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VA Ratings for Diabetes as a Service Connected Disability

As with any other condition, a veteran has to demonstrate that diabetes is a service connected condition.  When that is done, the question becomes what percentage disability rating the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will assign to the veteran’s diabetes.

Diabetes is typically rated under VA Diagnostic Code 7913, coded as “Diabetes Mellitis Type II”.  See 38 CFR § 4.119 .   Type II Diabetes is also called “Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes” and “Adult Onset Diabetes.” Typically, insulin is present, but  the amount of insulin available is less than the individual requires.   It is also common that a person with Type II Diabetes has something called Insulin Resistance, a situation where the insulin they do have does not do what it should in the body.  Treatment may include proper diet, activity/exercise, and pills, and sometimes insulin is necessary.  Most people who have Diabetes Mellitus, Type II Diabetes.

The VA disability percentage rating a veteran receives depends on the symptoms they are experiencing and what their doctors record in their medical records.  Diagnostic Code 7913 assigns the following percentage ratings:

7913  –  Diabetes Mellitus

100% Rating

Requiring more than one daily injection of insulin, restricted diet, and regulation of activities (avoidance of strenuous occupational and recreational activities) with episodes of ketoacidosis or hypoglycemic reactions requiring at least three hospitalizations per year or weekly visits to a diabetic care provider, plus either progressive loss of weight and strength or complications that would be compensable if separately evaluated

60% Rating

Requiring insulin, restricted diet, and regulation of activities with episodes of ketoacidosis or hypoglycemic reactions requiring one or two hospitalizations per year or twice a month visits to a diabetic care provider, plus complications that would not be compensable if separately evaluated

40% Rating

Requiring insulin, restricted diet, and regulation of activities

20% Rating

Requiring insulin and restricted diet, or; oral hypoglycemic agent and restricted diet

10% Rating

Manageable by restricted diet only

Note (1): VA evaluates compensable complications of diabetes separately unless they are part of the criteria used to support a 100 percent evaluation. Noncompensable complications are considered part of the diabetic process under diagnostic code 7913.
Note (2): When diabetes mellitus has been conclusively diagnosed, VA does not request a glucose tolerance test solely for rating purposes.

VA has to evaluate which category the veteran falls within to assign the percentage.  You can see that some questions are quite black and white.  For example, if a veteran is not on insulin or oral medication, they cannot get a rating higher than 10% for their Diabetes.  They may have other related conditions that can be rated, but the schedule must be followed, and a 10% rating would be assigned if they were rated at all.  Similarly, a veteran taking insulin cannot be rated less than 20% under the rating schedule.  The key to VA rating is fitting the veteran into the closest rating “box.”

If you want to talk to a lawyer for free about your claim for service connected diabetes or any other condition, call VA Disability Attorney John Tucker toll free from anywhere in the USA at (866) 282-5260. 

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