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.

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Published on Feb. 24, 2021

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Views to date: 2,994


  1. Will Putnam March 26, 2021 at 1:36 am


  2. David Jackson March 4, 2021 at 5:32 am

    The VA is making new policies and Criteria for muscle injuries but in my opinion, they should work on their system and try to reduce the flaws in that. Because most of the people are complaining about their system. It really hurts when no one put attention to the person who served his country and puts his life in danger.

  3. Bill Galbreath March 2, 2021 at 9:03 am

    As a federal employee, file the appropriate claim through your employing agency. Its a workers compensation claim. See your personnel office for the proper forms. Suggest that you gather all pertinent medical information to assist your claim.

  4. Robert Oneil February 26, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    My question is what about the Department of Army Civilians who spent multiple Deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan? I was at Three FOBs ( Forward Operations Bases) in Iraq Camp Anaconda Balad, Camp Cooke Taji and Q-West Qayyarrah, between 2004 and 2008. All FOBs had Burn Pits inside the wire! Three months after returning from Balad in 2008 I had open heart surgery to replace my failing Aortic Valve at St Joseph’s Hosp in Syracuse NY. I submitted a Workmens Comp Claim at CPO (Civilian Personnel Office) six years after surgery I was told that the time limitation had expired and I could not prove the Cause / Effect . I submitted because of the Burn Pit Act where I could not register due to being a Civilian!! Civilans are not authorized in the VA Sys!

  5. Benjamin Husted February 26, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    Is there ever any service connected disability awarded when a vets service RECORDS are never located even after 40 years of health complaints? I keep getting we can not locate letters from the St Louis archives. I was so demotivated for so many years that I stayed away from care centers until I could not function. I just had a second surgury & I doubt my current records inquiry will improve. I have exhausted so many avenues as a peacetime vet who was with the battlegriup shelling Beirut in 83 while my health was failing & then going to gaurd to KAL-007 trawlers. I touched land about 2 days in 5 months as I fought continual exhaustion and numbness that had started at a previous ship – after a fall on the quarterdeck of the Uss Sperry AS-12. I got handed to psych people instead of medical people. I guess they needed to test me with the Ucmj and heavy sea duty. The result was Ive not felt like other people since & I mean that in a nuerological way not a mental way. I earned my honorable and other good notes that only served to make people doubt that sensory challenged people can still attempt to complete any mission when others are helping alleviate the heavy lifting. My med board was done twice – I appealed because the nuerologist would not allow me access to ENT examination and wrote up an inconclusive report stating ehivh tesrs haf not worked. In those days I did not want a disciplinary action aftet getting just 3 months from my EOS. I called my parents doctor -got a referral and paid for a workup with xrays that were better than the sectionals at LBRMC. I attempted to let the same doctor writing my appeal to go over them. When he refused & refused my request for champus to get a doctor he trusted. I could see he wanted me off his work liad and out of the service because my appeal went past my EOS date. My iimited duty post was to security call in hourly at a 5 story barracks full of guys all awaiting boards. Many with identified surgeries which made me understand staying to fight a person intent on ridding U more than helping U even have a chance was beyond my capacities right then. They kept pointing to the VA as the answer. The author of my 2nd board did try by sending me to Nuclear med for imaging. They found a bump I had on my right hairline area. Because that was defunite they changed the diagnosis to rid themselves of my puzzling case. There are about 2 accurate statements in the report – loss of smell & that I declined to have the bump surgcally removed. This granoloma did keep me on the VA radar with a 0 percent rating
    But it served like a big red herring and made me look like a liar every time I repoted trouble on my left ear jaw neck elbow hip knee and ankle. I tried to go back to the incidents in the med records-but photocopies that are poor are not wanted. They wsnt the med reords which have still not been found. My copies and along with most of the good evidence I had was lost when I stored it in a closet at my Dad’s place snd his water heater plumbing sprayed it all and the moist stuff molded. The VA saves me with a surgery when they absolutely must – because I got a POA to present an affidavitt. Which is worse – a vet in a war zone gets shot and corrected with a rating or a peace vet gets lots of demotivating conflicting analysis by well meaning expediency oriented professionalsthat have very tight schedules which resultd in a peace vet feeling as if every thing he asks is always denied becausethe darn documents can’t be found to substantiate. This Sept. I was hopeful because the POA statements made the system act to allow an LHI look-and the let me upload the workup documentation to the DOD evidence intake fax – yet nobody could ingorm me how to upload the x rays supporting the documentation. So now I have a letter from the DOD saying they have evidence about 25 items LHI was supposed to check. THE CONTRACTOR CHECKED 4 THINGS PROPERLY & the rest eas Covid delayed. I DON”T MIND a delay so long ad they look at my knee & all the many items I listed earlier. They do not have any evidence concerning my knee or most of the stuff on their list. They can scour every VA clinic record for the 40 years Ive been complaining – & I always let them redirect and placate me because I trusted they knew how to help better than I did when I was especially numb and not certain if I could pick the correct severity number in the pain/ discomfort/ numbness question the interveiwers always ask. There are no knee imsges or ankle images or foot images or hip images or back or neck images. Only occasional chest x rays that mention spondylosis in a couple places- but when I ask about it – get assured it”s no concern to them because I don” t lie and scream sbout level 8 pain. I report when there’s much DISCOMFORT which is rarely during a GP interview. I did get my new GP to approve hip imaging after somehowe I got into a non VA cinic during a bad day only to learn I most certainly need a hernia looked at that up till very revently I could not feel like a normal person would. So what I’m pointing out is that I managed to stubbornly function because well meaning people refused to look past the surface mearly based on my lack of documentation which could refute their layers of partial
    impressions. I TRIED REPORTING THE LHI STUFF – IF THEY SENT IMAGES AS EVIDENCE to the DOD – the the DOD is getting lied to for funding expedient efforts which are not my involved appointments which result in reality for my trust.

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