Military Disability for Covid-19
Military disability for Covid-19 residuals can be granted if the Covid-19 infection meets the requirements for service-connection.
Covid-19 is an acute infection of the respiratory system that can lead to long-lasting side effects, resulting in significant disability in some cases. These chronic side effects can qualify for DoD Disability and VA Disability if they meet the criteria below.
DoD Disability for Covid-19
In order for Covid-19 to be considered service-connected for Reservists, it must have been contracted in the Line of Duty in order to qualify. “Line of Duty” means while on active duty or during active duty training.
VA Disability for Covid-19
Veterans can qualify for VA Disability for Covid-19 residuals if the following requirements for service-connection are met.
Between 1 March, 2020 and 5 January, 2024, the veteran served on active duty for more than 48 consecutive hours as
- an active-duty service member
- a Reservist on active duty
- a National Guard member activated or on training duty
- a full-time National Guard member during the declared national emergency
and was diagnosed with Covid-19 during or within 14 days of this period of service. Covid-19 cases diagnosed after the 14-day period will be judged on a case-by-case basis by the VA and will only be granted if there is sufficient evidence to support the delayed diagnosis.
Rating Covid-19 Residuals
The Covid-19 infection itself is not ratable since it is a relatively short-term, acute disease. However, any chronic symptoms (lung damage, loss of taste or smell, headaches, etc.) that are caused by the infection can be rated under its appropriate code.
In order to qualify, the symptoms must be clearly proven to have been the result of the Covid-19 infection and not some other cause. Common long-term symptoms can be found on the CDC’s website. If a symptom is not one commonly found in competent medical evidence, then a Nexus Letter from your physician connecting the symptom to the Covid-19 infection will be needed.
Can I receive VA Disability for Covid-19?
Yes, if you served on active duty for more than 48 hours and contracted Covid-19 within 14 days of service, you can qualify for VA Disability for any long-term affects of the condition.
Can I receive DoD Disability for Covid-19?
Yes, if you were diagnosed with Covid-19 while on Active Duty and have remaining symptoms that make you Unfit for Duty, you can qualify for DoD Disability.
How is Covid-19 rated?
Covid-19 itself is not a ratable condition since it usually resolves in a fairly short period. However, any long-term symptoms that remain after the infection can be independently rated.
What benefits will I receive from the DoD for my Covid-19 infection?
If your Covid-19 symptoms result in a rating of 20% or less, then you will receive a one-time lump-sum payment at separation. If they are rated 30% or more, then you will be medically retired and qualify for full retirement benefits, including full health care and a monthly payment.
What benefits will I receive from the VA for my Covid-19 infection?
If your Covid-19 is considered service-connected, then you will qualify for full medical care from the VA and a monthly payment depending on your total combined rating.
How much money will I receive monthly from the VA?
The exact amount you will receive monthly depends on what rating your conditions are given, whether you have dependents, and whether you qualify for additional Special Monthly Compensation. See our VA Rating Chart and Special Monthly Compensation page for details on the current rates.
What do I do if I qualify but my claim was denied?
You can appeal to have your claim reconsidered. Make sure that the VA has sufficient evidence to refute their reason for denial.
What if my Covid-19 isn't diagnosed until more than 14 days after active duty?
The VA can review these cases and may decide in your favor if there is enough evidence to support that the infection began during the active duty period.