Top 50 VA Disability Claims

Many VA disability claims have been made by US veterans, but do you know which conditions were the most common ones? According to the VA’s annual report, Tinnitus has been by far the most common disability claim. We took a look at the recent years’ reports and compiled a list of the top 50 VA disability claims, and here they are –


VA Rating: 10%

Tinnitus causes ringing, buzzing, or other noises in the ears and has been the most common VA disability claim for years. It is also a very common problem affecting nearly 20% of the population.


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Limitation of Flexion of the Knee

VA Rating: Up to 30%

Commonly referred to as knee pain, limitation of knee movement has been a common issue for veterans of almost all ages—the VA rates knee impairment based on ligament tear, sprain, and the requirement for assisting devices.

Hearing Loss 

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Nearly 3 million veterans receive benefits from the VA for hearing loss, making it one of the most prevalent conditions. Based on your pure tone threshold test, you will receive a rating from 0% to 100% for hearing loss.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

VA Rating: Up to 100%

When it comes to mental health conditions, PTSD is the most common among veterans. PTSD results from experiencing traumatic or shocking events, and veterans with PTSD may relive their past traumas and avoid places, activities or people. The VA can give the highest disability rating for PTSD, and they determine the rating by the severity of the condition and its effects on daily and professional life.

Lumbosacral or Cervical Strain

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Low back pain is another condition commonly suffered by veterans. Pain involving the lumbosacral area may become worse with movement, along with swelling and redness in the area. Based on the forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine and the cervical spine, along with the ability to go on with your daily tasks, the VA can assign up to a 100% disability rating for this condition.

Paralysis of the Sciatic Nerve (Sciatica)

VA Rating: Up to 60%

Sciatica is nerve damage resulting in numbness in the lower back or legs, pain and the inability to move feet and legs, along with other symptoms. The VA can provide a rating of up to 60% for this condition based on the severity.

General Scars

VA Rating: Up to 80%

Unstable or painful scars can be considered a compensable disability by the VA, where you may receive up to an 80% rating depending on the scar’s length, width, and other deformities along with it.

Limitation of Range of Motion of the Ankle

VA Rating: Up to 20%

Ankle instability can cause issues while moving due to the giving way of the outer side of the ankle. The highest VA rating for ankle instability is 20%.

Limitation of Motion of the Arm 

VA Rating: Up to 40%

If you are unable to move your arm freely and have trouble moving one or both of them to shoulder level or even less, you can get up to a 40% VA rating.

Migraines (Headaches)

VA Rating: Up to 50%

A migraine is a headache with throbbing pain that causes veterans to lose functionality. Depending on the severity of this condition, you may receive up to a 50% VA rating.

Degenerative Arthritis of the Spine

VA Rating: Up to 20%

Pain, stiffness in the joint, and limited mobility caused by the eroding of the cartilage between joints can be symptoms of degenerative arthritis. According to VA’s rating under Diagnostic Code 5003, you may get up to a 20% disability rating for degenerative arthritis depending on the range of motion you can do and how many joints have been affected by the condition.

Sleep Apnea

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Sleep apnea is a kind of sleep disorder where your breathing stops and starts regularly, accompanied by loud snoring and tiredness after waking up. Conditions like sleep apnea can be connected to migraines, which will allow you to have benefits for both.

The VA rates sleep apnea based on the severity of your symptoms, such as the requirement for breathing assistance, and veterans may receive up to a 100% disability rating.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Head wounds are one of the most common injuries people experience in the military, causing TBI, and it has been more prevalent since the use of IEDs. When claiming benefits for TBI, the VA will rate your condition based on a multitude of factors, including impairment of attention and memory and effects on motor function.

Major Depressive Disorder

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a condition where a person experiences extensive periods of depression or anxiety or both accompanied by intrusive thoughts and behaviors, losing their motivation to function in their daily life. The VA’s rating for MDD can go up to 100%, depending on the severity of social and occupational impairment and the symptoms. 


VA Rating: Up to 100%

When it comes to respiratory diseases among veterans, asthma is the most common one that affects breathing and hampers daily functionality. Asthma is rated by the FEV-1 and FEV-1/FVC ratio, and you can get up to a 100% rating for the condition. 

Diabetes Type 2

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Veterans who need daily insulin and must regulate their diet and lifestyle due to type 2 diabetes may be eligible for up to a 100% VA disability rating. This chronic condition affects blood sugar levels, and controlling it becomes difficult for some people.


VA Rating: Up to 100%

The prevalence of cancer among veterans is mostly linked to exposure to harmful substances like agent orange, which is why cancer is mentioned under the PACT Act. When receiving care for cancer, the VA usually assigns a 100% disability rating for the veteran in need. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Anxiety is another mental health disorder that’s common among veterans, especially among those who fought in the Gulf War. Depending on anxiety’s negative impact on someone’s life, the VA can provide a rating of up to 100% for the condition.

Pes Planus (Flat Feet)

VA Rating: Up to 50%

Veterans are vulnerable to flat feet, often known as Pes Planus. It is a foot deformity in which the foot’s inner arch flattens, causing its sole to touch the ground when standing up. Depending on the severity of the ailment, the VA assigns a rating of 0% to 50% to flat feet or pes planus.


VA Rating: Up to 20%

Discomfort and pain in the lumbar, thoracic or cervical spine can be the symptoms of radiculopathy and may cause numbness and tingling feelings. The VA rates radiculopathy based on the type of nerve damage you have, such as paralysis, neuritis or neuralgia.

Adjustment Disorder

VA Rating: Up to 100%

When someone faces trouble adjusting to life changes, trauma or loss and other sources of stress, they may be suffering from adjustment disorder, which is another common disability veterans get VA benefits for. This mental health disorder can be rated up to 100% based on the impairment it causes in the regular life of veterans.

Somatic Symptom Disorder

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Chronic Pain Syndrome or Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) is when someone focuses too much on their health and disability to the point that they experience persistent disproportionate thoughts and anxiety about their condition. This can lead to problems in daily life and occupation, and veterans suffering from the condition may receive up to a 100% VA rating based on the severity.

Gastroesophageal Reflex Disease (GERD)

VA Rating: Up to 60%

GERD is a chronic condition that affects the digestive area, causing heartburn, vomiting, nausea, and chest pain, among other symptoms. Excessive symptoms will lead to a higher rating from the VA for GERD. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

VA Rating: Up to 30%

IBS is a large intestinal disorder that causes stomach discomfort, cramps, gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. 

Depending on your IBS symptoms’ intensity, frequency, and duration, you may obtain a condition rating ranging from 0% to 30%. Furthermore, IBS can be a secondary disease to conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD, which means you may be eligible for higher VA ratings.

Erectile Dysfunction

VA Rating: Up to 30% 

A condition when you constantly fail to get or keep an erection suitable enough for intercourse. The severity and symptoms of it can vary depending on the cause. Since erectile dysfunction means you won’t be able to use an organ properly, you will naturally get the SMC benefits.

Plantar Fasciitis

VA Rating: Up to 40%

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects the foot, causing stabbing pain that can worsen with movement and during the morning. This condition can be connected to flat feet, but it alone will get up to a 40% disability rating based on how severely it has affected your feet.


VA Rating: Up to 100%

Joint stiffness, inflammation, limited range of movement, pain, etc., are the symptoms of arthritis, and this condition greatly affects elderly veterans. According to the VA’s 2015 Annual Benefits Report, nearly 400,000 veterans receive benefits for arthritis and can receive up to a 100% rating for rheumatoid arthritis.


VA Rating: Up to 60%

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, can be a presumptive VA condition for veterans who served in places like Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and some others in a specific time period. Depending on diastolic and systolic pressure measurements, you can get up to a 60% VA rating for high blood pressure.

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)

VA Rating: Up to 20%

Degenerative disc disease is a condition that affects the cushion between the bones called discs, usually causing problems in the lower back or neck. The VA looks at X-ray evidence to rate DDD; the highest rating for this condition is only 20%. 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

VA Rating: Up to 70% 

Carpal tunnel syndrome affects the median nerve in your hand, resulting in uncomfortable sensations, tingling, weakness and shock-like feelings. This condition can cause paralysis in fingers, and depending on how many fingers are affected and whether your dominant hand is experiencing this condition, the disability rating will change.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a hard condition to service-connect if you do not have a diagnosis given to you while in service. It’s common among Gulf War veterans and affects their ability to do important tasks and hampers daily life.


VA Rating: Up to 40%

Pain in the neck, back, hips, shoulders, arms and legs caused by your brain’s miscommunication with the spinal cord can be fibromyalgia, with symptoms like tenderness, sleep loss, and fatigue, among others. If your fibromyalgia does not respond to therapy and is almost consistent, you may receive up to 40% in VA rating. 


VA Rating: Up to 60%

Eczema can be one of several types – atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic, nummular, and neurodermatitis, among others. This condition causes extreme itchiness, skin problems, swelling, and more. Depending on how much area of your body is affected by eczema, the VA can provide a rating of up to 60% for the condition.

Allergic Rhinitis

VA Rating: Up to 30%

Allergic rhinitis, sometimes known as ‘hay fever,’ is an allergic reaction that causes cold-like symptoms. A runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, and congestion are some symptoms. It is caused by allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander, which elicit an immunological response in those who are vulnerable. 


VA Rating: Up to 50%

Sinus infection is known as sinusitis, resulting from swelling of the sinus tissues. Sinusitis causes inflammation of the nasal cavity, runny nose, congestion, headaches, and other symptoms.

Meniere’s Syndrome

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Hearing loss, with episodes of vertigo, can be signs of Meniere’s syndrome that affects the inner ear. This disease causes veterans to have spatial balance issues accompanied by headaches, hearing loss, tinnitus, sweating, etc. 

Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Arteriosclerotic heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, is a condition where the coronary arteries get narrow or blocked, causing chest pain, shortness of pain and even heart attacks. 

Chronic Conjunctivitis

VA Rating: Up to 10% 

Crusty, red eyes from inflammation of the area around the eyelids or eyeballs cause conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. Veterans with active conjunctivitis can receive a 10% rating. 

Limited Motion of the Jaw

VA Rating: Up to 50% 

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, easily understood as the limited motion of the jaw, causes pain in your jaw joint and is usually controllable except in rare cases. Depending on how much vertical opening you can do with your jaw, the VA can give you a maximum of 50% rating for this condition.

Hiatal Hernia

VA Rating: Up to 60% 

Heartburn, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, and many other symptoms may affect veterans due to hiatal hernia, which is a condition affecting the upper part of your stomach. You may receive anything from a 10% to 60% disability rating for hiatal hernia, depending on the severity of the symptoms.


VA Rating: Up to 20% 

Hemorrhoids are a very common condition in the adult population, also affecting many veterans, causing symptoms like painless bleeding, pain, itching, swelling, etc. 

Varicose Veins

VA Rating: Up to 100% 

Twisted and swollen veins visible under the skin are called varicose veins, and these can cause burning feelings, muscle cramps, skin discoloration, swelling, and more, usually in your legs. Since this condition can get very serious for some veterans, the VA provides a maximum rating of 100% for varicose veins.


VA Rating: Up to 30% 

Nephrolithiasis is a medical term referring to kidney stones, which cause stomach pain, fever, dizziness, blood in the urine and other symptoms. Depending on colic attacks and kidney functions, the VA can provide a maximum rating of 30% for kidney stones.


VA Rating: Up to 100% 

When your thyroid is underactive, you may experience symptoms of fatigue, depression, cold sensitivity, and weight gain, pointing to hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism with myxedema usually receives a 100% rating from the VA.


VA Rating: Up to 100% 

Lack of red blood cells can cause anemia, which is a temporary or long-term condition that causes chest pain, weakness, fatigue, pale skin, and headaches, among other physical issues. The VA uses several different diagnostic codes to rate anemia depending on the type. 

Peripheral Neuropathy

VA Rating: Up to 30%

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition resulting from nerve damage, causing pain, sensory issues, vasomotor symptoms, etc. In severe cases of this condition, the VA can rate it 30%.

Prostate Gland Injuries

VA Rating: Up to VA

Unlike prostate cancer, prostate gland injuries may refer to conditions like prostatitis. Depending on what kind of injury you had, VA’s disability rating may differ.

Ischemic Heart Disease

VA Rating: Up to 100%

Coronary artery disease or ischemic heart disease is when the arteries of someone’s heart get narrowed due to cholesterol buildup, causing heart palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, and cold sweats, and can ultimately lead to a heart attack.


VA Rating: Up to 30%

Vertigo is a symptom of feeling dizzy, where you feel the world around you spin or move as you lose spatial awareness. The frequency of your vertigo and symptoms like staggering can affect what rating you may get for the condition.

Urinary Incontinence

VA Rating: Up to 60%

Losing bladder control is a sign of urinary incontinence, and this condition may receive up to a 60% disability rating from the VA.

Final Note

If you are struggling to build a proper claim for one of these conditions and need expert help to avoid improper ratings from the VA, contact VA Disability Coach now!