Young male veteran with a sinusitis VA rating sitting at home on his couch dealing with a painful sinusitis episode

VA Disability for Sinusitis

Legally reviewed by

Recurring sinusitis symptoms can impact a veteran’s ability to work and maintain a decent quality of life; if their condition is related to their active duty military service, they may qualify for a sinusitis VA rating and veterans disability benefits.


  • Chronic sinusitis can cause symptoms including runny nose, congestion, and postnasal drip; the infection may also spread beyond the sinuses.
  • In military service members, sinusitis often results from exposure to toxic burn pits, Gulf War oil well fires, and sandstorms. 
  • Veterans with sinusitis related to military service may qualify for a VA disability rating and benefits. 
  • Sinusitis VA ratings range from 0% to 50%, based on symptom severity and frequency, including criteria like incapacitating episodes and the need for surgical intervention.
  • Veterans denied benefits for service-related sinusitis can appeal with the help of VA disability attorneys. They assist in gathering evidence, addressing case weaknesses, and representing the veteran in communications with the VA.

Military personnel are often harmed by exposure to chemical pollutants and environmental irritants while carrying out their duties, which can manifest as service-related conditions like sinusitis.

Severe sinus infections that relegate you to your bed for days and last for several weeks can quickly become financially, physically, and emotionally draining. Let the veterans disability appeals attorneys of VetLaw help you with your sinusitis VA rating so you can start collecting the disability benefits you need.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team about a free consultation by calling (855) 561-1330 or filling out a contact form today. From start to finish, our team will remain focused on helping you to secure maximum VA disability benefits.

Why VetLaw is the Obvious Choice for Your Sinusitis VA Disability Claim

There are many compelling reasons why veterans should hire a VA benefits lawyer to handle their veterans disability appeals. Few can offer the level of attention and commitment we consistently provide at VetLaw.

Our motivated team of VA-accredited veterans disability appeals attorneys has the tenacity, knowledge, and diligence that sets VetLaw apart from the rest. We have also taken an active role in supporting veterans’ toxic exposure claims, which is the type of claim many vets with a sinusitis VA rating file.

VetLaw’s specialization in this area means that our team can make experience-based recommendations and guide you more effectively through the VA appeals process for sinusitis disability claims.

As a veteran-founded firm, VetLaw has made it a point to continue Brendan Garcia’s service-oriented legacy. We have done so by tirelessly advocating for vets struggling to obtain the compensation they rightfully deserve. You can trust us to do the same for you.

Grateful Client Reviews and Undeniable Results Capture the VetLaw Experience

We are proud to serve as a voice for veterans in the VA disability claims process. Our team of veterans disability claims attorneys has honed their skill set to become formidable defenders of veterans seeking VA disability benefits for service-connected conditions like sinusitis. Client reviews speak highly of our legal services:

“There’s no way another attorney would have or could have represented me better. I know in my heart that the only reason I received my full benefits is because I had this law firm to fight for me. They were patient with me and relentless in their pursuit of what was right. I am eternally grateful!”

“VetLaw did a great job with my case with [the] VA. I am very proud of the work that they did and I recommend them to anyone.”

“So glad I went with Vet Law. Professional from the beginning to the end. I was informed of events as they happened and updated regularly.”

Overview of Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms in Veterans

Sinusitis can be classified as acute or chronic. The VA compensates qualified veterans for chronic sinusitis, which is when the sinuses remain inflamed or infected for more than 3 months. Sinuses are small cavities located in the skull near the nose and brow.

Healthy sinuses help filter out the irritants that a person inhales. Additionally, they generate mucus to flush harmful microorganisms and allergens out through the nose.

When a veteran is exposed to high levels of an irritant like dust or toxic particulate matter, this can essentially flood the sinuses to the point where they cannot process it all before becoming inflamed.

Consequently, mucus accumulates in the sinuses. This can make it difficult to breathe and put uncomfortable pressure on the area surrounding the nose and eyes. Typical sinusitis symptoms include:

  • Runny and stuffy nose
  • Postnasal drip down the back of the throat 
  • Sensitivity and swelling around the eyes and nose
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Trouble tasting or smelling normally
  • Bad breath
  • Sore throat
  • Pain in the ears, head, and teeth

In rare cases, the underlying infection responsible for a vet’s chronic sinusitis spreads to other parts of the body. This can result in vision damage, bone and skin infections, or a life-threatening meningitis infection.

Veterans with service-connected sinusitis may secure VA disability benefits for secondary conditions that occur as a result of their original disability.

Respiratory Issues Like Sinusitis Linked to Hazardous Environmental Conditions and Military Practices

Constantly breathing in abrasive or toxic particulate matter can lead to sinusitis. For military personnel serving in climates prone to dust storms or near burning contaminants, this is often an unavoidable risk.

Inhaling these pollutants can trigger an immune response in a veteran’s sinuses, causing them to grow inflamed or even infected. The following are the major sources of service-connected sinusitis:

  • Toxic Burn Pits: The military used open-air fire pits to burn trash, chemicals, fuel, medical and human waste, and other materials. The smoke these burn pits produced is toxic, and anyone near or downwind of it likely inhaled harmful contaminants.
  • Gulf War Oil Well Fires: Military personnel were exposed to air pollutants during the Gulf War after Iraqi oil wells were set on fire and dispersed smoke and soot to the surrounding areas.
  • Sandstorms: In desert environments where strong winds created sandstorms, military personnel were susceptible to inhaling sand and dust particles that irritate the respiratory system.

The connection between prolonged exposure to particulate matter and sinusitis is significant enough for the VA to accept sinusitis as a presumptive condition in these cases. Veterans with a sinusitis VA rating due to service-related toxic exposure may qualify for PACT Act compensation

Young female veteran laying in bed with sinusitis surrounded by used tissues

Understanding the Sinusitis VA Rating Schedule

The VA offers up to a 50% compensation rate for service-connected sinusitis. The more severe and recurrent the symptoms are, the higher the rating. The threshold for entitlement to VA disability benefits is a 10% rating, so veterans with a 0% sinusitis VA rating do not qualify for compensation. 

Veterans receive a sinusitis VA rating based on which description their symptoms fit. The VA relies on Diagnostic Codes 6510 to 6514 for sinusitis to determine a vet’s disability rating.

For the purpose of understanding the sinusitis VA rating schedule, know that for the VA to consider a sinusitis episode incapacitating, your sinusitis has to be serious enough that you had to be treated by a doctor and be on bed rest.  

The current VA rating schedule for sinusitis is:

  • 0% rating: Sinusitis is only evident in an X-ray image.
  • 10% rating: On an annual basis, a veteran experiences either: incapacitating sinusitis once or twice and needed at least a month of antibiotics to treat it OR non-incapacitating sinusitis three to six times with pus-like discharge or crusting around the nose, headaches, and pain.
  • 30% rating: Each year, a veteran experienced either: incapacitating sinusitis at least three times and needed antibiotic medication for at least a month OR non-incapacitating sinusitis more than six times, including pus-like discharge or build-up around the nose, headaches, and pain.
  • 50% rating: A veteran’s sinusitis symptoms required radical surgical intervention and they experience related recurring bone infections OR after multiple surgeries, a veteran still experiences sinusitis symptoms almost constantly, including headaches, chronic pain, and pus-like discharge that may harden around the nose.

Establishing a Sinusitis VA Rating for a Veterans Disability Claim

Dealing with sinusitis, especially in its chronic form, can be a financial burden. Veterans may require ongoing medical care and frequently have to miss work due to their painful sinusitis symptoms.

Dealing with sinusitis symptoms can also cut into the time a veteran would normally spend with family and friends or enjoying hobbies. Over time, these financial, physical, and mental costs add up.

The VA provides compensation for service-connected sinusitis in acknowledgment of these losses. To be able to collect VA disability benefits for your sinusitis, you will need to submit evidence of the following:

  • At least 2 years of active duty military service or a completed contract
  • An Other-Than-Dishonorable discharge
  • An official medical diagnosis of sinusitis
  • A service connection between your sinusitis and an event or circumstances during your time in the military, including a medical nexus showing your sinusitis was caused or aggravated by these conditions
  • You experienced the in-service event or conditions that caused your sinusitis
  • Your symptoms are severe enough to deserve a compensable sinusitis VA rating

Your actual VA disability rating for your sinusitis will be based on an assessment of your symptoms and service connection. Often, the VA relies on a Compensation and Pension exam to collect more details on a veteran’s condition or verify the contentions of your VA disability claim.

Skills an Experienced VA Disability Claims Lawyer Can Lend to Your Case

Most veterans believe that the success of their VA disability claim for sinusitis is contingent on how accurately and thoroughly they document their eligibility. While this is true, it is not the only factor that can impact your claim. 

Oftentimes, the VA will deny an eligible veteran because of insufficient evidence or avoidable errors. This is where having a capable VA disability attorney managing your claim can play a role in the compensation you receive.

Not only can a veterans disability appeals attorney facilitate the process of filing an appeal, but they can also craft a proactive strategy to secure the sinusitis VA rating and benefits you are trying to obtain. This includes:

  • Identifying weaknesses in your current case or mistakes made by the VA
  • Ensuring your claim accounts for all of your service-connected and secondary conditions
  • Gathering solid evidence documenting your disability and service connection
  • Recommending the appeals path that best suits your goals and timeline
  • Representing you in communications with the VA or a Board of Veterans’ Appeals hearing

Start Your Appeal for Your VA Sinusitis Disability Claim With VetLaw by Your Side

A VA denial requires a powerful response, and VetLaw is the legal team to provide it. On your behalf, we will relentlessly pursue a sinusitis VA rating and disability benefits that match your level of impairment. 

Our team has a reputation for being straightforward communicators and dedicated advocates based on nearly a decade of service to veterans with disabilities. We are here to make the VA appeal process as stress-free as possible for you and your family. 

Get in touch with the VetLaw team at (855) 561-1330 or submit a contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our veterans disability benefits denial lawyers will work with you to get your VA appeal for service-related sinusitis on track so you can access the VA disability benefits you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I request an extra-schedular sinusitis VA rating?

The maximum sinusitis VA rating is 50% on the standard rating schedule, which can leave a vet with a rare and severe form of the condition without the financial support they need to cover the costs of their service-related sinusitis.

A veterans disability benefits attorney can help determine if pursuing a high level of VA disability benefits with an extra-schedular rating is worth it.

When should I hire a veterans disability claims attorney?

A veterans disability claims attorney enters the process after the VA has denied a claim for benefits. If you want to pursue a VA appeal, it is often worth it to hire a VA disability lawyer.

After the VA sends you the decision letter denying your disability benefits, you have a year to dispute it. This is when you want to involve a veterans disability appeals lawyer. It may sound early, and a year may seem like a lot of time.

However, remember your attorney will need time to review your case, conduct research, gather evidence, and craft a convincing appeal. The more time you can give them to prepare your VA appeal, the better.

Are service-connected sinusitis claims considered guaranteed VA disability claims?

Veterans with sinusitis VA ratings may have guaranteed VA disability claims. Sinusitis is a presumptive condition for certain incidents in the military. The VA has already conceded that specific medical issues are caused by specific events or circumstances in the military. 

Veterans who can prove they experienced the event and have a sinusitis VA rating do not have to demonstrate a service connection between the two to qualify for a guaranteed VA disability claim. 

The VA still grants benefits to veterans who have sinusitis but did not experience the presumptive conditions, but they have the responsibility of establishing a medical nexus to show their sinusitis is service-related.