VA Disability Codes
VA Disability Codes (a.k.a. VASRD Codes) are used to identify conditions and instruct how they should be rated. The VASRD has a four-digit code for every condition that it rates. Rating Authorities assign each condition one of these VA Disability Codes and then give the condition a VA Disability Rating based on the code’s rating requirements.
It is not always easy to find the right VA Disability Code for some conditions. The VASRD cannot possibly list every single condition, so conditions that aren’t listed have to be assigned the VA Disability Code that is the closest to the condition. This is called an analogous rating.
The VA Disability Codes chosen by the Rating Authorities can be found on the VA’s Rating Decision. These VA Disability Codes are listed as a way to explain exactly how the Rating Authorities chose to rate a condition. Ultimately, choosing the proper VA Disability Code is up to the opinion of the particular Rating Authorities dealing with a particular case. While the VASRD has many guidelines on how to apply the VA Disability Codes, there is still quite a bit left up to interpretation.
In most cases, as long as the Rating Authorities can properly justify their use of a particular VA Disability Code, the decision will not be changed if an appeal is filed. Because of the amount of interpretation that must be used when deciding on a VA Disability Code, however, there are many cases where the VA Disability Code can be changed if an appeal is filed. Unfortunately, a lot of it simply depends on the people making the final decision at the time.
If you feel that your condition was incorrectly rated, you can submit an appeal to have the case reviewed. While you may not directly be able to influence the people making the rating decisions, you can improve your chances for having your VA Disability Code changed by understanding exactly how the VASRD works, which VA Disability Code is more appropriate than the one originally assigned, and why. With this information, you can make sure that all the appropriate documentation needed to prove that a change in VA Disability Code is justified is included with the appeal.
All this information can be found on this site. Make sure to carefully read our VASRD, VASRD Principles, Musculoskeletal Principles, and the various applicable condition pages to understand how to properly use VA Disability Codes.
VA Disability Codes FAQs
What are VA Disability Codes?
VA Disability Codes are 4-digit codes listed in the Veteran Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) used to identify and rate medical conditions for military disability.
What if my code has 8 digits?
If you have an 8-digit hyphenated code, like 8099-8001, then you have an analogous code. Analogous codes are used for conditions that do not have their own codes in the VASRD. These conditions are rated analogously to the closest conditions that are in the VASRD. The first four digits identify it as analogous, and the last four are the code it is rated under.
How does the VASRD rate conditions?
The rating requirements were created with the intent of compensating veterans for any lack of income resulting from their condition. Each condition has its own set of requirements that assigns ratings based on that condition's unique symptoms, physical limitations, treatments, etc.
Who created the VASRD?
It was created by a Congress-appointed committee of doctors, lawyers, and Veteran Affairs officers.
Who uses VA Disability codes?
Originally, VA Disability codes were only used by the VA, and each branch of the military had their own system in place for rating conditions. This ultimately created a large disparity between compensation across all the branches, so Congress ruled in 2008 that all branches were to use the Veteran Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities to rate conditions. It is now the only regulation used to rate conditions for military disability.
Who decides my VA Disability code?
The VA rating authority reviewing your claim will decide which VA Disability codes they feel your conditions should have.
Do VA Disability Codes ever change?
Yes, Congress occasionally will put together a committee to review and update the ratings based on progressed medical knowledge and practices. During these updates, the VA could decide to change, delete, or add VA Disability Codes. A complete update of the VASRD started in 2014 and has yet to be completed.
What if I don't agree with the code my condition was given?
If an incorrect code was given or you have strong evidence that you should be rated under a different code, you can submit an appeal.