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September 5, 2023

Graves Disease VA Rating Explained

Last updated on March 6, 2024

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Can I get a Graves disease VA rating? 

Yes! 

In fact, as of 2022, 9,094 veterans just like you have received a VA rating for a condition called hyperthyroidism, which includes Graves’ disease.

But Graves’ disease is a unique disability. Those 9,094 Veterans were not rated in the same way as other VA disabilities.

How so?

We answer that question and more in this post. Read on!

GRAVES DISEASE VA RATING

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What is Graves’ Disease?

Graves’ Disease is an autoimmune disorder that can cause hyperthyroidism (overproduction of thyroid hormones). Your thyroid is a little butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your neck. Its main function is to regulate your metabolism. 

When Graves’ disease crashes the party, your thyroid goes into overdrive, causing your body to burn up more energy than it would otherwise.

GRAVES DISEASE VA RATING 1

Can I Get a Graves Disease VA Rating?

Yes. A Graves disease VA rating requires the same proof of service connection as any other VA disability claim. 

How Does the VA Rate Graves Disease?

Graves’ Disease is rated under diagnostic code (DC) 7900. This code is titled “Hyperthyroidism, including, but not limited to, Graves’ disease.”

Graves’ Disease and hyperthyroidism are not the same thing, but they’re closely connected. Which is why they’re under the same DC.

They’re closely related because Graves’ disease can cause hyperthyroidism.

Under DC 7900, the max Graves’ Disease VA rating you can get is 30%. 

What’s unique about a Graves’ disease VA rating, however, is that your 30% rating lasts for only 6 months after your initial diagnosis. After that, the symptoms produced by your Graves’ disease will be evaluated individually.

For example, if your Graves’ disease leads to Erectile Dysfunction (ED), after the initial 6-month period, you’ll lose your 30% VA disability rating for Graves’ disease, and you’ll be evaluated for ED under DC 7522. 

How will the VA rate conditions caused by Graves’ disease?

Your new rating percentage will depend on what symptoms you have and their severity.

Erectile Dysfunction is limited to 0%. That means the VA recognizes it’s service-connected, but it doesn’t negatively affect your life enough to be compensated.

NOTE: Even conditions limited to 0% can still be eligible for Special Monthly Compensation.

But if your Graves’ disease leads to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (DC 6354), that could be rated as high as 100%.

VA DISABILITY RATING FOR GRAVES DISEASE

How to Prove Service Connection for Graves Disease

Researchers aren’t quite sure what causes Graves’ disease, just that it’s an autoimmune disorder. If the causes of Graves’ disease are unknown, then how do you prove your military service caused or made it worse (aka service connection)?

As mentioned above, a Graves’ disease VA rating requires the same proof of service connection as any other claim. 

To prove service connection, you’ll need:

  1. Medical Diagnosis. No medical diagnosis, no service connection
  2. Evidence of an In-Service Event, Injury, Disease, or Aggravation. If you got sick or injured while on active duty and can link the condition to your injury or illness, or you had an injury or illness before joining the military, and your time in the service worsened the condition.
  3. Nexus. A nexus statement (including Nexus letters) can provide a link between #1 and #2 via competent medical evidence.

How is Graves’ Disease Diagnosed?

To diagnose Graves’ disease, your doctor will likely conduct a physical exam and ask about your family history. They also might order a few tests, such as:

  • Blood tests
  • Radioactive iodine uptake
  • Ultrasound
  • Imaging tests

To get a VA disability rating for Grave’s Disease, you need to get an official diagnosis from a medical professional.

GRAVES DISEASE SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of Graves’ Disease

Getting through daily life can be particularly challenging for individuals with a Graves’ disease VA rating. The effects extend beyond physical symptoms and include emotional and mental stress. It’s not rare for people with Graves’ Disease to experience severe anxiety, mood swings, and depression.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Tremors in the hands or fingers
  • Heat sensitivity, an increase in perspiration, or warm, moist skin
  • Weight loss, despite eating normally
  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Change in menstrual cycles
  • Erectile dysfunction or reduced libido
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Bulging eyes (Graves’ ophthalmopathy)
  • Fatigue
  • Thick, red skin, usually on the shins or tops of the feet (Graves’ dermopathy)
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Sleep disturbance

Graves’ Disease Treatment

Once you’re diagnosed, you can begin treating your Graves’ disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, common treatments for Graves’ disease include:

  • Radioactive iodine therapy
  • Anti-thyroid medication
  • Beta-blockers
  • Surgery

Graves’ Disease VA Rating (FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions

What is Graves’ Disease?

Graves’ Disease is an autoimmune disorder that can cause hyperthyroidism (overproduction of thyroid hormones). 

Can I get a Graves disease VA rating?

Yes. A Graves disease VA rating requires the same proof of service connection as any other VA disability claim. 

Can I get a Graves’ disease VA rating if I was not diagnosed while in service?

Yes, as long as you have an official and current diagnosis and can prove service connection.

Can I get disability compensation for the eye problems caused by Graves disease?

Yes, the VA provides disability compensation for those suffering from Graves Ophthalmopathy, a condition common in patients with Graves’ disease. 

Your rating depends on how your eyesight is affected.

Conclusion

The VA rating system can often feel like a complicated maze. And getting a Graves’ disease VA rating might seem like an insurmountable obstacle.

That’s where we come in.

Here at VA Claims Insider, we provide education and coaching to disabled veterans exploring their eligibility for increased VA disability benefits. 

Don’t navigate this journey alone.

If you are experiencing symptoms related to Graves’ Disease or any other service-connected condition, reach out to us!

Schedule your FREE VA Claims Insider Discovery Call to speak with our experts about how you can get a running start on your Grave’s disease VA rating.

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