VA Disability Rating for Sinusitis

The disability rating by VA for sinusitis depends on the severity of the condition, where they use the incapacitating episodes as the determining factor. Usually, when a veteran is eligible for benefits for sinusitis, their disease is a chronic one, not the regular one.

Various events or reasons in one’s service days can lead to one developing chronic sinusitis afterward. You may have had it before, but your service days worsened the issue. Sinusitis often comes along with migraines. In that case, only the aggravation amount will decide your VA rating.


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What is Sinusitis

Sinusitis is when the tissues in one’s sinuses are inflamed. Usually, it doesn’t last that long. There are acute sinusitis episodes that are not severe and don’t persist. However, the chronic ones can go for even over 12 weeks.

Most veterans with service-related sinusitis develop chronic episodes. To get VA benefits for sinusitis, you need to gather the necessary evidence. A visit to the VA Disability Coach may help you understand your eligibility factor fully.

Aside from a detailed medical report, you may also need supporting letters and any report by any field medics from the service days. However, sinusitis can be a presumptive disability too, where no evidence is necessary.

Symptoms and Causes of Sinusitis

If sinusitis develops in your body, you may experience the following symptoms-

  • Headache (or even migraine)
  • Runny nose and sometimes with thick mucus
  • Painful pressure on the face
  • Cough
  • Fever

Whether you have an acute sinusitis episode or a chronic one may affect the symptoms. These signs are often similar to rhinitis, another disability with almost the exact cause. Rhinitis is when the tissues in the nose inflame, not the sinuses.

Sinusitis can be severe enough to get more than three incapacitating episodes annually or even near-constant sinusitis. The difference in severity plays a vital role in deciding your VA rating.

The following are some common causes of sinusitis

  • Cold or Allergic Reactions- Acute sinusitis episodes generally stem from the cold.
  • Facial Injury- A facial injury in the line of service is not unheard of. It can result in chronic sinusitis. In this case, the causal factor can be a deviated septum.
  • Hazardous Substances- Exposure to certain harmful substances or burn pits may cause chronic sinusitis. In this case, the condition will be regarded as presumptive by VA.

Can Sinusitis Be a Presumptive Disability?

Exposure to hazardous substances is a cause of many veterans’ sinusitis. Any disability, illness, or cancer caused by any harmful element, burn pit, Agent Orange, etc., will be a presumptive disease and fall under the pact act.

Presumptive diseases don’t need the claimant to provide evidence since VA presumes that the illness is service-connected. Hence, it will be easier to get a claim accepted. They will still call you for the C&P exam to examine your condition and determine the rating.

VA Rating for Sinusitis

A VA rating indicates how much VA will pay you for any service-connected disability monthly. So, you may have more than one rating. But VA pays the amount only according to the overall rating percentage. The ratings can extend from 0% to 100%, with intervals of 10%.

For sinusitis, VA’s ratings are 0%, 10%, 30%, and 50%. They will only consider your medical reports and the result of their C&P examination. They usually base the rating on the number of incapacitating or non-incapacitating episodes the patient had in a year.

Their rating criteria for sinusitis are as follows-

0% VA Rating

  • If the condition is detected only by X-ray.

10% VA Rating

  • If the patient had 1-2 incapacitating episodes in a year that need up to 4-6 weeks of antibiotic treatment or;
  • If the patient had 3-6 non-incapacitating episodes in a year with pain, headaches, and crusting or purulent discharge.

30% VA Rating

  • When there are over three incapacitating episodes in one year that need up to 4-6 weeks of antibiotic treatment or;
  • Over six non-incapacitating episodes yearly with crusting or purulent discharge, headaches, and pain.

50% VA Rating

  • If the patient had radical surgery with chronic osteomyelitis or;
  • Following multiple surgeries, almost persistent sinusitis with pain, tenderness, and headaches on the affected sinus in addition to crusting or purulent discharge.

The rating for sinusitis and rhinitis are almost the same. However, depending on the board’s decision, they may be rated together. If your sinusitis was not caused by any service-related events but was aggravated by one, then you may still get benefits. You only need to prove the aggravation and provide medical reports before the worsening.

You can find VA’s rating system of sinusitis in detail in the §4.97 Schedule of ratings—respiratory system.

What is the VA Rating for Bruxism?

Understanding bruxism va rating is essential for individuals seeking compensation for their condition. The VA rating for bruxism depends on the level of impairment it causes, such as dental damage or sleep disturbances. Consulting with a medical professional and providing supporting evidence can enhance the chances of a successful claim.

Sinusitis Secondary to Other Disabilities

Your sinusitis can be caused or worsened by other disabilities. Some of these are-

Here, you only need proof of the causal disability being service-related. You may also need to submit a Nexus letter from a doctor explaining the relation between the initial illness and the sinusitis condition.

Final Note

The VA sinusitis ratings are 0%, 10%, 30%, and 50%. The number of incapacitating episodes in a year usually defines this percentage. Unless your condition is presumptive, you must prove it is service-connected. If VA can’t find sufficient evidence, they will ask you for more specific ones. Consider hiring an accredited VSO to help you if you face any issues during the process.