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A Complete VA Disability Conditions List

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One of the first steps in a veteran’s journey to accessing benefits is to ensure that their service-related injury or illness is on the VA disability conditions list.


  • The VA disability conditions list includes illnesses and injuries related to military service. Veterans can receive benefits if their condition developed or worsened during service or after discharge.
  • Common service-related physical conditions include cardiovascular issues, loss of limb or senses, gastrointestinal problems, and hormonal imbalances. These can also lead to secondary conditions that qualify for benefits.
  • Veterans may suffer from chronic illnesses such as arthritis, chronic pain, and various cancers due to exposure to toxins, radiation, or other harmful substances during service.
  • The VA disability conditions list also covers mental health conditions like PTSD, anxiety, mood disorders, and eating disorders, as well as neurological conditions such as TBIs, epilepsy, and migraines.
  • The VA updates its disability conditions list based on new scientific evidence and legislative changes. Veterans can seek legal assistance from specialized attorneys to navigate the claims and appeals process.

This VA disability conditions list covers both illnesses and injuries that can develop or be exacerbated by military service. Military personnel may develop symptoms over time while they are serving, immediately after an incident, or after they have been discharged. 

Veterans can receive VA disability benefits as they recover, or indefinitely if their condition doesn’t improve. Our team has provided a VA disability conditions list so veterans can see if their service-related medical issues may warrant compensation. Keep in mind that this is a constantly-evolving list. 

As experienced veterans disability claims attorneys, our team at VetLaw is ready to take action to help you access VA disability benefits. We encourage you to set up a free consultation with our team by calling (855) 525-1710 or completing our online contact form.

Physical Conditions That Are Eligible for VA Disability Benefits

Common causes of service-related physical conditions include repetitive strain or overexertion, combat, training accidents, and exposure to toxic chemicals or substances. Symptoms may not become apparent until months or years after the event that caused the physical condition.

It is also common for service-related physical conditions to produce adverse effects, which may constitute Secondary Conditions that qualify for VA disability benefits. These health issues are included in the VA disability conditions list.

Cardiovascular Conditions 

Service-related cardiovascular conditions tend to develop over time. Exposure to chemical toxins, like Agent Orange, have been known to interfere with blood flow to the heart, causing it to weaken or even fail. Extreme physical exertion and mental stress have also been known to put excessive strain on the heart muscle, which can lead it to deteriorate or tear. 

Vets may suffer from blood clots, irregular heart rhythms, and other life-threatening cardiovascular issues connected to their military service. This includes:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Peripheral Artery Disease
  • Tachycardia 
  • Varicose veins

Conditions Involving Loss of Limb or Senses

Unfortunately, military personnel are in danger of losing their limbs and digits, as well as their ability to see, hear, smell, and taste given the inherent risks of serving. Limbs and digits can be crushed by a vehicle or piece of equipment, lost due to the force of an explosion or flying shrapnel, or damaged by corrosive substances. 

Exposure, whether that be to loud noises, toxic chemicals, or blunt force trauma to the head, can contribute to the loss of senses like hearing, smell, and vision. Life-long impairments like these can make it challenging to hold a steady job, drive or cook independently, and maintain previous quality of life. Examples include:

  • Amputation or loss of finger(s) or hand(s)
  • Amputation or loss of toe(s), a foot, or both feet
  • Amputation or loss of arm(s) or leg(s)
  • Loss of one or both eyes
  • Loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Hearing loss in one or both ears
  • Complete loss of smell or taste

Other conditions related to the impairment or loss of sensory function include:

  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Glaucoma
  • Hyperacusis or sensitive ears
  • Keratopathy
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Tinnitus in one or both ears
  • Vertigo 

Gastrointestinal, Digestive, and Urinary Conditions

Medical conditions that impact the stomach, liver, kidneys, intestines, bowels, and bladder can prove highly disruptive and uncomfortable to deal with. The root cause may be genetic, stress-induced, chemical exposure, or some combination thereof. 

For example, veterans who operated in close proximity to toxic burn pits may inhale pollutants that accumulate in their systems. These toxins can overwhelm the organs that process waste, like the kidneys, causing permanent damage.

Note that symptoms of service-connected gastrointestinal conditions or digestive issues often overlap, and they may be evaluated under the rating schedule for a digestive condition with a broader definition. If a veteran suffers from service-connected gastrointestinal issues, they may also be at a higher risk for psychological conditions due to the relationship between gut health and mental health.

  • Bowel or urinary incontinence
  • Crohn’s disease 
  • Diverticulitis
  • Gallstones
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gastritis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hernia 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Kidney disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Non-cirrhosis liver disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Peritoneal adhesions
  • Prolapsed rectum
  • Renal failure
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Hormonal Conditions and Endocrine System Issues

Veterans are susceptible to service-related conditions that impact their endocrine systems, which regulate hormones. Those with pre-existing endocrine conditions, such as Type I diabetes, may experience aggravated symptoms due to their military service.

The endocrine system, which is composed of glands that produce hormones, the hormones themselves, and hormone receptors located on the organs, can be damaged when hormone levels become dysregulated.

Chemical exposure, particularly to Agent Orange, burn pits, and AFFF firefighting foam, is a leading cause of endocrine conditions in military personnel and veterans. Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, like the toxins in Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water supply, can cause long-term harm to veterans who experience sufficient exposure when they encourage or repress hormone levels.

  • Graves’ Disease
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Thyroid disease
  • Thyroid enlargement
  • Thyroid inflammation
  • Type I diabetes
  • Type II diabetes

Certain types of cancer are also triggered by hormone imbalances, so vets with service-related endocrine conditions should speak with a provider about monitoring their risk. 

Conditions Associated With Reproductive Health and Organs

Many elements can factor into a reproductive health condition. While genetics often contribute, a veteran’s reproductive health issues can also stem from suffering physical or psychological harm while on active duty. 

In the case of reproductive conditions, unsafe exposure to toxins is a common physical trigger. They can upset the veteran’s hormone balance, interfering with organ function and potentially prompting cancerous cells to develop. Physical trauma to the reproductive organs can also lead to loss of function. 

Consensual and non-consensual sexual contact can result in the spread of diseases or infections like HPV. If a veteran does not receive medical attention for a sexually transmitted condition, their reproductive health may suffer, as these conditions can lead to cancer and other serious complications. 

In terms of psychological causes of reproductive health issues in veterans, anxiety, depression, and experiencing trauma often play a role. For example, a veteran who has survived Military Sexual Trauma may have difficulty becoming aroused if their past experiences are causing a mental block.

  • Endometriosis
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Female Sexual Arousal Disorder
  • Infertility
  • Loss of reproductive organs including hysterectomy
  • Low testosterone
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Cancers Related to Military Service

During the course of their military service, vets may have come into contact with radiation, toxic chemicals in their equipment, contaminated air or water, and other carcinogenic entities. When normal cell replication is compromised by exposure to harmful substances or emissions, this can result in cancer in the affected tissues.

We have seen this pattern time and again, from Vietnam Vets with Agent Orange-induced cancers who were exposed in a Blue Water Zone to recent vets who are suffering from cancer due to toxic burn pits. In some cases, protective equipment failed or proved inadequate, so veterans may not even realize they are at risk of developing cancer.

Given that cancer can originate virtually anywhere in the body, the full list of cancers that qualify for VA disability benefits is quite extensive. However, these are a few of the main types of cancers connected to military service:

  • Brain cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancers
  • Glioblastoma
  • Head cancer
  • Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer 
  • Melanoma
  • Neck cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Reproductive cancer
  • Respiratory cancer

Chronic Multi-System Illnesses and Other Chronic Conditions

Physical disabilities encompass acute injuries, but the VA also accepts claims based on chronic illnesses or conditions related to military service. If you had a pre-existing ongoing illness or condition that was aggravated by your military service, or you acquired a chronic disability due to toxic exposure while on active duty, you are potentially eligible for compensation.

The following are the main chronic conditions recognized by the VA disability conditions list:

  • Arthritis
  • Auto-immune disorders
  • Chronic pain and Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome 
  • Gulf War Syndrome
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Lupus
  • Medically Unexplained Multisymptom Illness
  • MGUS

Skin Conditions Associated with Military Service

Excessive exposure to heat, chemicals, abrasive surfaces, and other irritants is common in the military. Personnel may operate outdoors in the sun, near hot engines, or use tools that produce heat, leading to skin damage. Additionally, handling certain types of chemicals and materials, especially without protective gear, can cause skin conditions and scarring. 

Vets may also have entered the service with a skin condition that flared up or became worse due to the elements they were exposed to. Skin conditions can be painful, itchy, and even disfiguring. Veterans can collect disability benefits for service-related skin conditions like:

  • Acne or Chloracne
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Frostbite
  • Pellagra
  • Psoriasis
  • Scar tissue

Note that while scar tissue is grouped with skin conditions in our VA disability conditions list, it can also develop internally after a penetrating injury or trauma, or as a result of surgery to address an injury.

Musculoskeletal Conditions

Among physical conditions, injuries to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and nerves that enable movement are common in veterans. Military service often involves lifting heavy, ongoing physical exertion, drilling, and other strenuous activities that can damage the parts of the body that allow movement and provide structure. 

Chronic diseases, like ALS, can also weaken muscles, impairing their ability to function. Notable musculoskeletal conditions on the VA disability conditions list include: 

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Intervertebral Disc Syndrome
  • Lumbosacral or cervical strain
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Reduced flexion and/or extension of the joint(s)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis
  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Trigger finger

Neurological Conditions

An injury or illness that affects the brain can impair or alter speech, motor control and coordination, vision, hearing, memory, judgment, and personality. Veterans with service-related neurological conditions may suffer from reduced or disrupted cognitive function. 

This often makes it more difficult for a veteran to work, and may even prevent them from living independently. Both acute injuries and long-term illnesses can constitute or cause neurological conditions in military personnel. 

  • Concussion 
  • Epilepsy
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Mental Conditions Covered by Veterans Disability

Mental health and physical health are often interconnected. Veterans can seek disability benefits for mental conditions resulting from service-related physical conditions, as well as for physical conditions stemming from service-related mental conditions. The VA disability conditions list covers a range of diagnoses. 

Anxiety Disorders

While the term anxiety disorder covers a broad spectrum of conditions, they are generally characterized by repeated and disproportionate reactions to a stressor. Enduring chronic stress, such as life-or-death combat situations, being responsible for the safety and health of others, or facing sexual harassment, can leave veterans in a state of distress when they experience similar situations in the civilian world. 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Social Anxiety

Eating Disorders

Experiencing trauma is a risk factor for eating disorders like anorexia. Vets who survive traumatic events while on active duty, like Military Sexual Trauma, may subsequently suffer from eating disorders. Eating disorders can occur in both men and women, although it is more commonly diagnosed in women.

In addition to the psychological damage associated with an eating disorder, these types of conditions can inflict irreversible physical harm on a veteran’s body. The most common forms of service-connected eating disorders are:

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia 

Mood Disorders

As the name would suggest, mood disorders are characterized by abnormal shifts in emotional state. Veterans with mood disorders may experience chronic depressive episodes or uncontrollable fluctuations in mood, depending on their diagnosis. 

The VA may offer disability benefits to vets who had pre-existing mood disorders that worsened due to their military service. The main mood disorders the VA covers include:

Sleep Disorders

Insufficient or poor-quality sleep can have a profound effect on a veteran’s mood, ability to concentrate, and physical health. At best, a sleep disorder can be exhausting and inconvenient. At worst, it can be dangerous; excessive fatigue can cause vets to fall asleep in risky situations, like behind the wheel. 

Unfortunately, active duty military service is often conducive to sleep disorders. The VA disability conditions list includes three types of sleep disorders:

  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy 
  • Sleep apnea, both Obstructive and Central

Somatic Mental Disorders

This class of mental health disorders generally refers to conditions where a veteran exhibits high levels of stress about symptoms like pain and fatigue. The source of their symptoms may be psychosomatic, rather than a specific injury or illness. 

Vets with somatic disorders often report experiencing disproportionately severe symptoms of a physical ailment and suffer from greater anxiety related to those symptoms. They may be entitled to VA disability benefits for a somatic disorder if they have a diagnosis of:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lower Back Pain Syndrome
  • Persistent Moderate Somatic Symptom Disorder
  • Somatic Symptom Disorder

Stress and Trauma-Related Disorders

Given the high likelihood that a veteran will experience stress and trauma, the VA is generally good about recognizing disorders caused by these circumstances. The ongoing threat of injury or assault or a specific incident can lead to these types of disorders. Examples include:

  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Substance use disorders

Trust VetLaw to Help You With Your Veterans Disability Claim Appeal

We have provided as comprehensive of VA disability conditions list as possible, given that the VA makes changes as necessary. Other service-related conditions may be eligible for VA disability benefits, but you may face resistance from the VA when seeking compensation. 

Our team of accomplished veterans disability appeals attorneys can offer the informed, effective legal assistance you need. VetLaw has the resources, capability, and dedication necessary to help you move forward after a VA denial.

Veterans who are suffering from a service-related health issue on the VA disability conditions list should speak to a VA-accredited lawyer about their options regarding benefits. You can schedule a free consultation with our team of veterans disability benefits lawyers by calling (855) 525-1710 or completing our online contact form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the VA offer disability benefits for pre-existing conditions made worse by military service?

Yes, veterans who entered the military with pre-existing physical or mental conditions that were aggravated by their service or a new service-related disability may be entitled to VA disability benefits.

For example, say a veteran had varicose veins when they joined the military. They had to stand for lengthy periods of time as a part of their job, which made their varicose veins significantly worse than they otherwise would have been.

Depending on the severity of the pre-existing varicose veins, they could potentially obtain VA disability benefits. They would need to establish a medical nexus between their military service and the acceleration or irritation of symptoms. 

What VA disability rating do I need to have in order to qualify for veterans disability benefits?

According to the VA percentage system, you’ll need at least a 10% VA disability rating to collect disability benefits. However, if you have a 0% VA disability rating for a service-connected condition, you may still qualify for other types of benefits. 

With a non-compensable disability, you may be able to access VA healthcare, life insurance, and other services. Additionally, you may appeal to increase your VA disability rating if you think your service-connected disability deserves a higher rating or if it has gotten worse.

Does the VA ever add new disabilities to the list of conditions that qualify for benefits?

Yes, the VA updates the conditions it considers worthy of disability benefits. Usually, this is driven by new scientific evidence. Research findings may indicate that a particular medical issue is more serious than previously thought or that a health problem should be considered its own separate condition. 

Scientific discoveries may also demonstrate that there is a medical nexus between a specific tool or practice used in the military and a health condition. Then, the VA may modify or add to its VA disability conditions list accordingly. However, this does not happen automatically. 

For example, the most recent significant update to the VA disability conditions list occurred when Congress passed the PACT Act. This acknowledged that nearly two dozen disabilities were presumptive conditions for vets who experienced toxic exposure while serving.