Military Disability for the Foot
Military Disability for the Foot Overview
Both the VA and the DoD award Military Disability for the Foot. The VA awards disability compensation for each Foot condition that is service-connected. The DoD will also rate service-connected 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 exact amount of Military Disability for the Foot is determined by the rules of the VASRD which detail how foot conditions can be rated.
The Musculoskeletal System is vast and complex, consisting of muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and bones. Thus, a single injury to the Foot can cause multiple issues with the bones, muscles, etc. When assigned ratings for military disability for the foot, the VASRD deals with this complexity by only allowing a single rating for the overall disability resulting from all of the conditions in the foot.
To honor the Pyramiding Principle, only a single rating can be given for conditions of the Foot with a few exceptions. If a nerve condition also exists in the Foot, then that can be rated separately under one of the Lower Nerve codes since the Nervous System is separate and distinct. Other exceptions, if any, are noted in specific rating codes found on the Foot Condition Ratings page.
Muscles do have their own rating system (see the Foot and Lower Leg Muscles page), but cannot be rated in addition to another musculoskeletal rating for the Foot since they often result in similar symptoms (limitation of motion, etc.).
The Foot Ratings
The VASRD offers ratings for the following musculoskeletal conditions of the Foot:
- Loss of Use/Amputation of the Foot
- Broken Bones in the Foot
- Flat Foot (Pes Planus)
- Claw Foot
- Hammer Toe
- Metatarsalgia (Morton’s Disease)
- Other Musculoskeletal Diseases
- Bunions (Hallux Valgus)
- Hallux Rigidus
- Bilateral Weak Foot
- Amputation of the Ball of the Foot
- Amputation of the Toes
Foot conditions could also be rated on limitation of motion of the Ankle if that is the main symptom that they cause.
If a condition is not directly listed, it is rated under the code that best describes it or its dominant symptom. See the Foot Condition Ratings page.
In addition to or instead of the standard disability compensation for Foot conditions, amputations or loss of use of the Foot may also qualify for Special Monthly Compensation.
How will the VA rate my foot conditions?
The VA uses the rules of the VASRD to rate foot conditions based on pain, limited motion, damage to the bones, diseases like arthritis, etc. Check out our Foot Conditions Ratings page for the exact codes and ratings.
My foot 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. For conditions diagnosed after service, the condition must either be a secondary condition caused by another service-connected condition, or it must be 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?
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.
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 back conditions have worsened. How do I increase my military disability for the foot?
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. The VA will increase your military disability for the foot based on your worsening symptoms.