In this post, we’ll explore How to Get a GERD VA Rating 60 Percent, which is the highest scheduler rating by law.
So many veterans suffer from various digestive system issues due to their military service, especially Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
Because GERD can lead to various work/life impairments to include functional/economic loss, you might be eligible to receive service connected VA disability benefits for GERD.
The VA rates GERD on a scale from 10% to 60% with a midpoint break at 30%.
- 60% VA Rating for GERD includes symptoms of pain, vomiting, material weight loss, and hematemesis or melena with moderate anemia; or other symptom combinations productive of severe impairment of health.
- 30% VA Rating for GERD includes symptoms such as persistently recurrent epigastric distress with dysphagia, pyrosis, and regurgitation, accompanied by substernal or arm or shoulder pain, productive of considerable impairment of health.
- 10% VA Rating for GERD involves two or more of the symptoms for the 30 percent evaluation of less severity.
Can I Get a GERD VA Rating 60 Percent?
Yes, you can get a 60% VA rating for GERD if you have the most severe symptoms under the VA rating schedule.
For example, if you have pain, vomiting, material weight loss and hematemesis or melena with moderate anemia; or other symptom combinations productive of severe impairment of health, you qualify for a 60 percent GERD VA rating, which is the maximum scheduler rating under the law.
Keep in mind you do not have to meet all the symptoms listed under the rating criteria to get a particular rating.
For GERD, the key is “severe impairment of health” regardless of your exact symptoms.
Again, if your GERD is severe with symptoms such as: pain, vomiting, material weight loss and hematemesis or melena with moderate anemia; or other symptom combinations productive of severe impairment of health, you are eligible for a 60% VA disability rating for GERD.
What is GERD for VA Disability Rating Purposes?
GERD arises when stomach acid repeatedly flows back into the esophagus, which is the tube connecting your mouth and stomach.
When this happens, the lining inside your esophagus can become irritated due to the stomach acid, leading to the uncomfortable sensation of heartburn or acid reflux.
Many veterans find relief from GERD symptoms by making dietary adjustments, adopting healthier lifestyles, and utilizing over-the-counter or prescription medications.
One commonly prescribed medication is Omeprazole, also known as Prilosec, which comes in different doses to effectively manage GERD symptoms.
In cases where GERD symptoms are extremely severe, veterans may require stronger medications or, in rare instances, surgery to alleviate their symptoms.
What are the VA Disability Ratings for GERD?
VA disability ratings for GERD range from 10% to 60%, with a break at 30%.
A veteran’s final VA rating for GERD depends upon the Frequency, Severity, and Duration of your symptoms, including how those symptoms negatively impact your work, life, and social functioning.
Important: there is no separate diagnostic code for GERD; thus, it’s assigned a VA rating analogous to Diagnostic Code (DC) 7346, Hernia Hiatal:
|VA Rating for GERD: DC 7346, Hernia Hiatal
|GERD with symptoms of pain, vomiting, material weight loss and hematemesis or melena with moderate anemia; or other symptom combinations productive of severe impairment of health
|GERD with persistently recurrent epigastric distress with dysphagia, pyrosis, and regurgitation, accompanied by substernal or arm or shoulder pain, productive of considerable impairment of health
|GERD with two or more of the symptoms for the 30 percent evaluation of less severity
How Do I Increase My VA Rating for GERD?
If you already have a VA rating for GERD at 10% or 30%, but think you deserve an increase because your symptoms are more severe, you can simply open a new claim on VA.gov and file for an increase on your service connected GERD.
Keep in mind you’ll need medical evidence showing how your symptoms have become worse over time.
What kind of medical evidence?
We recommend getting a private provider to prepare a DBQ for GERD increase.
It’s also helpful to have treatment notes and conversations with your doctor showing how your symptoms have worsened.
Conclusion and Wrap Up
Many veterans who have served in the military often experience various digestive system problems, particularly Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
GERD can have significant impacts on their work, personal life, and finances.
Remember if you suffer from GERD due to your military service, or another service connected disability for secondary service connection, you may qualify for VA disability benefits specifically for GERD.
Here are the three different VA disability rating percentages for GERD:
- A 60% VA Rating for GERD is given when the symptoms include pain, vomiting, substantial weight loss, and the presence of blood in vomit or stool accompanied by moderate anemia. It can also be granted for other combinations of symptoms that severely impair your health.
- A 30% VA Rating for GERD is awarded when the symptoms involve recurring upper abdominal distress along with difficulty swallowing, heartburn, and regurgitation. If these symptoms are accompanied by pain in the chest, arm, or shoulder, and they significantly affect your health, you may qualify for this rating.
- A 10% VA Rating for GERD is assigned if you have at least two of the symptoms described in the 30% evaluation but with less severity.
If your GERD symptoms are severe, including pain, vomiting, substantial weight loss, and the presence of blood in vomit or stool, or if they cause a severe impairment to your health through other combinations of symptoms, you are eligible for a 60% VA disability rating for GERD.
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About the Author
Brian Reese is one of the top VA disability benefits experts in the world and bestselling author of You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned (Second Edition).
Brian’s frustration with the VA claim process led him to create VA Claims Insider, which provides disabled veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim, faster, even if they’ve already filed, been denied, gave up, or don’t know where to start.
As the founder of VA Claims Insider and CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, he has helped serve more than 10 million military members and veterans since 2013 through free online educational resources.
He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).