Maybe you’ve considered filing a claim with VA for disability and compensation but weren’t really sure what to file. Or maybe you’ve already got a VA-rated disability but have considered filing for more. In either case, we’ve got a list of the top 10 common conditions that might be related to your military service, as well as maximum disability rating VA would assign for each. Many Veterans suffer from the disabilities below, so it’s worth taking a look.
Let’s check out the top 10, including the maximum possible rating for each, starting with the one Veterans claim more often than anything else:
- Tinnitus: Ever hear ringing in your ears that just won’t quit? Tinnitus is the most common service-related disability. Those loud noises you endured during your service, like gunfire and explosions, might be the culprit. It can be a real pain to live with. Max: 10%
- Hearing loss: Speaking of ears, hearing loss is another biggie for us veterans. All that noise exposure or blast-related injuries can take a toll on our hearing. Difficulty hearing can make daily life and communication challenging. Max: 100% for complete loss
- PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can hit us after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event during our service. If you’re struggling with flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, or uncontrollable thoughts, you’re not alone. PTSD can be tough, but there’s help available. Max: 100%
- Musculoskeletal conditions (including chronic pain): Many of us deal with aches and pains, like joint disease, arthritis, or chronic back pain, thanks to the physical demands of our service. These issues can make it hard to move around and just enjoy life. Max: 100%
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): TBIs can happen from a blow to the head or a penetrating injury. They can cause a range of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms, making daily life and work more difficult than it should be. Max: 100%
- Depression and anxiety: Our service experiences can also lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, or excessive worrying can all be signs you’re dealing with one of these conditions. Max: 100%
- Sleep apnea: If you’re dealing with pauses in your breathing while you sleep, you might have sleep apnea. This sleep disorder can be connected to other service-related conditions like PTSD or TBI and can leave you feeling exhausted and foggy. Max: 50% (though extremely rare cases requiring a tracheostomy can get you rated at 100%)
- Gulf War Syndrome: If you served in the Gulf War and experience unexplained symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, or gastrointestinal issues, you’re not alone. This collection of symptoms is often called Gulf War Syndrome or Gulf War Illness. Max: 100%
- Agent Orange-related conditions: For those who served in Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange, there’s a list of health issues the VA recognizes as related, like certain cancers, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Max: 100%
- Presumptive conditions: VA has a list of presumptive conditions that they’ll likely connect to your service if you served in specific locations or time periods. Some examples include radiation exposure-related conditions, certain respiratory conditions for Southwest Asia service, and conditions linked to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Max: 100%
Every veteran’s situation is unique, and your eligibility for VA disability compensation depends on your specific case. You can file a claim in just a few minutes and hear back within weeks, but it’s also a great idea to chat with a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) or VA rep to help you explore your options and benefits to maximize your compensation and build a more fully developed case.