Conditions That Are Not Ratable


Personality Disorders
Learning, Developmental, or Behavioral Disorders
Congenital or Genetic Conditions
Conditions caused by Substance Use or Impulse Control
Conditions caused by Misconduct
Elective Treatments
DoD-only Conditions

There are some conditions that do not qualify for Military 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 cannot be rated in any way, except in the following circumstances:

  • Secondary Conditions. If the condition is the direct result of another service-connected condition, it is also considered service-connected and can be rated. For example, if a veteran has service-connected PTSD which leads them to abuse alcohol, then alcohol use disorder can be service-connected as long as there is clear proof that it is caused by the PTSD.
  • Service-Aggravated Conditions. If the condition is significantly worsened by service or another service-connected condition, then it can be rated as service-aggravated. For example, if a genetic condition develops symptoms because of military factors at age 25 that do not usually develop until age 35 in most cases, then the condition would be considered service-aggravated.
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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 themselves 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, Developmental, or Behavioral Disorders

  • Intellectual disabilities, like mental retardation
  • Learning disabilities, including dyslexia
  • Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders (ADD, ADHD)
  • Behavioral disorders, like oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)*

*Behavioral disorders can qualify for disability benefits if they are the result of service-connected traumatic stress (a traumatic event, military sexual trauma, etc.).

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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
  • Being too tall or short ( gigantism, dwarfism)
  • Vision defects, like refractive error (must occur before joining the military to not be ratable)
  • Inherited or genetic diseases

All of these conditions are considered EPTS.  

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.

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 by the DoD (not the VA). See the full discussion on our Service-Connection page.

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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 (drugs, alcohol, or any other addictive substance).
  • 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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Conditions caused by Misconduct

If a condition is the result of intentional misconduct, then it does not qualify for disability. “Misconduct” for disability purposes follows the full definition of the term for military service and includes all conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline. This also includes conditions that occurred during unauthorized absence or excess leave. 

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Elective Treatments

If a condition is the result of an elective treatment, then it does not qualify for disability. Elective treatments are not medically necessary to preserve your health. This includes things like cosmetic surgery (unless required to treat disabilities like cancer, burn scars, etc.), drugs for enhancement (like steroids), etc. 

Elective treatments also include any treatments undergone outside of the jurisdiction of the DoD or VA without an appropriate referral. For example, if your DoD or VA physician recommends a course of treatment for a service-connected condition, but instead you choose to receive different unauthorized treatment from a civilian physician without referral from within the DoD or VA, then that would be considered elective treatment. The treatment and any resulting side effects would not qualify for disability benefits even if the condition would have qualified prior to the elective treatment.

The only time an elective treatment can qualify for benefits is if it is the result of significant impaired judgement caused by another service-connected medical condition. 

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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)
  • Pseudofolliculitis 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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