What conditions can or cannot be rated for military disability is decided by the laws of the VASRD. Both the VA and the DoD use the VASRD, but each organization also has additional laws that apply just to them. It can be a bit confusing and frustrating to find out that a condition can be rated by the VA, but not the DoD, or vice-versa. So, I’ll try to help clarify this a bit. This week, I’ll address what conditions can be rated for DoD Disability, and next week, I’ll address what conditions can be rated for VA Disability.
The DoD will only give military disability for conditions that make a service member Unfit for Duty, i.e. unable to perform his job or be deployed. For example, if a service member has a skin allergy, it normally would not be ratable. If, however, that skin allergy makes it impossible for him to wear his helmet, then it would be ratable since he can’t be deployed if he can’t wear a helmet.
A condition must also be service-connected to qualify for DoD disability. To be service-connected, a condition must be the direct result of your military duties (like being injured in combat, being exposed to chemicals, etc.) or it must have first occurred while you were in the military (broke your ankle while playing basketball off-duty, diagnosed with a heart condition, etc.). Anything that occurred or was diagnosed before you entered the military, like genetic conditions, cannot be rated since the military did not cause those conditions. More info on preexisting conditions and the exceptions to the rule can be found on our EPTS (Existed Prior to Service) page.
For the DoD to rate your condition, you MUST also have gone to see a doctor while you were in the military. If you never went to see a physician about the condition, the DoD will not rate it since there is no solid proof that it even happened while in the military. Official paper evidence must be available for the Rating Authorities to even consider a condition for rating.
The DoD will also NOT rate the following:
- Personality Disorders
- Minor Speech Problems
- Substance Abuse
- Gender Disorders
- Learning Disorders
- Genetic Conditions
- Sexual Dysfunctions
See our Conditions That Are Not Ratable page for more detailed information on all the conditions the DoD will not rate.