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January 24, 2024

VA Disability for Neurological Disorders

Last updated on February 22, 2024

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This guide will cover VA disability for neurological disorders, including common types found in veterans, and how much VA compensation you deserve based on how the VA rates these conditions. 

Many veterans experience neurological disorders due to toxic exposure, nerve or brain injuries, or other causes linked directly to their military service. 

Do you qualify for VA benefits due to a neurological disorder?

Let’s find out!



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.

Can I Get a VA Disability Rating for Neurological Disorders?

Yes, you may be entitled to VA disability benefits and compensation if you can prove your military service caused your neurological disorder. 

In addition, you can be compensated separately for each bodily extremity as long as the muscle group injuries are in different anatomical regions that do not act upon ankylosed joints. 

For example, if you have a neurological disorder affecting your left arm and right leg, you can receive VA disability compensation for each limb.

How the VA Rates Neurological Disorders

The VA rates neurological disorders under the 38 CFR 4.124a Schedule of ratings—neurological conditions and convulsive disorders and your rating will depend on your specific type of neurological disorder.

For example, suppose you’re a retired service member requiring continuous medication due to a service-connected condition. In that case, you may be eligible for a higher rating than someone with a less severe condition.

In addition, the VA considers most nerve-related conditions chronic, presumptive conditions since they are considered organic nervous system diseases.

Neurological conditions diagnosed within one year of your separation from the service may be considered a VA presumptive condition, depending on where and when you were served.

38 CFR 4.124 A

How to Prove Service Connection for Neurological Disorders 

Veterans suffering from a neurological disorder because of their military service should be aware of how to prove service connection when filing a VA disability claim.

To receive VA disability for neurological disorders, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. A current diagnosis of a specific neurological disorder
  2. An in-service event, injury, illness, or aggravation
  3. A medical nexus (or link) between the current diagnosis and the in-service event, injury, or illness

Pro Tip: Be sure to file a VA claim specifying the connection between your current health conditions and your military service.

Note: You generally use VA Form 21-526EZ for disability compensation claims, and it’s essential to include comprehensive details about symptoms, medical treatments, and the impact on your daily life.


VA Disability Ratings for Neurological Disorders

VA disability ratings for neurological disorders can range from 0%-100%, depending on the condition and the frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms.

Your VA rating (determined under 38 CFR 4.124 a) determines how much tax-free VA monthly compensation you will receive. 

Here are examples of 2024 VA monthly compensation for neurological disorders if you have no dependents. 

  • 10 percent: $171.23
  • 20 percent: $338.49
  • 30 percent: $524.31
  • 40 percent: $755.28
  • 50 percent: $1,075.16
  • 60 percent: $1,361.88
  • 70 percent: $1,716.28
  • 80 percent: $1,995.01
  • 90 percent: $2,241.91
  • 100 percent: $3,737.85

See complete 2024 VA Pay Rates here: VA Disability Rates 2024

Note: If you have a 10% to 20% VA disability rating, you won’t receive a higher amount if you have dependents. 

Causes of Increased Risk of Nerve and Neurological Disorders

Knowing the risk factors for nerve and neurological disorders can help you better understand your potential VA disability benefits. 

Here are four common causes of nerve and neurological disorders in veterans:

  1. Toxic exposure
  2. Significant trauma from an object or nearby blast
  3. Gulf War Syndrome
  4. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Types of Nerve and Neurological Disorders in Veterans 

The following are some of the VA considers nerve and neurological disorders in veterans when assigning VA disability benefits:

Functional Neurological Disorder VA Rating

Many veterans are prone to functional neurological disorder, or conversion disorder, which is caused when mental health disorders disrupt the brain, leading to improper body functioning. 

Functional neurological disorder is a type of somatoform disorder, which is a mental illness causing a person to feel physical symptoms. 

Stress is one of the leading causes of functional neurological disorder and includes symptoms like:

  • Blindness or tunnel vision
  • Uncontrollable movements
  • Paralysis or numbness
  • Loss of speech or smell 

You can receive a functional neurological disorder VA rating if you can prove the connection between your condition and military service. 


Agent Orange Neurological Disorders

If you were exposed to Agent Orange you may be at greater risk for specific ‘Agent Orange’ neurological disorders. 

The dioxin found in Agent Orange can affect the nervous system, which may lead to the following neurological disorders:

The two listed conditions are considered official Agent Orange presumptive conditions, where the VA automatically assumes your condition was caused by exposure to Agent Orange. 

If you served in one of the following countries during the specific time frame, your neurological disorder may qualify you for VA disability benefits due to Agent Orange exposure:

Vietnam: Veterans who served between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange (unless there is solid evidence that they were not) if they served:

  • In Vietnam (this includes all veterans who had boots on the ground, even if only for a short time)
  • On ships included on the Ship List 
  • In Blue Waters within 12 nautical miles of the shores of Vietnam

South Korea: Veterans who served in the Korean DMZ between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange (unless there is solid evidence that they were not).

Thailand: Veterans who served on or near military bases in Thailand (including U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Takhli, Korat, or Don Muang) between January 9, 1962, and June 30, 1976, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.

Laos: Veterans who served in Laos between December 1, 1965, and September 30, 1969, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.

Cambodia: Veterans who served at Mimot or Krek between April 16, 1969, and April 30, 1969, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.

Johnston Atoll: Veterans who served on the Johnston Atoll between January 1, 1972, and September 30, 1977, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.

Guam or American Samoa: Veterans who served in Guam or America Samoa between January 9, 1962, and July 31, 1980, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.

C-123s: Veterans who had repeated contact with contaminated C-123s after the war also qualify as having been exposed to Agent Orange (see the VA’s list of Air Force Speciality Codes and Units for specifics on C-123 qualifications).

Testing, Storage, or Disposal: Other veterans exposed to Agent Orange can qualify if they can show proof that they served where herbicides were tested or stored outside of Vietnam or were involved in the testing, storage, or disposal of herbicides in the US (see the full list of locations).

Treatment for Neurological Disorders in Veterans

The following are treatment options for neurological disorders in veterans, depending on the severity of your condition. 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Physical therapy 
  • Medications 
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy 
  • Chiropractic care 

You should work with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment methods. 

TDIU and VA Disability for Neurological Disorders

You may be eligible for total disability based on individual employability (TDIU) if your service-connected neurological disorders prevent you from maintaining substantially gainful employment. 

If you qualify for TDIU, you will receive a rate equivalent to a 100% VA disability rating. 



Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and, therefore, not getting their due compensation. At VA Claims Insider, we educate you on how to take 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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