Vet on wheelchair

Veterans Disability For Erectile Dysfunction

Legally reviewed by Brendan Garcia , Owner and Lead Attorney

It is an unfortunate truth that veterans are at a higher risk for several physical and mental health conditions, including erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can have a ripple effect on a person’s life, impacting their relationships, quality of life, and emotional well-being. As such, if you developed erectile dysfunction during or after your service, you may be entitled to VA disability erectile dysfunction benefits. Receiving an adequate erectile dysfunction VA rating can be difficult, requiring veterans to skillfully leverage the VA disability rating system to receive full disability compensation. At VetLaw, we provide support and guidance to veterans across the country. As the law firm of choice for countless veterans and their families, we are confident in our ability to fight for your rights and win your case. To learn more about how we can help, consider contacting our office today.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that is characterized by the persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection that is firm enough for sex. While having trouble with erections is normal from time to time, if the issue happens routinely, it may be cause for seeking treatment. In some situations, having issues with getting or maintaining an erection can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

The symptoms of erectile dysfunction often vary from person to person. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms of the condition include:

  • Persistent trouble getting an erection
  • Being unable to maintain an erection for the duration of sex
  • Reduced sexual desire
  • Total inability to achieve an erection

Erectile dysfunction is a prevalent condition, impacting approximately one in ten men. There are many known risk factors of erectile dysfunction, such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Prostate issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Neurological disorders like stroke or multiple sclerosis
  • Chronic sleep disorders such as sleep apnea
  • Injury to the penis, spinal cord, bladder, or pelvis
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Peyronie’s disease

It should also be noted that compared to the general population, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are at an increased risk of erectile dysfunction. In fact, one study reports that 85% of veterans who were diagnosed with PTSD also struggle with erectile dysfunction. This insight helps to demonstrate the connection between military service and erectile dysfunction.

Does the VA Consider Erectile Dysfunction to Be a Disability It Will Cover?

Yes, the VA does consider erectile dysfunction to be a disability it will cover. Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that can prevent a person from living a happy and fulfilling life. It can negatively impact a person’s relationship with their partner and hinder their ability to have a healthy sex life. Moreover, the treatment for erectile dysfunction can place a serious financial and physical burden on the individual. For these reasons, the VA does offer disability benefits to veterans who struggle with erectile dysfunction.

To qualify for VA disability erectile dysfunction benefits, you must demonstrate that you have been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, that an incident or injury occurred during your service, and that there is a medical nexus (connection) between your condition and the in-service incident or injury. As long as these three criteria can be proven, you may be granted VA disability benefits.

How Can Erectile Dysfunction Be Connected to Military Service?

With erectile dysfunction being such a common issue among veterans, it is natural to wonder how this condition is connected to military service. Many times, individuals who experience trauma during their military service also struggle with erectile dysfunction. Military sexual trauma is one such example of this. Individuals who experience sexual trauma during their service are often required to work with their attacker on a regular basis, causing stress and leaving them vulnerable to developing sexual dysfunction.

Another connection can be made between substance abuse and erectile dysfunction. Veterans with mental health conditions like PTSD are more likely to abuse alcohol and other illicit substances, which increases the risk of developing erectile dysfunction.

Veterans with other underlying conditions are also at a higher risk of developing erectile dysfunction. Men who have diabetes are roughly two times more likely to struggle with erectile dysfunction than men who do not have diabetes. It is not uncommon for veterans to file a claim for erectile dysfunction along with a claim for other conditions like depression, sleep apnea, prostate cancer, anxiety, or hypertension.

What Is the VA Rating for Erectile Dysfunction?

Unlike other conditions, erectile dysfunction does not have its own classification under the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities. Instead, the VA evaluates erectile dysfunction under various other rating categories found within 38 C.F.R. § 4.115b. Specifically, Diagnostic Codes 7520 – 7524 are used to assign an individual’s erectile dysfunction VA rating:

  • Under Code 7520, if the penis was partially removed, a rating of 30% will be assigned.
  • Based on Code 7521, if a person’s glands were removed, the condition is rated at 20%.
  • Code 7522 states that if a man has difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection due to physical deformity, a rating of 20% will be granted.
  • According to Code 7523, if the testicles become atrophied due to reduced testosterone, a disability rating of 20% will be assigned if both testicles are affected and 0% if only one testicle is affected.
  • Under Code 7524, if a person has both testicles removed, they will be granted a 30% rating. If they only had one testicle removed, a 0% rating will be assigned.

Even if you receive a 0% erectile dysfunction VA rating, you may still obtain compensation through the Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) program. SMC-K provides additional benefits to veterans who experience “loss of use of a creative organ,” which is basically any veteran who suffers from erectile dysfunction. SMC-K is paid in addition to your monthly compensation check, which means that even if you already have a 100-percent rating, seeking service connection for erectile dysfunction can increase your monthly payment amount.

What If the VA Denies Your Claim for Erectile Dysfunction?

Successfully applying for and obtaining VA disability benefits for erectile dysfunction can be challenging, and many veterans are initially denied compensation for a variety of reasons. While you may feel discouraged after receiving a denial for your VA disability claim, there are several options available to continue your case and ultimately secure benefits. At VetLaw, we have worked with veterans to:

  • Submit a Supplemental Claim containing new and/or relevant evidence that supports their claim. In some cases, additional medical records or statements of support are necessary to increase your erectile dysfunction VA rating and secure the benefits you deserve.
  • Request a Higher-Level Review to have their claim re-evaluated by a senior reviewer. Mistakes happen and it is not uncommon for another opinion to change the outcome of a case.
  • File an appeal with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. We have a great deal of experience navigating this high-level appeal system and are confident in our ability to win your case through an additional evidence submission, direct review, or a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge.

Hiring an Attorney Near You to Help with Your VA Disability Denial for Erectile Dysfunction

Hiring an attorney near you to help with your VA disability erectile dysfunction case can make all the difference. The right attorney will work with you to obtain the proper evidence for your case, increase your erectile dysfunction VA rating, and successfully appeal your denied claim. At VetLaw, this is the sole focus of our work. We guide veterans and their families through the VA process, working tirelessly to ensure that their rights are upheld at every step of the way. Consider connecting with our team to begin your free case review today.