VA Compensation for Fungal Infection

If you are a veteran with service-connected infectious diseases like fungal injection, you can rest assured that the VA will cover it. There are specific diagnostic codes for each different illness. The same is true for any immune disorder.

Fungal infection may have vivid symptoms depending on which part of the body is affected. As such, their diagnostic codes and rating criteria can also be different. One such example is the toenail fungus, whose rating ranges from 10% to 30%. This rating may also depend on whether the patient needs treatment or not.

Let’s dive deeper into this matter and find out the different VA compensations for veterans with fungal infections.

What Is Fungal Infections?

Fungal infections (AKA mycosis) are infectious diseases caused by specific microorganisms named Fungi. There are different types of fungi, but not all are harmful to our health. Ones like mushrooms are edible. But, some of them are not as innocent and can cause infections such as dermatophytosis or aspergillosis.

While the ways one gets these diseases vary, you can usually divide it by two. Firstly, there are fungi already in your body that are harmless under normal circumstances but may proliferate, causing an infection. There can be any underlying root cause behind this phenomenon.

Secondly, some fungi aren’t living in your body but can enter it through different means and cause an infection. Athletes’ foot or nail fungus are some examples. Both types of mycosis can be human-to-human contagious. Some also come from other animals, contaminated soil, or other substances.

The symptoms and level of contagion mainly depend on the fungi type. So, if you have caught such an illness, it is best to get medical treatment soon, learn about it, and avoid spreading it to others if necessary. Not all fungal infections are not as harmful, though.

You can get rid of some simpler ones yourself, such as dandruff, by following personal care and better hygiene.

How Do We Get Mycosis?

Common fungal infections happen when fungal spores enter our body by inhaling or with edible products. The reproduction method for fungi is through spreading spores in the environment.

The spores may not even have to enter the body to cause infections. Ones that affect nails, head, or skin stay outside. Others can affect the inside organs, such as the lungs. A severe case can impact many different organs of your body simultaneously.

Meanwhile, there are mycoses, where the fungi affect people with weaker immune systems than average. Namely opportunistic infections, these cases are rare and usually can’t deal much damage to most.

Since people in the military may have to travel to a variety of places for their service, it is not uncommon to get fungi infection. Fungi reproduce more on warm days of autumn. They are more often seen in moist areas or during rainy days. So, if a veteran serves during these times or in these places, they can get mycosis.

If you were in the reserves, your infections must have developed in the line of duty to get a VA rating on it.

You can describe that in your statement when filing your claim. But to prove a service connection, a nexus letter from a qualified doctor will be mandatory. Otherwise, it won’t be easy to establish your mycosis’s service connection.

Different Types of Fungal Infections

Different types of mycosis have various rarity. Some common ones are as follows-

  • Ringworm
  • Athlete’s foot (Tinea pedis)
  • Nail infection (Onychomycosis)
  • Yeast infection
  • Oral candidiasis (Oral Thrush)

How VA Rates Different Types of Fungal Infections

The rating process of different mycoses by the VA depends on the type. Let’s go over some common ones. If you have one that we haven’t covered, sadly, you can always ask our experts at VA Disability Coach for details.

Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Officially known as tinea pedis, Athlete’s foot is a common condition that usually affects the feet. But they may also appear on other parts of the skin.

Symptoms: One must get treatment as soon as possible when symptoms such as burning, itching, or stinging sensations on the affected skin appear. Other symptoms of tinea pedis include peeling, cracking, or blistering of the affected skin.

Diagnosis: Experienced doctors can often diagnose it by just looking. But for further confirmation, they can check the skin.

An athlete’s foot usually occurs from damp or moist surfaces, such as muddy roads, wet soil or floor, or from another infected person.

Jock Itch (Tinea Cruris)

Usually seen in boys and men but also often in women, Jock Itch is a condition similar to Athelet’s Foot. However, the affected area is near the buttocks, groin area, and inner thighs.

Symptoms: The skin may have a burning and itching sensation and have redness, cracks, peels, and rashes. The skin may also change color. Finally, tinea cruris may be aggravated when the veteran exercises. Similar to tinea pedis, the fungi dermatophytes causes tinea cruris.


Ringworm is also caused by the same type of fungus as the previous two. The affected areas can be your scalp or other areas of the skin.

Symptoms: The symptoms are slightly different. Here, the patient may get an itchy feeling on the skin with a scaly rash and redness. After a period, the affected skin shows red rings. There may also be bald patches on the scalp and blisters on the patches.

The outer edge of some patches may get redder. Finally, if a nail is affected, it may crack, thicken, and change colors.

Diagnosis: A doctor can diagnose ringworm by casting black light on the skin as the fungus glows under it. When it affects your head, the condition is tinea capitis. Tinea corporis is a body infection, and tinea barbae is an infection of the beard area.

VA’s Rating for Tinea Pedis, Tinea Cruris, and Ringworm: The most usual rating for tinea pedis, tinea cruris, ringworm, post-inflammatory hypopigmentation, and genital herpes are 10% right now. VA rates all of them together.

However, one can get a 30% rating if dermatophytes infect 20% or more of their body. There was a case in October 2008 when an individual got a 60% rating for a severe case.

VA’s diagnostic code for all kinds of tinea infections, such as ringworm, is 7813. It also includes tinea corposis and tinea versicolor.

Toenail Fungus (Tinea Unguium)

Similar to ringworm, tinea pedis, or tinea cruris, the toenail fungus (also known as onychomycosis and tinea unguium) is a condition by the dermatophytes fungus. So, one may also catch the disease in a similar fashion as the other ones.

Symptoms: The affected locations are the fingernails, toenails, and the nail beds. You will notice a small light-colored dot on your nail at the early stage. Later, it will spread, and the nail will become yellowish or brownish and thicken. It may also crumble and crack.

When the infection reaches a severe stage, you may feel pain in the nail and lose it totally. Other symptoms include yellowish or whitish streaks, scaling below the nails, or the nail buds lifting off.

Diagnosis: A doctor can take a small piece of your nail to examine for fungal infection for diagnosis.

Treatment: Usually, the treatment for toenail fungus involves oral antifungal medications. The issue here is that these medicines have adverse side effects such as gastronomical upsetting or liver damage. As such, many doctors may also go for nail lacquer that you polish on the nails.

Treatment of the toenail may usually take a few months, while fingernails may take only some weeks.

VA’s Rating for Tinea Unguium: VA rates onychomycosis at 10% when the condition is only symptomatic and you can quickly get rid of it through treatment. They may put a 30% rating on the veteran if the infection caused nail loss and is not symptomatic.

Nail fungus mycosis is rated under the diagnostic code 7806 for dermatitis.

Yeast Infection

Yeast infection can happen in different parts of the body. One common one is vaginal yeast infection in women. They happen because of the fungus named candida albicans. Other affected places can be the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, and mouth (oral thrush).

Symptoms: Vaginal yeast infection may cause itchiness, swelling, redness, clumpy discharge, and pain in the genitalia. Meanwhile, a patient with oral thrush may develop white patches in the mouth. All cases of yeast infection may happen because of extended antibiotic therapy.

As there are already candida albicans present in your body (which is harmless), lengthy antibiotic therapy can cause them to multiply without control, causing mycosis.

Diagnosis: A doctor may run a pelvic examination to check for vaginal yeast infection. Meanwhile, they may rub on the affected area of the mouth with a throat swab to collect any microbes and test them in the lab for diagnosis.

VA’s Rating for Vaginal Yeast Infection: VA rates vaginal infection at 0%, 10%, and 30% under 38 CFR § 4.116 using the diagnosis codes 7610 to 7615. The criteria are as follows-

  • If the symptoms don’t need continuous treatment, the rating will be 0%.
  • If the symptoms need continuous treatment, the rating will be 10%.
  • If the symptoms aren’t controlled by continuous treatment, the rating is 30%.

Does the Pyramiding Principle Affect the Rating of Fungal Infections?

Yes, the VA maintains the pyramiding principle when rating any infectious disease. They rate several of such conditions together so that a person doesn’t get a separate rating for the same disability that just affects multiple areas of the body.

For example, tinea pedis, tinea unguium, and tinea cruris are all caused by the same fungus and just have different affected locations and very slight differences in symptoms. As such, a veteran with multiple of them will get only one rating. The same is true for immune disorders.

The primary way VA divides two infectious conditions to rate them differently is by checking whether they have the same symptoms. If not, then VA may provide separate ratings. Meanwhile, when rating multiple conditions together, they often use the diagnostic code for the dominant one.

Final Note

It is not a pleasant matter to have fungal infections on any part of your body, especially if it remains for a long time. Some of them are very persistent and are uncontrollable even with treatment. VA rates such conditions highly. Meanwhile, the ones that easily go away with slight treatments get a lower rating. VA may remove your rating when your infection is healed.