The Heart Overview
The VA awards disability compensation for each Heart condition that is service-connected. The DoD will also rate service-connected Heart conditions as long as they also make the service member Unfit for Duty. For Reservists, the Heart condition must have occurred in or resulted from an injury in the Line of Duty to qualify.
The Heart is a vital organ responsible for pumping blood throughout the entire body. Thus, Heart conditions can have serious and far-reaching effects. The Heart itself is a complex organ consisting of chambers, valves, arteries, and veins, all controlled by electric signals that allows the Heart to effectively pump blood.
Because of the complexity of the Heart, the VASRD offers rating options that mainly focus on the Heart’s ability to pump blood, although other options, like the need for continuous medication or the need for a pacemaker, are also considered.
To honor the Pyramiding Principle, only a single rating can be given for multiple Heart conditions since it is basically impossible to separate the symptoms of multiple conditions. In situations where multiple conditions are present, the Heart will be rated using all of the symptoms combined together to reflect the overall functioning of the Heart. The VA will choose the code they feel best covers the overall Heart disability (see The Heart Ratings page).
Heart Condition Ratings
The VASRD offers ratings for the following conditions of the Heart:
- Valvular heart disease
- Myocardial infarction (“heart attack”)
- Heart surgeries (bypass, transplants, valve replacements, pacemakers, etc.)
- Abnormal heart rhythms (sustained ventricular arrhythmias, supraventricular arrhythmias, etc. )
- Pericardial adhesions
- Heart diseases
- Atrioventricular block
If a Heart condition is not directly listed on the Heart Ratings page, it is rated under the code that best describes it or its dominant symptoms.