The Facial Muscles
The VA awards disability compensation for injuries to the Facial Muscles that are service-connected. The DoD will also rate service-connected muscle injuries as long as they also make the service member Unfit for Duty. For Reservists, the injury must have occurred in the Line of Duty to qualify.
The Facial Muscles are rated under code 5325.
Unlike other muscle conditions, the Facial Muscles are NOT rated on the Slight to Severe Scale, but instead either as cranial nerve damage or as a disfiguring scar, code 7800, whichever best describes the symptoms.
See the Combined Ratings for Muscle Injuries principle for special circumstances that limit when muscle conditions can be rated, and check out The Ratings of the Facial Muscles page for the exact rating details.
Facial Muscles FAQs
How will the VA rate my Facial Muscles condition?
The VA uses the rules of the VASRD to rate conditions of the facial muscles based on the level of disability resulting from functional limitations or disfigurement. Check out our The Ratings of the Facial Muscles page for the exact codes and ratings.
My muscle 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. The most common way for muscle conditions diagnosed after service to be service-connected is when they are secondary to another service-connected condition (caused by another condition that already qualifies as service-connected). In general, the only ways to prove service-connection after service is for the condition to either be a secondary condition or 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 for my facial muscles?
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. The exact amount of monthly benefits depends on your Total Combined Rating.
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 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.