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VA Updates Disability Rating Schedule to Better Align with Modern Medicine

May 24, 2018

WASHINGTON — Effective May 13, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will update portions of the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD, or rating schedule) that evaluates the organs of special sense eye conditions, as well as gynecological conditions and disorders of the breast.

The VASRD is the collection of federal regulations used by Veterans Benefits Administration claims processors to evaluate the severity of disabilities and assign disability ratings.

VA is in the process of updating all 15 body systems of the VASRD to more accurately reflect modern medicine and provide clearer rating decisions.

“VA remains committed to providing Veterans with the benefits they have earned through their service,” said VA Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie. “And, with modern medicine advancing at a rapid rate, it‘s important to ensure VA’s disability rating schedule reflects these advancements.”

Several revisions were made to the general rating formula for diseases of the eye, including a new definition of incapacitating episodes that more clearly measures level of disability. Additionally, three diagnostic codes — diabetic retinopathy, retinal dystrophy and post-chiasmal disorders — were added. No conditions were removed from either portion of the rating schedule.

Several diagnostic codes were added to the schedule for gynecological conditions and disorders of the breast, including malignant neoplasms, benign neoplasms and other injuries of the breast. Several more diagnostic codes were restructured and revised.

Updates to dental and oral conditions and conditions related to the endocrine system were completed in 2017.

By updating these portions of the rating schedule, VA allows claims processors to make more consistent decisions with greater ease and ensure Veterans understand these decisions. VA remains committed to improving its service to Veterans continuously and staying at the forefront of modern medicine.