Highest VA Disability Rating for Ankle Pain

The highest VA disability rating for ankle pain alone is 20%. However, ankle instability can happen alongside other service-connected disorders, which means you may be able to get a higher rating.

Ankle pain can happen for the following reasons –

  • Ankle instability
  • Ankle tendonitis
  • Ankle arthritis

Each of these conditions has specific VA ratings assigned to them. 

Therefore, considering which disorder is causing you pain in the ankles, you may receive a lower or higher disability rating. This article will explain the ratings for each of these conditions.


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Ankle Instability

Chronic ankle instability is a condition where your ankle’s outer side repeatedly gives way, causing issues while walking or standing still. 


  • Your ankle may roll or turn when you are walking on uneven surfaces and doing physical activities.
  • Swelling and pain are persistently present in your ankle.
  • You may feel pain when touching your ankle and also experience tenderness in the area.
  • The affected ankle can feel unstable or unsteady.

VA Rating for Ankle Instability

The VA disability rating for ankle instability can range from 0% to 20%, according to 38 CFR § 4.71

  • 10% – Your feel a moderate limitation of motion
  • 20% – You feel a marked limitation of motion

Ankle Tendonitis

Other than instability, the pain in your ankles can also be a result of tendonitis, a condition where a tendon is inflamed or irritated. In this case, your disability rating should be different than ankle instability. 


  • Swelling in your ankle
  • Difficulty moving ankle
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Pain during physical activities
  • Severe pain in tendons 

VA Rating for Ankle Tendonitis

The VA rates tendonitis from 0% to 40% based on Diagnostic Codes 5270 or 5271.

  • 20% – The ankle is stuck in a position where plantar flexion is less than 30d degrees.
  • 30% – The planter flexion for a 30% rating is anything between 30 and 40 degrees or dorsiflexion between 0 and 10 degrees.
  • 40% – The ankle is stuck in a plantar flexion over 40 degrees or in dorsiflexion of over 10 degrees or has adduction, abduction, deformity or inversion present.

Ankle Arthritis

When to tibiotalar or ankle joint gets damaged or worn out, it causes ankle arthritis. There are a few different types of ankle arthritis – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and gout.


  • Trouble doing physical activities such as walking or moving
  • Stiffness in the joint 
  • Warmth or swelling
  • Feeling more pain after sleeping or resting
  • Tenderness
  • Pain when touched

VA Rating for Ankle Arthritis

The most common rating system for this condition is the Diagnostic Code 5270 for ankle ankylosis. Here are the disability ratings you can receive for ankle arthritis –

  • 20% – You have a proper diagnosis with at least one episode a year.
  • 40% – A 40% rating is assigned when your arthritis has been proven to cause severe impairment of health with three or more episodes a year.
  • 60% – Your arthritis is causing you to lose weight and have anaemia with at least four episodes a year and some prolonged episodes.
  • 100% – The highest rating for this condition, assigned to veterans who face severe impairment of their health.

What Is the VA Disability Rating for Plantar Fasciitis?

The VA disability rating for plantar fasciitis is determined based on the severity of the condition and its impact on daily functioning. Factors like pain levels, functional impairment, and the need for orthopedic devices are considered. A higher rating indicates a greater level of disability and may result in increased compensation.


Ultimately, the maximum VA disability rate for ankle discomfort alone is 20%. If ankle discomfort is accompanied by other service-related illnesses, such as ankle instability, tendinitis, or arthritis, the rating may be raised. If you are looking for the maximum VA rating for ankle pain, VA Disability Coach can help you build a strong claim.