The Genitourinary System
The Genitourinary System Overview
The VA awards disability compensation for each Genitourinary System condition that is service-connected. The DoD will also rate service-connected Genitourinary System 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 Genitourinary System is in charge of getting rid of unwanted liquid waste in the body.
The Genitourinary System is comprised of two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder, a urethra, and any genitals directly relating to urination (although the male testes are also included in the Genitourinary System codes). The kidneys filter the blood and turn the waste into urine. The ureters then take the urine to the bladder where it is stored before traveling through the urethra to the genitals leading to the outside of the body.
The process of the Genitourinary System is broken down into two parts: “renal” (the functioning of the kidneys, and “urinary” (the functioning of the ureters, bladder, and urethra).
To honor the Pyramiding Principle, only a single rating can be given for multiple Genitourinary System conditions that cause the same symptoms. If two Genitourinary System condition exists, each clearly affected a separate function (i.e. one renal and one urinary), then they can be rated separately. However, if a single condition causes both renal and urinary symptoms, both cannot be rated. Only the rating system that results in the higher rating can be given. In most cases, multiple Genitourinary System conditions will be rated using all of the symptoms combined together, and the VA will choose the single code they feel best covers the overall Genitourinary System disability (see The Genitourinary System Ratings page for further details).
Genitourinary System Condition Ratings
The VASRD offers two main rating options for Genitourinary System conditions: the Urinary Rating System and the Renal Rating System. Additional ratings are given for conditions that do not strictly cause urinary and renal symptoms.
The VASRD offers ratings for the following conditions of the Genitourinary System:
- Conditions of the Bladder
- Conditions of the Urethra
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Conditions of the Epididymis and Prostate Glands
- Conditions of the Kidney
- Genitourinary System Passage Restrictions (hydronephrosis, stones, strictures, etc.)
- Conditions of the Penis and Testes
- Tuberculosis of the Genitourinary System
- Cancer and Tumors of the Genitourinary System
If a condition is not directly listed, it is rated under the Genitourinary code that best describes it or its dominant symptoms.
In addition to or instead of the standard disability compensation for Genitourinary System conditions, complete loss of use of the reproductive organs may also qualify for Special Monthly Compensation.
How will the VA rate my Genitourinary System condition?
The VA uses the rules of the VASRD to rate conditions of the genitourinary system based on the level of disability they cause. Check out our Genitourinary System Ratings page for the exact codes and ratings.
My 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 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.
I have both a renal condition and a urinary condition. Can I get a rating for both?
Yes. Renal conditions and urinary conditions cause different, distinct symptoms, so it is not considered Pyramiding to rate both. In the rare instance that a renal condition and urinary condition cause an overlapping symptom, then that symptom can only be used to rate one of the conditions, but both can still be rated separately.
How do I apply to receive a rating for my condition?
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.