In late 2017, VA began a multi-year effort to revise and update the VASRD, or VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities. The VASRD’s 15 body systems had seen periodic rating criteria updates, but this continuing effort reflects the first comprehensive review since 1945.
Today, VA announced its sixth update: The musculoskeletal system and muscle injuries.
The musculoskeletal and muscle injuries portion of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) has been revised to reflect updated medical information used to assess Veterans’ medical records and determine their VA disability rating.
The revision, effective Feb. 7, ensures that this portion of the VASRD uses current medical terminology by removing obsolete conditions, clarifying ambiguities, and providing detailed and updated criteria for the evaluation of musculoskeletal and muscle injury disabilities, including adding conditions that previously did not have diagnostic codes.
“These changes were based on scientific and/or medical information and reflect cited, published materials available to the public,” said Acting VA Under Secretary for Benefits Thomas Murphy. “During the course of finalizing this rulemaking, VA received comments from various Veterans Service Organizations and Veterans to ensure fair evaluations are established. VA claims processors will use this update to make consistent decisions with greater ease.”
Claims for musculoskeletal and/or muscle injury conditions adjudicated after Feb. 7, but were pending on the effective date, will be considered under both the old and new rating criteria, and whichever criteria is more favorable to the Veteran will be applied. Claims filed on or after the effective date will be rated under the new criteria.
Learn about the complete list of updates to the rating schedule.
Veterans with questions regarding this VASRD update may contact VA at 800-827-1000. Learn more about VA benefits.
The first VASRD update, in September 2017, was for dental and oral conditions.
The second review, in May 2018, was for gynecological conditions.
In August 2018, VA’s third update to the VASRD focused on skin conditions.
In December 2018, VA updated the rating criteria for hematologic and lymphatic systems.
VA’s last update came in August 2019, focusing on infectious diseases, immune disorders and nutritional deficiencies.
The complete list of updates to the rating schedule is also available online. VA remains committed to staying at the forefront of modern medicine to provide the best service to Veterans and their families.