VA Disability Hypertension Controlled by Medication

You can receive VA disability benefits for hypertension even if you are on medication, given it is service-connected. Whether some injury or exposure during service caused you high blood pressure, it is imperative to get VA’s attention.

Hypertension is the high blood pressure in your arteries when your heart is pumping blood to the rest of the body or resting in-between pumping. A physician may check multiple times before confirming the stage of your hypertension and prescribing medications. But it is essential to know the VA rating for each stage. So, we are covering that in this blog.


Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Discussion with an experienced Team Member. Learn what you’ve been missing so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you’ve earned for your service.

Let’s Go Over Some Relevant Terms

You may need to know about some related words before continuing this article. These terms will often come when talking about VA disability and hypertension.

Systolic Blood Pressure: It is the pressure in your arteries when blood carrying oxygen travels to various parts of your body from your heart as it beats. Systolic is the top number on blood pressure monitors.

Diastolic Blood Pressure: It is the pressure in your arteries when blood fills your heart to get oxygen in between a heartbeat. Diastolic is the bottom number on a blood pressure monitor.

Blood Pressure Numbers: Blood pressure is measured with a unit of pressure, millimeter(s) of mercury (mmHg). If you have a systolic (top) number of 120 and a diastolic (bottom) number of 80, you will write it as 120/80 mmHg and say 120 over 80.

Symptoms and Causes of Hypertension

Image Credit: Faith

Normally, there are almost no symptoms of high blood pressure unless it reaches the hypertension crisis. You can only be aware of it after measuring. So, it is ideal to monitor your blood pressure occasionally. Although, the followings may happen if you leave your hypertension untreated for long-

  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Aneurysms
  • Illnesses in the arteries

Some of the normal causes of hypertension are-

  • Lifestyle and environment
  • Poor diet, smoking, and alcoholism
  • Old age
  • Obesity and lack of enough physical activities
  • It may also appear secondary to other diseases or even be hereditary
  • Males are usually more at risk of hypertension

You may get it from any poor environment from your service days too. Pain from some injury or mental condition, such as stress, may also lead to it.

Different Stages of Hypertension

There are four stages of hypertension, from normal to hypertensive crisis. Depending on your stage, there may be no need for concern, or you may need to get immediate help.

Systolic PressureDiastolic PressureWhat to Do
Normal80 or lower120 or lowerContinue with current lifestyle and diet
Stage I: hypertension80-89120-139Lifestyle changes, including diet, exercise, weight, and such
Stage II: hypertension90 or higher140 or higherLifestyle changes and medical attention
Hypertensive Crisis (emergency)120 or higher180 or higherCall 911

VA Disability Benefits for Veterans with Hypertension

You can get VA benefits for hypertension if it is service-connected. They will assign disability ratings on your condition after running several checks for some days. Currently, the followings are the ratings and compensations you may get for hypertension-

  • 10% VA Rating ($165.92):
  1. If your diastolic pressure is constantly 100 or over
  2. If your systolic pressure is constantly above 160 or over
  3. If you had a predominant diastolic pressure of 100 or over before but need medication to keep it under control.
  • 20% VA Rating ($327.99):
  1. If your diastolic pressure is often 110 or more
  2. If your systolic pressure is often 200 or more
  • 40% VA Rating (731.86): If your diastolic pressure is constantly 120 or over
  • 60% VA Rating ($1,319.65): If your diastolic pressure is predominantly 130 or higher

Next, you can get the Total Disability Individual Unemployability Benefits (TDIU) from VA for a hypertension rating of 60%. It means your conditions are hindering you from working anymore.

Another way you can get the TDIU benefit is by having an overall VA 70% rating on your health, with one of your conditions being hypertension and at least one condition having a minimum of 40% rating.

You can find more about this matter in diagnostic code 7101.

VA Benefits for Hypertension on Medication

Image Credit: AAFP

Even if an eligible veteran with hypertension is on medication, they can take VA benefits just as same. Here, VA will check the reports that led the doctor to prescribe the medicines and give disability ratings based on that report. It is so because the medication is not curing your disease but only keeping it under control. So, your original blood pressure without it is still the same.

But first thing is first; you must file a claim to VA. Afterwards, they will call you for the Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam that will run for three days. Here, they will examine your health and ask you relevant questions. Get a DBQ for the questions and a private doctor to complete your form.

When filing a claim, a private medical report is good evidence. For example, if you get an eligibility review from VA Disability Coach and submit it along with your claim, the chance of VA approving your claim will increase.

What If My Hypertension Conditions Improve by Medication?

VA will likely continue providing VA benefits and compensations even if the medication improves hypertension. According to the VA Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims (CAVC), they can only stop your benefits if the diagnostic code of your hypertension mentions medication.

That said, if VA reevaluates your disabilities, which they often do once every 2-5 years, and find any improvement, they may reduce or stop your benefits. But the points to remember here are-

  • VA must have a reason (such as evidence of your health’s improvement) to reevaluate your health. They can’t call you for any re-exam for no reason.
  • VA usually doesn’t reevaluate permanent, static, or stable disabilities. If your hypertension is in a state without hopes of curing or improvement, VA will regard it as static or permanent.
  • VA don’t reexamine disabilities with a too low rating, like 0% or 10%.

Hypertension Secondary to Other Diseases

Some diseases can be secondary to hypertension, meaning the latter causes the former. You won’t have to prove your hypertension is service-connected in these cases. You only need to submit proof of the disability that caused it. If that disability is presumptive, no evidence will be necessary.

Some common conditions secondary to hypertension are anxiety, PTSD, chronic kidney failure, gout, and sleep apnea.

When Hypertension is Presumptive

A presumptive disability is when VA automatically assumes a disability is service-connected and seeks no evidence from the claimant. There are many illnesses and cancers that are always presumptive. But other diseases, including hypertension, can be so if you have served at certain locations on certain dates.

These are the locations and dates for hypertension to be presumptive

  • Herbicide exposure at any military base in the USA or the world.
  • From January 9, 1962, to May 7, 1975, in Thailand (especially at the Royal Thai Air Force base)
  • Being on duty around C-123 airplanes during and after the Vietnam War.
  • From January 9, 1962, to May 7, 1975, on land, certain ships (especially Blue Water Navy Ships), and some airspace above these places in Vietnam.
  • From September 1, 1967, to August 31, 1971, in the demilitarized zone in Korea.

VA assumes that a veteran who developed hypertension after serving in these locations and dates was exposed to Agent Orange.

Final Note

Hypertension is not something to take lightly, as it can be life-threatening. Aside from maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following the doctor’s advice, an eligible veteran should file a claim to VA for benefits.

Submit all the necessary evidence along with your claim unless it is a presumptive condition. Don’t worry; even if you are on medication or your condition has improved by medication, VA will most likely give you benefits without regarding it.