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February 20, 2024

Can I Get a Memory Loss VA Rating?

Last updated on June 27, 2024

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In this guide, we’ll reveal how you can qualify for a memory loss VA rating.

We’ll explain how the VA rates memory loss, how to get service connected and file for VA disability for memory loss, and much more. 

Let’s get started.

MEMORY LOSS VA RATING

Veterans and Memory Loss

As a veteran, you’re more susceptible to memory loss due to traumatic brain injury, PTSD, depression, and other service-related conditions.  

This guide offers clarity on memory loss and its impact on VA benefits, whether you’re a veteran or supporting one through the VA disability claims process.

How the VA Rates Memory Loss

There is no specific diagnostic code for memory loss, and instead, the VA will assign your disability rating based on where your memory loss stems from. 

For example, your memory loss may be a result of PTSD. Therefore, you may be eligible for a PTSD VA rating varying between 0% and 100% under 38 CFR § 4.130, Diagnostic Code 9411, the Schedule of Ratings for Mental Disorders.

Memory Loss VA Ratings

Memory loss can be rated from 0-100%, depending on the severity of the VA-rateable disability that is causing your memory loss.

For example, if PTSD is the cause of your memory loss, the VA rates PTSD at 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, and 100%, depending on the severity, frequency, and duration of your symptoms. 

If a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the cause of your memory loss, the VA rates TBIs at 0%, 10%, 40%, 70%, and 100% levels. The VA also offers additional special monthly compensation (SMC) to veterans dealing with severe TBIs.

Note: You can find the VA ratings for Alzheimer’s disease under the Schedule of Ratings for Mental Disorders. 

VA RATING FOR MEMORY LOSS

How to Get Service Connected for Memory Loss

If you suffer from memory loss because of your military service, you should know how to prove a service connection and file a VA disability claim.

To receive VA disability for memory loss, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. A current diagnosis of memory loss  
  2. An in-service event, injury, illness, or aggravation
  3. A medical nexus (i.e., link) between the current diagnosis and the in-service event, injury, or illness
VA DISABILITY RATING FOR MEMORY LOSS

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How to File a VA Claim for Memory Loss

To file a VA claim to receive a VA rating for memory loss, you should:

  • Gather documentation, including medical records, test results, and service records, to help link your military service to your condition.
  • Submit your VA claim with the completed form and supporting documents online through the VA website, by mail, by fax, or in person.

The VA will notify you of their decision regarding your eligibility for a VA disability rating for memory loss, including VA benefits and compensation.

MEMORY LOSS VA DISABILITY

Testing for Memory Loss VA Disability

To receive the appropriate memory loss VA rating, you’ll likely be required to attend testing to help determine the cause of your condition.

Your exam to test for memory loss will likely include:

  • History of symptoms
  • Family history of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Review of your medicine
  • A physical exam, including hearing, vision, heart, and neurological function
  • Blood and urine tests 
  • Cognitive testing, like a short memory test

VA Rating Chart for Memory Loss

Below is the VA rating chart for PTSD, a potential cause of memory loss. While there is no specific diagnostic code for memory loss, the VA will consider your symptoms when assigning a VA rating. 

General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders VA Rating 
Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as: gross impairment in thought processes or communication; persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name.100%
Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood, due to such symptoms as: suicidal ideation, obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities; speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant; near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively; impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods of violence); spatial disorientation; neglect of personal appearance and hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including work or a work-like setting); inability to establish and maintain effective relationships70%
Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment of short – and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships.50%
Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms as: depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events).30%
Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms that decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks only during periods of significant stress, or symptoms controlled by continuous medication10%
A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication.0%

You may be granted a 100% VA disability rating for memory loss if your condition is severe, where you can’t remember the names of close family members. 

PTSD and Memory Loss 

It’s not uncommon for someone with PTSD to suffer memory loss.  A 2022 study showed that PTSD affects memory loss in the following two main ways: 

  • By affecting a person’s general memory, leading to increased forgetfulness and decreased working memory  
  • An overall challenging time with short-term and long-term memory 

Since PTSD is generally more common in veterans than non-veterans, you may want to pursue VA benefits if you believe your condition is directly linked to your military service.

See Also: Top 3 Ways to Get a VA Rating for PTSD

Memory Loss and TDIU

Suppose you don’t qualify for a 100% VA rating for memory loss. In that case, you may still be eligible for total disability based on individual employability (TDIU) if your condition prevents you from maintaining substantially gainful employment. 

You will receive a rate equivalent to a 100% disability rating if you qualify for TDIU. 

MEMORY LOSS VA RATING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

VA Rating for Memory Loss (FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions

How does the VA rate memory loss?

The VA rates memory loss from 0-100%, depending on the severity of the VA-rateable condition that is causing your memory loss. There is no specific VA diagnostic code (DC) for memory loss. 

Can you appeal a denied claim for a memory loss VA rating?

You can file an appeal if your claim is denied and you feel you deserve a VA disability rating for memory loss. 

If the VA decision was dated on or after February 19, 2019, you have three options to continue your case:

What medical evidence is required for a VA rating for memory loss?

To help you get VA disability for memory loss, you should provide the following with your claim:

VA DISABILITY FOR MEMORY LOSS

NEED MORE ASSISTANCE?

Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and, therefore, not getting their due compensation. At VA Claims Insider, we educate you on taking control of the claims process so you may get the rating and compensation you’re owed by law. If you’ve filed your VA disability claim and have been denied or have received a low rating—or you’re unsure how to get started—reach out to us!

Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you in building a fully developed claim (FDC)—so you may increase your rating FAST! Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call. Learn what you’ve been missing—so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation YOU DESERVE!

Kelly Olone

Kelly Olone

Kelly Olone is a military spouse who earned her degree in Psychology from Florida International University. After working in the non-profit sector for several years, she turned to her passion for writing. She aims to contribute to a better understanding of the valuable benefits that veterans deserve. As a mom, Kelly navigates the delicate balance between deadlines and bedtime stories with finesse. 

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