VA Rating for Hypothyroidism

The thyroid plays a pivotal role in regulating metabolism and overall well-being. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient hormones. This leads to a range of symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, weight gain, and more.

For veterans, the rigors of deployment, exposure to environmental hazards, and the stress inherent in military life can impact thyroid function.

This can potentially lead to hypothyroidism. Disability ratings are assigned by The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)  to veterans based on the severity of their service-connected conditions, including hypothyroidism. 

In this article, we will explore the VA disability ratings related to hypothyroidism. Let’s get started –

What Is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism, commonly known as an underactive thyroid, happens when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough essential hormones the body needs. Positioned in the front of the neck and shaped like a tiny butterfly, the thyroid gland is vital for controlling energy distribution throughout the body.

These hormones affect nearly every organ’s function, including the heart’s rhythm. When there’s not enough thyroid hormone, various bodily processes start to slow down.

Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism are as follows: 

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Dry skin 
  • Thinning of hair
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Irregular or heavier menstrual cycles
  • Coma

Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition, is the primary cause of hypothyroidism. This genetic disorder occurs when the immune system mistakenly targets and attacks the thyroid, disrupting hormone production and release, ultimately causing an inadequate supply.

Veterans may develop hypothyroidism as a result of exposure to Agent Orange. Importantly, this medical condition is explicitly recognized in the VA’s Agent Orange presumptive list. Inclusion on this list means that the VA automatically acknowledges a connection between the condition and veterans’ military service, as long as they meet the specified eligibility criteria.

VA Rating for Hypothyroidism

To determine the types and extents of disabilities and establish compensation levels for veterans, the VA utilizes diagnostic codes and ratings. Hypothyroidism is evaluated using code 7903, outlined in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations § 4.119 – Schedule of Ratings – Endocrine System.

The assigned rating depends on whether the individual has developed myxedema, characterized by skin and tissue swelling. This condition is commonly associated with advanced hypothyroidism.

The VA ratings for hypothyroidism are as follows: 

  • 30% rating: If myxedema is not present, hypothyroidism is eligible for a 30 percent rating during the first six months following diagnosis. This rating corresponds to a monthly compensation of $508.05.
  • 100% rating: If hypothyroidism is accompanied by myxedema, a 100 percent rating is possible for the initial six months post-diagnosis, resulting in a monthly compensation of $3,621.95. 

It is important to note that the disability ratings for hypothyroidism adhere to strict timelines. The VA provides a temporary 100 percent rating for hypothyroidism, which ceases once myxedema is in remission for six months. Once stabilized, the VA evaluates each symptom according to the relevant body system.

Similarly, the 30 percent hypothyroidism rating is temporary, lasting only six months after diagnosis. Following this period, the VA assesses the symptoms. For example, digestive concerns, mental health disorders, etc. 

Hypothyroidism and Agent Orange

During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military utilized Agent Orange, a defoliant designed to eliminate vegetation. However, this chemical included dioxin, which was later identified as a cause of health issues in both veterans and civilians.

Recognizing its harmful effects, production of Agent Orange ceased in the 1970s. Despite no longer being actively used, the legacy of Agent Orange continues to impact veterans of the Vietnam War.

The VA recognizes hypothyroidism as a presumptive disability associated with exposure to Agent Orange. This recognition offers veterans a more straightforward route to the benefits they rightfully deserve when submitting claims.

The VA has compiled a list of conditions presumed to be caused by Agent Orange. For Vietnam veterans who meet specific eligibility criteria and are grappling with these conditions, there’s an automatic award of service connection, ensuring they receive VA disability benefits.

How To Obtain Compensation for Hypothyroidism As a Veteran?

If you’re a veteran dealing with service-connected hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism as a secondary disability, there’s a chance you qualify for VA compensation under diagnostic code 7903. Additionally, if hypothyroidism affects your ability to work, you may be eligible for Total Disability Individual Unemployability.

To kickstart the VA disability claims process, make sure to provide a thorough account. Include all the necessary medical reports that confirm your hypothyroidism diagnosis along with specifics about your treatment.

If you’re going for a secondary disability claim, make sure to include a doctor’s nexus letter. This letter is key—it explains the connection between your hypothyroidism and a direct service-connected condition.

When you’re putting in a claim with the VA and there’s solid medical backing, they follow this process called Acceptable Clinical Evidence (ACE). It’s like a careful look through your records, and if they need more info, they might ask for extra documents or set up a VA Compensation and Pension exam (C&P exam).

This exam is key in tying things back to a service-connected disability and figuring out its rating. Depending on what’s going on, you might find yourself in a few exams for reviews, claims covering different issues, or just follow-ups.


Understanding the VA disability ratings for hypothyroidism is essential for veterans navigating the compensation process. As veterans pursue the compensation they deserve, we at VA Disability Coach proudly stand as a valuable ally. Our platform is dedicated to guiding veterans through the complexities of the claims process and providing support.