Asthma and VA Disability Ratings

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a condition in which the airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. Asthma signs and symptoms include:

· Shortness of breath

· Chest tightness and pain

· Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing

· A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling

· Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virsu

How to Get VA Disability Rating?

If your asthma is diagnosed within one year of discharge from serving in the Persian Gulf or other parts of the Soutwest Asia theater, you might be able to get a presumptive rating. The claim has to be filed by December 31, 2021 for it to be listed as presumptive and have a 10% or higher rating.

If you do not qualify for a presumptive rating then you must demonstrate: (1) a current diagnosis of asthma; (2) an in-service event, injury, or illness; and (3) a medical link between the current diagnosis and in-service event.

How is Asthma Rated?

The VA uses two tests to determine a veterans rating for asthma:

· Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV-1). FEV-1 is the amount of air you can exhale forcefully in one second. The VA compares this against what a normal person would be able to breath out, and measure it as a percentage.

· Forced Vital Capacity (FVC). The VA compares a veteran’s FEV 1 results with their FCV results. This ration is meant to represent the proportion of a person’s vital capacity that they are able to expel in the first second of a forceful exhale. Vital capacity is the maximum amount of air that a person can inhale or exhale from the lung.

Test Result/Condition Rating
FEV-1 Less than 40% 100%
FEV-1 40-55% 60%
FEV-1 56-70% 30%
FEV-1 71-80% 10%
Test Result/Condition Rating
FEV-1/FVC Less than 40% 100%
FEV-1/FVC 40-55% 60%
FEV-1/FVC 56-70% 30%
FEV-1/FVC 71-80% 10%

If FEV-1 and FVC tests are not performed, then asthma can be rated based on the kind of medication that is used to treat the condition or the severity of the condition based on the number of ER visits. In this case, the physician must clearly record a thorough history of asthma attacks.

Test Result/Conditions Rating
ER Visits 2 or more attack per week with respiratory failure that requires ER visits to save life 100%
ER Visits Requires monthly ER visits to save life 60%
Test Results/Condition Rating
Medication Requires daily high dose of steroids or immunosuppressive medications taken by mouth or injection 100%
Medication Requires the use of steroids or immunosuppressive medications taken by mouth or by injection 3 or more times a year 60%
Medication Requires occasional use of inhaled anti-inflammatory medicine 30%
Medication Requires daily bronchodilator therapy taken by mouth or inhaled 30%
Medication Requires occasional bronchodilator therapy taken by mouth or inhaled 10%

Veterans Help Group have been supporting veterans in getting the benefits they deserve since 1995. If you or a loved one served, and suffer from asthma, we are here to help. Call Veterans Help Group at 855-855-8992 or complete our free veterans benefits case evaluation form.

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