If you’ve ever wondered how VA rates disabilities for compensation, you’ll be interested to know that after more than 70 years we’re doing a review and update of the rating criteria for all 15 body systems. Previous updates have been done as needed, but this is the first comprehensive review of the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities.

The first of these updates, for Dental and Oral Conditions, went into effect September 10. This update includes updated medical terms, new diagnostic codes for conditions previously rated under other conditions, and added disability levels. No existing dental or oral conditions were removed.

Often referred to as the “VASRD” or rating schedule, directs claims processors on how to assess the severity of disabilities related to military service. While VA has routinely updated parts of the VASRD, for the first time since 1945, VA is updating the entire rating schedule to more accurately reflect modern medicine.

Since 2009, subject matter experts, including physicians, reviewed each of the 15 body systems that make up the VASRD. This effort is part of VA’s continued commitment to improving the delivery of disability compensation benefits to Veterans and modernizing our systems.

If you have a claim or appeal pending for a dental or oral condition before Sept. 10, 2017, VA will consider both the old and new rating criteria when making a decision. All claims for dental or oral conditions received by VA on or after Sept. 10 will be rated under the new rating criteria.

If you are already service-connected for a dental or oral condition and submit a claim for increase, your disability rating may increase (or decrease) based on the new rating criteria. However, VA will not change your disability rating just because of the update to the rating criteria.

In the coming months, more body systems will be updated until all 15 are modernized, ensuring VA provides the most accurate ratings for disability compensation claims based on modern medicine.

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Published on Sep. 8, 2017

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  1. Ivan Cole September 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Quick question, what about trauma that happen in the military when the army did a root canal and broke the drill bit off in my tooth and let me go too my next duty station with a foreign object in my tooth, root canal was done in korea, next duty station was Fort Stewart Ga. Can I make a claim on that with the new updates? Without being denied again?

  2. Kenneth Leary autrey September 16, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Do not goto the d a v in baltimore because the women from the d.a.v. Ms. (redacted) at the Hopkins plaza. She had my case for 4 years .and just decided that she no longer wanted too keep working on my case .Because I went behind her back and applied for a hiss grant now that is what you called messed up.

  3. Richard Hunt McNutt September 15, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    I am Richard Hunt McNutt
    I am a United States Marine
    I served my country from 1960 to 1964
    I was honorably discharged with high honorable mention in 1964
    I was poisoned and toxified in Paris Island in 1960
    I was poisoned and toxified in Camp LEJUNE IN 1960-1961
    I lost all of my upper level hearing from Artillery fire exercises while stationed in Camp Lejeune. 
    I was Honor Guard for the President of the United States – Jack Kennedy – in Europe and Africa
    I was toxified and poisoned in the Mediterranean and in Africa in 1962 – 1963
    I lost partial vision in my right eye from forced medication for crabs on a naval ship in the Mediterranean.
    I was toxified and poisoned in Asia in 1963 – 1964
    I was thrown in the street called “baby killer” when I returned from Asia in 1964 and lived in 
    the streets of Philadelphia for a year – the VA would not even allow me on to the VA hospital property in Philadelphia.
    I was not given a VA health care card until 45 years after I  returned to this country – compliments Mike Fitzpatrick, Congressman
    I survived. I am now 74 years old.
    I need dental work. It is very expensive and on Social Security it is not affordable.
    I don’t understand why veterans have no dental coverage. Everyone knows  that every veteran needs it.
    The older we get the more necessary is. 
    I need help with this right now. It is a major issue with my  health and survival. Can you help me?
    I fought for this country and the least VA could do is pay my dentist to fix my teeth. It is now threatening my brain with infection. I have been asking this question as reply to marketing mail from American Legion, VFW, VVA, VA, Congress, etc. every time I get mail telling me the wonderful things they are doing for veterans. The “veterans honoring” programs are mainly walls honoring dead veterans. What about live ones like me? Or do we have to wait until we’re a name on a wall of dead veterans before we are “honored” for our service?

  4. Sheila M September 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Well, well, isn’t this a nice kettle of fish? Ms. Stratford, you say our VSO should advise us when we want to apply for an increase in disability and explain that our current ratings may be reduced based on these new and modern rating procedures. Well, mine didn’t. Tell me, anyone, how can a person’s back be two parts? I had one rating for my back and applied for an increase, now my rating has been cut in half because the back is now rated like two different areas of the body, upper back and lower back. Why aren’t veterans better informed about these types of changes???? Personally I don’t feel a vet should be penalized and have their current ratings reduced when they apply for an increase. The worst that should happen is the rating STAYS THE SAME. Also, seems to me only male vets can get IU. I’m a 90% disabled vet and applied for IU and was denied. I know male 70% disabled vets who applied and WERE GRANTED IU. What is up with that? Apparently the rules that are supposed to be followed only apply to males, women aren’t REAL vets, we’re the wrong gender. I’ve read the rules for IU, I should have been granted IU based on them. Still a good old boys network despite the increasing numbers of women vets. Maybe it’s time a class action law suit was filed against the VA for this discrimination!!

  5. patricia shane September 15, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    how can my husband be qualified for dental care? he served in the USMC and is disable

  6. Dwight Waller September 15, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Still waiting on help from 1975 Dental Trumma

  7. Ralph W. Brown September 15, 2017 at 11:05 am

    The Neurosurgeon said he would not operate on my cervical spine until all loose teeth were extracted. So Dental pulled all of my upper teeth and one on the bottom. Leaving me with 7 teeth, all front ones on the bottom. I feel the loosening of the teeth were in part if not all due to the high doses of Steroids I was on and still am for my Polymyalgia Rhumatica condition.

    Surgery was done May 15, 2017. Presently my mouth is healed from the dental extractions. However the VA says they will not cover dentures neither upper or lower. Not having any teeth as turned me into a recluse. To say nothing of the change in my eating habits. This is the worst penance of my life and I am 71 with a 30% disability rating. What little bit of monies come in from my VA Disability and my Social Security just pay the bills leaving very little for groceries. I don’t see any way I will ever be able to afford to get my dentures. My disability is for a “Nervous Condition”. I hate to apply for an increase in fear I will lose what little benefits I do have. Sincerely Yours, Toothless in Arizona

  8. David l lavine September 15, 2017 at 10:49 am

    I,David Lavine “l2400 filed for dental compensation 6 years ago,for facial wounds while in active duty.i have gone many times to get services and was denied even an examination.the va is broken,the system is broken,shame on all of you all who work there who are in control of compensation!i will tweet president trump to let him know how broken the va is,hope he can get rid of all the dead wood working for the va. David lavine

  9. JOHN A. THIEL September 15, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Do you still need to be 100% disabled to received Dental care ??

    • Arnold Cabral September 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      You do have to 100 percent service connected to get free Dental care but their is absolutely not one works at a Veteran Medical Center plus they haven’t even one has a contract with Veteran Affairs Admistation but you can’t get G4 implants from a Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist.

  10. Arnold Cabral September 14, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    As vey grateful for Dentist Care only i only i disappointed in that don’t have a Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist knows how to put G4 implants..

  11. DARIO STEVE DIAZ September 13, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Guys let us be greatful for this instead of critiquing services you don’t pay for!

    • Ky Ohm September 16, 2017 at 12:03 am

      Amen to this comment! We all complain but very few have a better way things should done. I am very grateful for what I do have.

  12. Darlene Norman September 12, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Thank you Ms Stratford for making clarification. I read these changes but, I always look for your take and help. Thank God you’re there, the day I don’t see your clarification, then, we’re in trouble.

  13. Jon September 10, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    No real helpful news here…

  14. Dr. David Johnson September 10, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    As this new system comes in will it change current ratings?

    • Donna Stratford September 11, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Veterans with a current rating will not see the rating change unless they file for an increase. As the new rating standards go into place, it is important for Veterans to know what the new criteria is for their condition. If it will not work out to their advantage, they should not request an increase. Your Veteran Service Organization can review your current condition and provide advice on filing.

  15. Edward September 9, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Please ensure that the personnel that process the claims under the new criteria are properly trained… AND fire those that can not, or will not process claims accurately. Once is a mistake… 2+ mistakes shows incompetence (intentional or otherwise).

  16. m sabat September 9, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Where can we go to see these updates??

  17. David Roger Dyess September 9, 2017 at 3:03 am

    Not very much info here on each subject matter. Why stir the pot and then have the same message for every category. More cause for concern on the part of the veteran

Comments are closed.

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