VA Disability Conditions List: Which Are Eligible for VA Disability?

Military service can put people in uniquely stressful situations that take a physical, mental, and emotional toll. Because of this, veterans can develop many different disabling physical and mental conditions after active duty. Health issues eligible for compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs appear on the VA disability conditions list.

Below are many common conditions that are eligible for for VA disability compensation. And remember, if you don’t see your own medical condition, that doesn’t mean you cannot qualify for benefits. The VA’s assigned claim representative assesses each case individually based on factors such as discharge status and disability percentage rating. It would be impossible to list every medical issue with a direct service connection on the VA disability conditions list.

Most Common Disabilities Veterans Face After Active Duty

There are thousands of conditions that veterans may face during and after military service. However, certain conditions are more common, especially for veterans deployed in similar circumstances. It’s not only physical conditions that qualify; many different mental conditions may entitle you to VA disability benefits.

Here are some of the most common issues that veterans face after discharge from active-duty service.

how to get VA disability for mental conditions like ptsd, anxiety, and depression

Common Mental Conditions Eligible for VA Disability Benefits

Military service can be both physically and mentally taxing, especially in active combat zones. While therapy can improve some temporary conditions, others are more debilitating and require intensive or ongoing care.

The following common mental conditions may be eligible for VA disability benefits:

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Previously known as “combat fatigue” or “shell shock,” PTSD usually develops after exposure to one or more traumatic events. Some PTSD symptoms include depression, negative moods and thoughts, intrusive memories, emotional changes, avoiding familiar people and places, or withdrawing from society entirely.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – OCD is an anxiety disorder that causes intrusive and repetitive thoughts. Patients may develop compulsive tasks or rituals to cope with their anxiety levels.
  • Eating disorders –The most common types on the VA disability conditions list are bulimia, anorexia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Some veterans develop eating disorders to cope with PTSD symptoms. Malnutrition can cause irreversible damage to organ function and overall health.
  • Schizophrenia – Sufferers experience audio and visual hallucinations, confused thoughts, delusions, memory loss, trouble paying attention, difficulty or inability to express emotions, and changing behaviors.
  • Depression – This mood disorder can cause lethargy, mood and appetite changes, inability to concentrate, indifference, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
  • Chronic Adjustment Disorder – Similar to PTSD; both chronic stress disorders can result from a traumatic event, but CAD symptoms typically resolve within six months.
  • Bipolar disorder – Characterized by phases of extreme high and low moods, and in severe cases, psychosis and suicidal thoughts. More than one type of bipolar exists, and it shares some symptoms with PTSD (but you can have both conditions).
  • Anxiety disorders – General anxiety and panic disorder are just a few anxiety-related conditions that can make reintegration into civilian life more difficult.

Eligible Physical Injuries on the VA Disability Conditions List

Veterans may develop any number of physical injuries during or after service that appear on the VA disability conditions list. Veterans can sustain physical injuries due to a one-time traumatic event (like a fall or a gunshot wound). This can also describe injuries that develop over time (like back pain from years of running while carrying heavy gear).

Cardiovascular System Disorders

Cardiovascular issues describe anything on the VA disability conditions list that affects the heart and circulatory system. Common cardiovascular issues that qualify for VA disability include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Ischemic heart disease
VA payments for cardiovascular system issues

Dental Issues

Some dental issues may also appear on the VA disability conditions list. Bruxism can result from anxiety or stress, or sleep apnea related to military service.

  • Bruxism (i.e., teeth grinding)
  • TMJ (i.e., temporomandibular joint dysfunction)

Digestive System Disorders

Digestive disorders include a wide spectrum of conditions. Health problems affecting the digestive system that qualify for VA disability benefits include:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Ear Disorders, Eye Conditions, and Nose Conditions

Endocrine Disorders

The endocrine system produces and releases different hormones into the body’s bloodstream. Endocrine disorders disrupt the natural production or distribution of hormones. Endocrine-related medical conditions that qualify for VA disability include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
VA diabetes rating

Genitourinary Disorders

Genitourinary disorders refer to conditions that affect the genital and urinary organs. Health conditions that qualify for VA disability affecting the genitourinary system include:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Kidney stones
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Renal failure
  • Uterine fibroids

Musculoskeletal System Conditions

Musculoskeletal conditions affect the body’s muscles and bones. The following musculoskeletal health conditions often qualify for VA disability payments:

  • Bulging or herniated discs
  • Bone spurs
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Chronic back pain
  • Flat feet
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gout
  • Hallux valgus (i.e., bunions)
  • Lumbar strain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Neck pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Scoliosis
  • Shin splints
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tears in the shoulder’s rotator cuff
  • Tendonitis
  • Spinal stenosis

Infectious Diseases, Immune Disorders, and Nutritional Deficiencies

Infectious diseases, immune disorders, and nutritional deficiencies cover a wide range of conditions that may qualify for VA disability benefits. Issues from this group that appear on the VA disability conditions list are as follows:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Lupus

Nerve and Neurological Conditions

Neurological and nerve-related conditions can often be triggered or worsened by other service-related injuries, exposure to chemicals, or can be primary disabilities on their own. Nerve conditions that are eligible for VA disability include:

  • CRPS (i.e., complex regional pain syndrome)
  • Migraines
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Radiculopathy
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Respiratory System Issues

Respiratory issues affect the airway and breathing. The following respiratory conditions may qualify for VA disability:

  • Lung nodules
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Mesothelioma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sinusitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
respiratory disorders that qualify for VA benefits

Skin Conditions

The skin is often overlooked, but your skin is the largest organ on your body and susceptible to many different conditions. The following skin conditions on the VA disability conditions list may qualify for monthly compensation:

  • Scars
  • Eczema
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Psoriasis

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders often go hand in hand with other conditions, such as PTSD and depression. However, they can also be primary conditions eligible for monthly VA disability compensation:

  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy

Other Health Issues on the VA Disability Conditions List

While it is impossible to list all other conditions eligible for VA benefits, the following issues are often found eligible:

Remember that this is not a conclusive list of all disabilities that may qualify for VA benefits. It’s important to contact your Veterans Affairs representative to begin a claim. Even if the condition you’re dealing with isn’t listed above, you may still qualify for VA disability benefits.

Eligibility Requirements for VA Disability Compensation

If you served in active or inactive duty (like the reserves), and currently have a physical or mental disability, you may be eligible for VA disability benefits if:

You developed the condition during active duty and can prove a direct connection to your military service.

Your pre-existing condition got worse on active duty and can show a direct causal link to your military service.

You developed a service-connected condition but failed to show any symptoms or receive a diagnosis until after your discharge.

You meet the requirements for one of the VA presumptive conditions. In such cases, you do not need to link your military service to anything on the VA disability conditions list.

VA presumptive conditions with automatic service connections

Getting Disability Benefits for VA Presumptive Disabilities

Normally, to receive VA disability benefits, you need to prove your military service directly caused your disabling condition. However, there is an exception for what the VA calls “presumptive disabilities.” For veterans who served in specific, pre-approved places and time periods, the VA presumes that condition is service-related. That way, veterans don’t need prove a service connection for something that otherwise falls on the VA disability conditions list.

What are the 23 Presumptive Conditions From the VA?

There are 23 different presumptive conditions from the VA listed in the 2022 PACT Act. You do not need to prove a service connection for these VA disability conditions list impairments as long as you:

  • Meet the service requirements, and
  • Obtain an official diagnosis from a qualified medical professional.

Cancers on the Presumptive VA Disability Conditions List

  • Brain cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Glioblastoma
  • Lymphoma (any type)
  • Head cancer (any type)
  • Neck cancer (any type)
  • Gastrointestinal cancer (any type)
  • Respiratory cancer (any type)

Presumptive VA Disability Conditions List for Vets Exposed to Agent Orange

  • Hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure)
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS, a plasma cell disorder characterized by atypical protein cells in the blood)

Other Presumptive Disabilities on the VA Disability Conditions List

  • Asthma (if diagnosed after honorable discharge from service)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic rhinitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Obliterative constrictive bronchiolitis
  • Emphysema
  • Granulomatous disease
  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
  • Pleuritis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis

VA Disability Conditions List for Veteran POWs

There are also two separate lists of presumptive conditions for veterans. The first list applies to veterans held as a prisoner of war. The second involves issues assigned at least a 10% rating that appear on the VA disability conditions list.

This is the list of presumptive conditions eligible for VA disability for veterans held as POWs for any amount of time:

  • Psychosis
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic osteoarthritis
  • Organic residuals of frostbite
  • Hypertensive vascular disease
  • Atherosclerotic heart disease
  • Stroke as well as complications that arise from a stroke
  • Osteoporosis (when coupled with PTSD)
  • Dysthymic disorder (e.g., long-lasting depression)

The VA also has an expanded list just for veterans held as a prisoner of war for at least 30 days. The expanded list includes the following conditions:

  • Avitaminosis (i.e., a condition caused by a vitamin deficiency)
  • Beriberi (caused by a thiamin/B1 deficiency)
  • Malnutrition
  • Chronic dysentery
  • Helminthiasis (disease caused by parasitic worms)
  • Pellagra (caused by a niacin/B3 deficiency)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Osteoporosis (i.e., disease that causes brittle bones and density loss)

How Does the VA Calculate Monthly Compensation for Service-Acquired Disabilities?

Monthly compensation for something on the VA disability conditions list depends on its assigned rating. The VA assigns these ratings as a percentage that describes each condition’s level of severity as a disabling factor. These ratings vary from 0%, meaning fully able-bodied and unable to qualify for VA benefits, to 100%, which describes a total disability that permanently prevents you from working. The most common ratings are 10%, 40%, 70%, and 100%, but any VA disability rating percentage is possible. Not all medical conditions are available for all levels of VA disability ratings. For example, glaucoma has a maximum disability rating of 60%.

The higher the rating, the more monthly compensation and other benefits you and your family may qualify for. For veterans with multiple service-connected issues, the VA calculates a combined disability rating to determine monthly benefits.

how the VA calculates disability ratings percentages

Work With a VA-Accredited Lawyer to Improve Your Odds of Receiving VA Disability Compensation

Navigating the VA disability benefits system can be both overwhelming and confusing. A qualified veterans’ disability benefits lawyer can help you make sure that you get the most benefits you deserve from military service.

Want to ensure you get all the disability compensation you may be eligible for from the VA? We can connect you with a VA-accredited attorney in your area to review your claim free of charge. This free case evaluation doesn’t obligate you to do anything else.

We have connected over 10,000 disabled veterans with VA-accredited claim help since 2012.

You don’t owe anything in legal fees unless the attorney helps you get paid more each month. And if you succeed, you only pay one small fee after your VA benefits go up.

You may qualify for a free case evaluation! If you want to see if you’re eligible for a free case review, click here to take our free online benefits quiz:

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Jaclyn Peralez-Fleming is a freelance writer based out of Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and Radio-Television-Film. She is an active writer on several business and personal projects in development, and lives with her husband and two black cats.