VA Disability List of Secondary Conditions

A secondary condition means when a veteran develops a disease linked to one or more service-connected disabilities. The latter can be what caused the former, or they can be connected in other ways like one aggravating the other.

When you have a secondary disability, you need to file a separate claim for it. It is called a secondary service-connected disability claim with a different form to fill out. But you may need to know about these conditions to be sure about your situation. We have added a list of the most common secondary disabilities among veterans in this blog.


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List of Usual Secondary Conditions

Let’s jump straight to the list first. Note that this list mainly includes secondary diseases linked to conditions that can be service-connected.

Hypertension Secondary to Other Diseases

Hypertension or high blood pressure is when the blood flow puts more pressure on your arteries than usual. Among some of its prevalent causes are-

  • Adrenal Disease- It’s a disease when any or more of your adrenal glands produce too much of any hormone responsible for regulating your blood pressure.
  • Kidney Disease- When the renal arteries that allow blood to flow to the kidney narrow, your kidney produces excessive renin, which may trigger hypertension.
  • Hyperparathyroidism- The thyroid gland produces hormones necessary to control blood pressure and other factors. One of them is parathormone, which can lead to hypertension if it comes out too much.
  • PTSD– PTSD is a common condition that can cause many secondary diseases, including high blood pressure.

Hypothyroidism Secondary to Other Illnesses

Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid glands produce too few hormones to regulate essential functions, such as blood pressure or body temperature. It can be secondary to the following-

  • Diabetes- A condition when your body shows issues with insulin, a hormone that regulates glucose usage. These issues include not being able to produce enough insulin or use it properly.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis- It’s a condition that causes inflammation to your skin, eyes, lungs, blood vessels, heart, and especially your joints.
  • Hashimoto’s Disease- A condition that causes inflammation of your thyroid glands.
  • PTSD- As mentioned, PTSD is also a common cause of hypothyroidism.

Erectile Dysfunction Secondary to Other Conditions

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is any condition associated with the male’s genitalia, mainly involving the testicles and the penis. It can happen due to any of the following-

  • Hypertension- Increased blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol- Excessive cholesterol can block your blood vessels and cause several issues, including heart disease and ED.
  • Diabetes- High blood sugar may harm blood vessels, making it difficult to gain an erection or keep it firm. It is usually seen with type 2 diabetes.
  • Mental Illness- Different mental conditions, such as stress, anxiety, PTSD, depression, and relationship issues, can cause ED.

Female Sexual Arousal Disorder Secondary to Other Conditions

Female Sexual Arousal Disorders are the inability to gain or keep sexual arousal for the whole duration of the sexual activity constantly or chronically. It can happen because of these-

  • Mental Conditions- Anxiety, PTSD, and Depression can be the reasons.
  • Medication Side-Effects- Side-effects from treatments and medications to other service-related disabilities can cause it.

Asthma As a Secondary Condition

Asthma is a disease that causes one to struggle to breathe. It appears when the airways inflame, narrow, and/or have excessive mucus. Some reason behind asthma can be as follow-

  • Allergies- Different allergies can cause asthma.
  • Diabetes- Both diabetes and asthma can be secondary to each other. So, if a person has one, they may develop the other.
  • Mental Conditions- Depression or anxiety can cause asthma.
  • Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD)- A issue where your vocal cord shuts when it should be open. Its symptoms are similar to asthma and may even cause it.

Migraines Secondary to Other Diseases

A common disease among veterans is migraines, where they feel severe pain on any side of the head. It also has so many symptoms. It can occur as secondary to the following disease-

  • Ménière’s Disease- A disease of the inner ear where it often causes vertigo, deafness, and other problems. It often happens after fluids can’t drain properly and accumulate inside.
  • Mental Issues- PTSD, Depression, Anxiety.
  • Insomnia- A disorder where the person struggles to sleep.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)- As its name implies, TBI develops from any external heavy injury to the brain.
  • Others- Asthma, heart disease, and fibromyalgia are other common diseases that can lead to migraines.

Sleep Apnea Secondary to Other Diseases

Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing as they are asleep. People with sleep apnea often feel tired even after a whole night’s sleep or snore loudly. It can come from any of these-

  • Asthma- Asthma is one of the most common diseases that can lead to sleep apnea as a secondary.
  • Rhinitis- It is the irritation or swelling of the mucous membrane inside a person’s nose.
  • Sinusitis- A disorder that swells the tissues in one’s sinuses, resulting in a runny or stuffy nose and facial pain.

IBS Secondary to Other Disease

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of the large intestine area. It results in bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, etc. IBS can be secondary to depression, PTSD, anxiety, obesity, and side effects of other medications.

VA Ratings for Secondary Conditions

People may often get a higher disability rating on a secondary condition than the one that caused it. VA rates the disabilities separately. So, if your service-connected Asthma causes sleep apnea, VA will check the aspects of both and apply different ratings for each. But remember to file additional claims for each.

You can find the complete list of secondary conditions in CFR Title 38, Part 4.

Ending Note

We tried to list some of the most common secondary conditions here. However, there are many others, too, and the total list of entries of secondary conditions approved by the VA extends over 900. If you want to be sure whether your disability is directly service-connected, secondary service-connected, or not service-connected at all, it is better to get a medical report. Our experts at VA Disability Coach can handle that with an eligibility review.