The Digestive System
The Digestive System Overview
The VA awards disability compensation for each Digestive System condition that is service-connected. The DoD will also rate service-connected Digestive 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 Digestive System is a network of organs that turn food into nutrients (absorbed into the body) or waste (ejected as feces). The Digestive System is made up of the lips, mouth, tongue, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, small intestine, large intestine/colon, rectum, and anus.
Since the Digestive System is fairly extensive, the VASRD offers rating options that cover everything from an injury to the lips to the inability to pass waste through the large intestine.
To honor the Pyramiding Principle, only a single rating can be given for multiple Digestive System conditions unless they cause distinctly separate symptoms. In cases where multiple Digestive System conditions cause similar symptoms, the conditions will be rated once using all of the symptoms combined together, and the VA will choose the single code they feel best covers the overall Digestive System disability (see The Digestive System Ratings page for further details).
Digestive System Condition Ratings
The VASRD offers ratings for the following conditions of the Digestive System:
- Conditions of the Mouth and Tongue (not including the teeth, jaws, and palates)
- Conditions of the Esophagus
- Conditions of the Stomach
- Conditions of the Pancreas
- Conditions of the Gallbladder
- Conditions of the Liver (including Hepatitis)
- Conditions of the Intestines (Colon)
- Conditions of the Rectum and Anus
- Conditions of the Abdomen and Peritoneum
- Cancer and Tumors of the Digestive System
If a Digestive System condition is not directly listed, it is rated under the code that best describes it or its dominant symptoms.
Ratings for conditions of the Mouth and Teeth not included in the Digestive System can be found on the Mouth and Teeth page.
In addition to or instead of the standard disability compensation for Digestive System conditions, the complete inability to speak may also qualify for Special Monthly Compensation.