What conditions automatically qualify you for VA disability?

These are the conditions and diseases that automatically disable war veterans in the United States. Check out the full list.


The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides disability compensation to veterans who have injuries or conditions that were incurred or exacerbated during their military service. While the VA uses a complex process to determine eligibility, some conditions are deemed automatically qualifying for VA disability benefits. In this article, we will explore the conditions that automatically qualify for VA disability benefits in the United States.

Automatic Service Connection

The VA presumes a direct service connection for certain conditions, meaning that they are automatically linked to military service. These conditions include:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Chronic Lyme Disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Leprosy
  • Hansen’s Disease
  • Brucellosis
  • Plague
  • Anthrax
  • Smaller vessel disease
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type II
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Certain cancers, such as:
    • Lung cancer
    • Prostate cancer
    • Breast cancer
    • Colorectal cancer
    • Esophageal cancer
    • Kidney cancer
    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Stomach cancer
    • Multiple myeloma
    • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Other conditions

In addition to the automatically service-connected conditions, the VA also recognizes other conditions that may be eligible for disability benefits. These include:

Mental conditions

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • Orthopedic injuries and conditions
  • Respiratory conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

Cardiovascular issues

  • Hypertension 
  • Ischemic Heart Disease
  • Heart Arrhythmia

Dental conditions

  • Bruxism

Digestive conditions

  • Colon Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer 
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) 
  • Hermorrhoids
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Eye, ear, and nose conditions

  • Ageusia and Anosmia (Loss of taste and smell)
  • Glaucoma
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Partial or severe hearing loss (tinnitus) 
  • Vertigo

Endocrine disorders

  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism

Genitourinary disorders

  • Kidney Stones
  • Urinary Incontinence

Infectious Diseases, Immune Disorders, and Nutritional Deficiencies

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Musculoskeletal conditions

  • Bone Spurs
  • Bulging or Herniated Disc
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Chronic Back Pain 
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Flatfeet 
  • Gout
  • Hallux Valgus 
  • Hip Pain 
  • Knee Pain
  • Lumbar Strain
  • Neck Pain
  • Plantar fasciitis 
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis 
  • Scoliosis 
  • Shin Splints 
  • Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Tendonitis 
  • TMJ

Nerve and neurological conditions

  • CRPS
  • Peripheral Neuropathy 
  • Radiculopathy
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Sciata 

Respiratory issues

  • Allergic Rhinitis 
  • Lung Nodules 
  • Mesothelioma
  • Sinusitis
  • Sleep Apnea

Skin conditions

  • Scars
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Psoriasis

Other conditions

  • Erectile Dysfunction

This isn’t a complete list of all injuries that a military member may suffer in active training, inactive training, active duty, or combat. If you’ve been injured while serving and it has affected your independence or quality of life, consult your local Veterans Affair representative to file a claim or visit the VA website.

How does the VA determine my monthly compensation?

The Veterans Administration classifies disabilities in terms of severity and a person’s ability to care for themselves independently. The VA will determine your rating on a scale from 0% to 100%. 0% disabled means that you are fully able-bodied, while a 100% disability rating means you are fully disabled.

Eligibility and application

To be eligible for VA disability benefits, veterans must have a diagnosed condition that is connected to their military service. They must also have been discharged under honorable conditions and at least one of these must be coherent:

  • You got sick or injured while serving in the military—and can link this condition to your illness or injury (called an in-service disability claim), or
  • You had an illness or injury before you joined the military—and serving made it worse (called a pre-service disability claim), or
  • You have a disability related to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until after you ended your service (called a post-service disability claim)

Veterans can apply for benefits through the VA’s website or by visiting a local VA office or in person and by mail.

Additional resources

Veterans who are applying for VA disability benefits can also seek assistance from various resources, including:

  • Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans
  • Accredited attorneys and claims agents
  • VA-accredited representatives
  • Veterans’ advocacy groups

These resources can provide guidance and support throughout the application process, helping veterans to navigate the complex system and ensure they receive the benefits they deserve.

Appealing a decision

If a veteran’s claim is denied, they have the right to appeal the decision. The appeals process involves several stages, including:

  • Notice of Disagreement (NOD)
  • Statement of the Case (SOC)
  • Substantive Appeal (SA)
  • Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA)
  • Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC)

Veterans can seek assistance from VSOs, accredited attorneys, or claims agents to help navigate the appeals process.

Additional tips and reminders

When applying for VA disability benefits, it’s important to:

  • Keep detailed records of your medical history and military service
  • Provide thorough and accurate information on your application
  • Submit supporting evidence, such as medical records and statements from fellow veterans
  • Be patient and persistent, as the application process can take time
  • Consider seeking the help of a Veterans Service Organization or accredited attorney

By following these tips and understanding the automatically qualifying conditions, veterans can increase their chances of receiving the benefits they deserve.

The VA disability benefits

The VA provides disability benefits to veterans with conditions that were incurred or exacerbated during their military service. While the process can be complex, some conditions are automatically qualifying for VA disability benefits. Veterans with these conditions should apply for benefits to receive the compensation they deserve. By understanding the automatically qualifying conditions, veterans can navigate the system and receive the support they need.

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