According to the reports from the VA, about 1 in 6 US Veterans gets diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus, or Diabetes for short. In fact, this chronic condition is known to be 57% more common among Veterans than the general population.
Experts give lots of reasons for this trend: From obvious lifestyle factors associated with military service such as stress and limited access to healthy nutrition, as well as exposure to toxic substances and environments. It’s believed these are the exactly the reasons why Diabetes is particularly common among Vietnam War Veterans.
However, despite being extremely common among Veterans, Diabetes is probably one of the hardest to connect with your military service, and therefore, receive VA disability benefits for it.
The VA has a complex system for evaluating Diabetes and assigning it a VA disability rate, and even more so, if a Veteran is diagnosed with Diabetes years after being discharged from the military.
Today we’ll talk about the VA rating schedule for Diabetes, disability rates you can receive once diagnosed with it and VA disability benefits you may be entitled to.
Diabetes – General Information
In general terms, Diabetes is a condition when a person has too much sugar in their blood for some reason. This sugar, or Glucose, scientifically speaking, comes from food and drinks and it is a vital source of energy for all the cells in your body.
To make sure that this energy reaches blood cells, your liver produces a hormone called insulin. When there is a shortage of insulin, or your body cannot effectively use insulin, sugar stays and accumulates in the bloodstream causing the condition we know as Diabetes.
There are two types of Diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes occurs when someone’s liver cannot produce the necessary amount of insulin. As a rule, this condition manifests early in life, but in some cases, it can develop in adults as well.
- Type 2 Diabetes is a condition that makes your body resistant to insulin. This is the exact type of Diabetes that develops due to dlifestyle, diet, or exposure, and it is the most common among Veterans.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Diabetes. All doctors can do is help you take control of the symptoms with a prescribed diet, therapy, and injections of insulin.
The Schedule for Rating Disabilities does not distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and has a common code for the condition 7913.
It means that even if you were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a child, you can still file for VA disability benefits. However, in this case, you will need to prove that your condition was aggravated precisely by the factors during your military service.
Type 2 Diabetes is usually a Presumptive Condition. It means that this type of Diabetes is automatically presumed to be connected to your military service.
Remember when we mentioned that Diabetes is particularly common among Vietnam War Veterans? Exposure to Agent Orange during this war is linked to numerous conditions, including Type 2 Diabetes.
If you served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, the VA will automatically presume that your Diabetes is service-connected and will not require any additional documentation or proof to assign you a VA disability rate.
However, even if your Type 2 Diabetes is not considered a Presumptive condition, you can still link it to your military service.
- Provide medical records that show that your Type 2 Diabetes was diagnosed during your military service or after discharge.
- Prove that your diagnosis is service-connected. It means that you need to find proof that your Type 2 Diabetes developed due to a specific event that happened while you were in the Army.
One of the main things we do at VCU is help Veterans undergo examinations by independent medical professionals and receive Nexus Statements. The process of linking your Diabetes or any other condition to military service can be pretty confusing, and it is always best to have a team of dedicated professionals by your side. Together, we will help you collect all the necessary statements and evidence you may need to build a solid VA disability claim.
VA Disability Ratings for Diabetes
The VA disability rates for Diabetes vary from 10% to 100%. The evaluation system is based not just on how much the condition affects your life and ability to work, but also what you need to do to control your Diabetes.
Let’s take a closer look at the VA disability rates for Diabetes with compensation assigned to each rate by 2024.
These monthly VA disability compensations are applicable to Veterans who do not have dependents, such as spouses, elderly parents, or children. If your VA disability rate for Diabetes is 40% higher and you have at least one of those dependents, you may be eligible for additional benefits.
If your Diabetes makes it hard for you to find and keep a job, you may also be eligible for Individual Unemployability Benefits (TIDU). To file for TIDU you should have one VA disability rated 60% or higher or several conditions with a combined VA rate of 70% or higher.
While Diabetes is quite common among Veterans, it is probably one of the most challenging cases when it comes to VA disability benefits. Understanding the evaluation system and establishing service connection often requires broad expertise and in-depth knowledge.
The VCU team of experts is here to help you in every step of the process, from gathering the necessary evidence to providing Nexus Statements—all you may need to receive your rightly deserved compensation.
Book your free 30-minute call with our Veterans Expert today and take the first step towards securing the maximum in your VA disability benefits.
Your service to the nation deserves recognition and support, and the VCU team is here to ensure you receive it in full.