Scars and Other Skin Conditions: Veterans Disability Benefits and Ratings

VA Disability Ratings for Scars and Other Skin Conditions

– MATT SAUERWALD, VICE-PRESIDENT, VETERANS HELP GROUP

Our advocate Matt Sauerwald has dedicated many years to disabled Veterans seeking help with their VA disability benefits. He has proudly represented veterans across the country with his expert knowledge of the VA disability application process and the Veterans Administration.

Today, Matt explains how you can establish a VA disability rating for scars and other skin conditions.

Many people think of scars and skin conditions as purely cosmetic issues. But, if you have significant scarring from your military service or suffer from a service-connected skin condition, you know better. Fortunately, so does the VA. Both conditions can qualify a veteran for VA disability benefits. In fact, in the most recent year reported, burn scars were the 5th most common condition new VA disability recipients were getting benefits for. Scars generally were the 7th most common for all recipients. 

Of course, not all scars and skin conditions are treated the same. A VA disability rating depends on the symptoms and degree of impairment a particular veteran is experiencing. And, that disability rating determines the nature and amount of benefits a disabled veteran receives. 

VA Disability Ratings

Scars and skin conditions are rated under several different schedules, depending on the condition and other variables. 

Disability Ratings for Scars

Scars are evaluated under Diagnostic Codes 7800-7805. Which schedule applies depends on factors such as: 

  • Whether the scar is on the head, face, neck, or some other location
  • Whether or not soft tissue damage is involved
  • Whether the scar is unstable or painful

Scarring of the head, face, or neck may result in a VA disability rating of 10%, 30%, 50% or 80%. The rating assigned depends on the number and placement of “characteristics of disfigurement.” 

Scarring in other areas with underlying soft tissue damage may be rated 10%, 20%, 30% or 40%, depending on the surface area of the scar or scars. 

Scars that are unstable or painful may be rated at 10%, 20% or 30%, based on the number of qualifying scars. 

Scars that don’t fall into any of the categories listed above have just one possible VA disability rating – 10%. That rating is available only if the scarring impacts and areas of at least 144 square inches. 

Disability Ratings for Skin Conditions

Non-scar skin conditions are evaluated under the appropriate diagnostic code, found between 7806 and 7833. The general schedule for skin conditions allows for ratings of 0%, 10%, 30% or 60%, depending on factors such as systemic effects, the surface area of the body affected, and treatment required. Several types of skin conditions, including psoriasis, urticaria, and vitiligo are rated under separate diagnostic codes. 

Get Help with Your VA Disability Claim

As you can see, many variables are in play when it comes to assigning a VA disability rating for scars and skin conditions. In many cases, very specific, technical information is required to establish the right rating. At Veterans Help Group, our experienced advocates know the criteria and what type of information is required to establish your claim. 

To learn more about how we can help, call 855-855-8992 right now, or fill out our contact form here.

Veterans Can Learn More Here:

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