What is an Aneurysm?

Aneurysms and VA Disability Benefits

What is an Aneurysm?

An aneurysm is the enlargement of an artery caused by weakness in the arterial wall that creates a bulge or distention of the artery. Most aneurysms do not show symptoms and are not dangerous but at their most severe stage, some can rupture and lead to life-threatening bleeding.

Aneurysms are classified by their location in the body. The arteries of the brain and heart are the two more common types of a serious aneurysm.

Most aneurysms are silent meaning that symptoms do not usually occur unless an aneurysm ruptures. An unruptured aneurysm may obstruct circulation to other tissues and can form blood clots that may go on to obstruct smaller blood vessels.

A rapidly growing abdominal aneurysm can cause abdominal pain, lower back pain, or a pulsating sensation in the abdomen. Thoracic aneurysms can cause swallowing and breathing difficulties, and pain in the jaw, chest, and upper back.

The first signs of an aneurysm can be complications upon rupture. Complications can include:

  • Severe chest or back pain
  • Angina
  • A sudden extreme headache
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Lightheadedness

How to Get VA Disability Rating?

To establish a service connection for an aneurysm veterans must demonstrate: (1) a current diagnosis of an aneurysm; (2) an in-service event, injury, or illness; and (3) a medical link between the current diagnosis and in-service event.

Veterans can also be eligible for a secondary service connection if they are able to show that their aneurysm is “at least as likely as not” caused or aggravated by a primary service connected condition.

How is are Aneurysms Rated?

Aortic Aneurysm

If the veteran is symptomatic and needs surgical correction then they are rated at 100% from the day of admittance to the hospital till six month after discharge. The condition is then revaluated and rated accordingly:

100%If the condition is active and causes symptoms such as pain or hemorrhaging, or if it is 5 centimeters or larger
60% If the condition is serious enough that moderately strenuous activity cannot be performed

Large Artery Aneurysm

If an aneurysm in any large artery (other than the aorta) is surgically corrected then the veteran is rated at 100% from the date of admission till six months after discharge. The condition is then revaluated and rated accordingly:

100%If there is pain in the limbs and tears in the skin from lack of oxygen or of there is pain in the limbs and the ankle brachial index is 0.4 or less
60%If unable to walk further than 25 years without limping because of pain and one or more of the following: there is coldness in the limb that does not respond to warming methods, there are one or more tears in the skin of the limb, or the ankle brachial index is 0.5 or less
40%If there is limping because of pain when walking between 25 and 100 yard and there is one or more of the following: changes to the hair, skin, or nails of the affected limb or the ankle brachial index is 0.7 or less
20%Limping because of pain when walking more than 100 yards and one or more of the following: the pulse in the limb in diminished or the ankle brachial index is 0.9 or less

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 an aneurysm 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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