoms.
The Artery and Vein codes only cover conditions of the arteries and veins themselves. For Coronary Artery Disease and other Heart conditions, see The Heart page. For Blood conditions, see The Blood page.
How will the VA rate my condition of my Arteries and Veins?
The VA uses the rules of the VASRD to rate conditions of the Arteries and Veins based on their ability to carry blood throughout the body. Check out our Arteries and Veins Conditions Ratings page for the exact codes and ratings.
My Artery and Vein condition wasn't diagnosed until after I was discharged. Can it qualify for VA disability?
The VA can only rate conditions that meet some type of service-connection requirement. For conditions diagnosed after service, the condition must either be a secondary condition caused by another service-connected condition, or it must be on the VA's Presumptive List.
Are my conditions eligible for a rating?
Your conditions are eligible to be rated by the VA if they are the result of your military service. You must be able to show proof of service-connection for each condition. For the DoD, they will rate your service-connected conditions as long as they also make you Unfit for Duty.
How do I apply to receive my ratings?
If you are still in the military, then you can request your military physician to refer you to the MEB and start the IDES process. If you are already a veteran, you can submit a VA Disability Claim along with evidence of service-connection and all medical records regarding the conditions on the claim.
If my claim is approved, what benefits will I receive?
If you are rated 20% or less from the DoD, then you will receive a single separation payment. If you are rated 30% or more, you will receive full retirement benefits. From the VA, you will receive a monthly payment as well as full medical care from the VA for the qualifying conditions.
How long does it take to receive my disability benefits?
Brand new claims usually take 3-6 months to process. Once processed, you will start receiving payments in 1-3 months.
How are the rating percentages assigned to my conditions?
The rules of the VA's Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) are used to assign rating percentages to conditions. The VASRD gives rating rules for conditions based on their symptoms, treatment options, and the resulting level of disability they cause.
My Arteries and Veins conditions have worsened. How do I increase my rating percentages?
If your conditions have worsened since you last applied and now qualify for a higher rating, you can submit a new claim, checking the box for an increased evaluation.