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May 31, 2024

How to Win a Dermatitis VA Rating

Last updated on June 17, 2024

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want to learn how to implement these strategies to get the VA benefits you deserve, click here to speak with a VA claim expert for free.

Between the hot, dry climates you were deployed to, the irritating materials you may have handled, and the stressful environments you lived and worked in, there are plenty of ways your service could have caused your dermatitis. 

If this describes you, then don’t leave money on the table. Get the dermatitis VA rating you deserve! 

The goal of this post is to help you feel confident and ready to submit your claim for the VA disability benefits your service entitles you to. 

Let’s get started… 

Summary of Key Points

  • Dermatitis is rated under Diagnostic Code 7806 and using the General Rating Formula for the Skin. 
  • The VA rates dermatitis at 0%, 10%, 30%, or 60%. 
  • There are many benefits that come with a VA rating aside from monthly compensation. 
  • The VA averages 155.5 days to make a rating decision. 
  • If you disagree with a VA decision made on or after February 19, 2019, you have 3 decision review options. 
DERMATITIS VA RATING

You DESERVE a HIGHER VA rating.
WE CAN HELP.

Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call with an experienced Team Member. Learn what you’ve been missing so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you’ve earned for your service.

Types of Dermatitis Rated by the VA

Specific types of dermatitis don’t appear in Title 38 of the US Code of Federal Regulations (the title that governs the VA). This means there is no specific seborrheic dermatitis VA rating, for example. Only the broad term “dermatitis” appears in CFR 38, which encompasses many skin conditions, including the following: 

  • Atopic dermatitis. Also known as eczema. This type of dermatitis occurs when your skin’s barrier function is damaged. Symptoms can be triggered by food allergens, such as peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, cow’s milk, wheat, shellfish, and seafood. 
  • Contact dermatitis occurs when you come into contact with something you’re allergic to. 
  • Neurodermatitis is observed to be caused by stress, anxiety, depression, nerve injuries, and other skin conditions. 
  • Nummular dermatitis. This type of dermatitis can be caused by exposure to rough fabrics (like wool), dry environments, skin trauma, or injury (like a burn, scrape, or bug bite). 
  • Seborrheic dermatitis can be aggravated by dry and cold climates. Other possible causes include stress and an increased level of androgens. 

Dermatitis VA Disability Rating Chart

Dermatitis is rated under Diagnostic Code (DC) 7806. Diagnostic codes are unique, 4-digit codes the VA uses to identify conditions evaluated for VA disability benefits. Usually, a diagnostic code will have rating criteria included with it that specify what rating percentage should be awarded for what symptoms. 

But under diagnostic code 7806 is a little note that says, “Evaluate under the General Rating Formula for the Skin.” 

image 4
DC 7806

This formula is how the VA rates most skin conditions, and it primarily considers these two factors: 

  1.  The extent to which dermatitis lesions affect the body.  
  1.  The frequency of immunosuppressive drug usage needed to manage dermatitis 
VA RATING FOR DERMATITIS

Based on these factors, dermatitis VA ratings can be either 0%, 10%, 30%, or 60%. Each percentage corresponds with specific criteria that are laid out in the rating chart. 

Check out the VA rating chart for skin conditions below 👇 It doesn’t matter if you have atopic dermatitis or neurodermatitis if it produces these symptoms, you could be eligible for a VA rating for dermatitis. 

General Rating Formula for the Skin Rating 
At least one of the following: Characteristic lesions involving more than 40 percent of the entire body or more than 40 percent of exposed areas affected; or Constant or near-constant systemic therapy including, but not limited to, corticosteroids, phototherapy, retinoids, biologics, photochemotherapy, psoralen with long-wave ultraviolet-A light (PUVA), or other immunosuppressive drugs required over the past 12-month period    60% 
At least one of the following: Characteristic lesions involving 20 to 40 percent of the entire body or 20 to 40 percent of exposed areas affected; or Systemic therapy including, but not limited to, corticosteroids, phototherapy, retinoids, biologics, photochemotherapy, PUVA, or other immunosuppressive drugs required for a total duration of 6 weeks or more, but not constantly, over the past 12-month period    30% 
At least one of the following: Characteristic lesions involving at least 5 percent, but less than 20 percent, of the entire body affected; or At least 5 percent, but less than 20 percent, of exposed areas affected; or Intermittent systemic therapy including, but not limited to, corticosteroids, phototherapy, retinoids, biologics, photochemotherapy, PUVA, or other immunosuppressive drugs required for a total duration of less than 6 weeks over the past 12-month period    10% 
No more than topical therapy required over the past 12-month period and at least one of the following: Characteristic lesions involving less than 5 percent of the entire body affected; or Characteristic lesions involving less than 5 percent of exposed areas affected Or rate as disfigurement of the head, face, or neck (DC 7800) or scars (DCs 7801, 7802, 7804, or 7805), depending upon the predominant disability. This rating instruction does not apply to DC 7824    0% 
VA Ratings Chart for Skin Conditions

Qualifying for a Dermatitis VA Rating

All VA disability benefits are only available to veterans who meet the qualification criteria. 

Those criteria include: 

  1. A current diagnosis. The VA can’t rate a condition that hasn’t been formally diagnosed by a qualified medical professional. 
  1. You have persistent and recurring symptoms. Even if you have a recent diagnosis, if your symptoms go away, you aren’t eligible for a VA rating.  
  1. Specific service requirements
  1. Proof that your military service caused your disability or made it worse. This is known as “service connection.” 
SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS VA RATING 1

How to Get a Dermatitis Diagnosis

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need a current and official diagnosis from a qualified medical professional. 

“Current” means that you still have symptoms. If you were diagnosed with dermatitis in the past, but it got better, your diagnosis is no longer current. You need to have symptoms of dermatitis in the present day. This is what is meant by “persistent and recurring.” 

The VA accepts diagnoses from any qualified medical professional, private or VA-affiliated. But if you get one from a private physician, you could be left footing the bill. 

If you’re already enrolled in VA Healthcare and registered as a patient with your nearest VA medical center, you may be able to get a diagnosis for free. 

Service Requirements

Service requirements vary depending on the benefit. For monthly compensation, the service requirements include: 

  1. Have served at least 90 days on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training 
  1. Not have received an Other Than Honorable, Bad Conduct, or Dishonorable discharge 

You’ll need to submit your DD-214 with your VA claim to show that you have qualifying service. 

Service Connecting Your Dermatitis

You can only get a dermatitis VA rating if your military service caused your dermatitis or made it worse. This is known as “service connection.” 

Types of Service Connection: 

  1. Direct Service Connection is when your military service is directly responsible for your current condition.  
  1. Presumed Service Connection refers to conditions the VA automatically assumes were caused by military service. For example, it’s assumed all service members who served in the Vietnam War were likely impacted by Agent Orange. So, if their disability is on the Agent Orange exposure presumptive list, and they meet the service requirements, their conditions is assumed to be service-connected. 
  1. Pre-Existing Conditions Aggravated by Military Service apply to disabilities that worsened due to your time in the military.  
  1. Secondary Service Connection refers to a condition that is caused or aggravated by a direct service-connected (primary) disability. These are known as “secondary conditions.” 
  1. VA Medical Malpractice – Any condition or injury worsened or caused by the malpractice or negligence of the VA, which is called a TORT claim/ connection. 

When it comes to dermatitis, your best bet for service connection is through direct or secondary service connection. 

Direct Service Connection

If you already have a dermatitis diagnosis, you need two other things to establish direct service connection: 

  1. Evidence of an in-service event, injury, or illness. This is the military-related incident you’re claiming is responsible for your dermatitis. This could be found in your military medical records or other military records. It can also come in the form of personal statements from yourself, your family, or others who were there at the time. 
  1. A medical “nexus” (link) between your dermatitis and your in-service event, injury, or illness. Does the medical evidence suggest that your in-service event, injury, or illness is  at least as likely the cause of your dermatitis? If you get a Nexus Letter, the link will be expressed as one of these statements of probability:   
  • “Is due to” = 100% certain  
  • “More likely than not” = greater than 50% certain   
  • “At least as likely as not” = equal to 50% certain   
  • “Was less likely” = less than 50% certain   
  • “Is not due to” = 0% chance  

Secondary Service Connection

When filing for dermatitis as a secondary condition, you aren’t required to show evidence of an in-service event, injury, or illness. This is because your primary disability—the service-connected disability you’re claiming is the cause of your secondary condition—serves as the in-service event, injury, or illness. 

Claims for secondary service connection also require a medical nexus. But the evidence in your medical records and the evidence collected during any examinations conducted during the claims process must show that your dermatitis is “proximately” due to your primary disability, rather than an in-service event, injury, or illness. 

ATOPIC DERMATITIS VA RATING

VA Disability Benefits Available with a Dermatitis VA Rating

There are many benefits that come with a VA rating aside from monthly compensation! 

Here are some of the top benefits according to rating percentage: 

0% VA Rating (non-compensable) 

10% VA Rating 

30% VA Rating 

60% VA Rating 

VA Disability Compensation 

But, of course, a VA rating of 10% or higher also comes with monthly compensation. 

Check out the table below for the 2024 VA pay rates: 

image 5
2024 VA Pay Rates Chart

VA Decision Timeline 

The VA decision process is a 5-step process from initial filing to receiving your decision letter. See below for details about each step: 

  1. Claim received. The VA will notify you when they receive your disability claim. 
  • If you file your claim online, you’ll get an on-screen message from us after you submit the form. 
  • If you mail your application, you should get a confirmation letter a little more than 1 week, plus mailing time, after they receive your claim. 
  1. Initial review. This is when the VA reviews the documents you submitted with your claim. 
  1. Evidence gathering, review, and decision. If more evidence is needed to decide your claim (it likely will be if you didn’t file a Fully Developed Claim), they’ll collect it during this step. They’ll also: 
  • Review all the evidence. This includes evidence gathered during your C&P Exam
  • Make a determination of service connection. If they service connect your disability, they’ll also make a rating determination. 
  1. Preparation for notification. During this step, they’ll prepare your decision letter which will be delivered to you through the mail. 
  1. Claim complete. Once you receive your decision letter, your claim is complete! According to the VA, it’ll take 7-10 business days for your decision letter to be delivered. 

The VA takes an average of 155.5 days to complete this process. 

What to do if You Disagree with Your VA Rating Decision 

If you disagree with a VA decision made on or after February 19, 2019, you have three options: 

  1. You can file a Supplemental Claim. This option is best if you have new and relevant evidence that you think could change the VA’s mind. 
  1. You can request a Higher-level Review. This option is best if you think your VA rater made a mistake and you don’t have new and relevant evidence you’d like to submit. 
  1. You can submit a Board Appeal. This option is only available if you’ve already attempted either a supplemental claim or a higher-level review. 

KEEP IN MIND: Higher-level Reviews and Board Appeals must be submitted within one year of your original decision letter. 

NEED MORE ASSISTANCE? 

Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and, therefore, not getting their due compensation. 

At VA Claims Insider, we help you understand and take control of the claims process so you can get the rating and compensation you’re owed by law. 

Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you every step of the way in building a fully-developed claim (FDC)—so you can increase your rating FAST! 

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! 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! 

Phot of Clay Hutson

Clay Huston

Clay Huston is a former U.S. Army Reserves Blackhawk Pilot and officer. Clay enlisted in the Army in 2013 and was commissioned as a 2LT in 2017 after earning a business degree from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.

Since separating from the military, Clay has pursued a career as a writer. He also runs the nonprofit notfatherless.org, which fundraises for Children’s Homes in Mexico.

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