Infectious Diseases and Immune Disorders
Infectious Diseases and Immune Disorders Overview
The VA awards disability compensation for each Infectious Disease and Immune Disorder that is service-connected. The DoD will also rate service-connected Infectious Diseases and Immune Disorders 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.
Infectious Diseases and Immune Disorders can display a wide-range of symptoms throughout the body. Infectious Diseases can spread through various means, and include bacterial, parasitic, and viral infections. Immune Disorders are conditions that attack the immune system and make the body more susceptible to infection.
The VASRD offers rating options for Infectious Diseases and Immune Disorders based on the condition’s main symptoms.
To honor the Pyramiding Principle, only a single rating can be given for multiple Infectious Diseases and Immune Disorders unless it is possible to distinctly separate the symptoms. In cases were multiple Infectious Diseases and Immune Disorders cause separate symptoms, then those conditions can be rated separately. When the symptoms cannot be separated, the VA will rate multiple Infectious Diseases and Immune Disorders using all of the symptoms combined together, and choose the single code they feel best defines the dominant disability. (see The Infectious Disease and Immune Disorder Ratings page for details).
Infectious Disease and Immune Disorder Ratings
The VASRD offers ratings for the following Infectious Diseases and Immune Disorders:
- Bacterial Infectious Diseases
- Parasitic Infectious Diseases
- Viral Infectious Diseases
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
If an Infectious Disease or Immune Disorder is not directly listed, it is rated under the code that best describes it or its dominant symptoms. See The Infectious Disease and Immune Disorder Ratings page for a complete list of codes.
How will the VA rate my Immune Disorder?
The VA rates Immune Disorders based on the symptoms that they cause and the resulting overall disability.
How will the VA rate my Infectious Disease?
The VA rates all active infectious diseases at 100%. Once the disease is inactive, it is rated based on any chronic side effects.
My infectious disease wasn't diagnosed until after I was discharged. Can it qualify for VA disability?
Since active infections are acute conditions, they would have to be diagnosed close to the discharge date in order for them to be related to your military service. It has to be clear that the incubation period most likely began while on active 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.
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.
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 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.