The Veteran Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) is a law that lists detailed requirements for rating a disability condition. Each rating tries to reflect how much the service member’s ability to work is affected by his condition. Can he work to support himself and his family? Is he able to perform the tasks of daily life (dressing, cooking, shopping, etc.)?
The VASRD was created by Congress in an attempt to create a fair disability rating system and it can only be changed by Congress. Although it tries to be fair, it often seems to fall a bit short. It is important to remember that it was put together by legal authorities, not medical authorities, and also that it is practically impossible to assign a rating for every possible condition and all its variations. One case of chicken pox could cause an infection to travel to the brain and cause severe brain damage while another only leaves small scars.
Regardless of whether or not we agree with the VASRD, though, it is law, and that’s just the way it is. Of course, you can always help your case by being as knowledgeable as possible about your conditions and their possible rating requirements.
The VASRD sorts conditions into numerous categories, including musculoskeletal (bone injuries, joint injuries, arthritis, etc.), muscle (injuries directly related to and affecting the muscles of the body), sensory organs (eyes, ears, etc.), neurological (nerve pain, fibromyalgia, etc.), and more.
Each condition is assigned a four-digit code (or an eight-digit hyphenated code for analogous ratings) that is used for reference. When assigning a rating, the Rating Authorities will try to choose the code that is the most appropriate for the condition and all its symptoms.
Since the VASRD cannot cover every condition, some conditions must be rated analogously or by the symptoms of the condition. For example, there is no rating in the VASRD for chicken pox, probably since most cases do not cause lasting damage. In the case of the chicken pox leading to brain damage, however, it is the brain damage that makes the service member unfitting, and so this condition would be rated on the severity of the brain damage.
While the VASRD has been put in place to regulate the amount of compensation received for each disability, it often leaves a great deal of room for interpretation. It is up to the medical examiners to record the appropriate information and then for the Rating Authorities to review all the medical data and make the ultimate rating decision. A single condition may be able to be rated a number of different ways, but based on the evidence at hand, the Rating Authorities are required to award the most appropriate rating for the condition.
This is the VASRD that is currently being used to rate all disability conditions. This is a link to the original legal text of the VASRD. We have added links from this text to our interpretation. You can also access our interpretation by searching for your condition.
Below are links to all the VASRDs since 2001. These old VASRDs are only important to you if you were separated before the recent VASRD was made into law on February 3, 2009.
The majority of the VASRD has not changed since 2001. We are in the process of summarizing exactly how each of these old VASRDs compares with the current one. This summary will be available on our site in August 2013.
Only the PDBR currently uses the historical VASRDs. The DoD bases its separation ratings on the VASRD in effect at the time of separation, so all current medical separations are rated on the current VASRD. The VA simply uses whichever is in effect at the time of examination.
VASRD in effect July 1, 2001
VASRD in effect July 1, 2002
VASRD in effect July 1, 2003
VASRD in effect July 1, 2004
VASRD in effect July 1, 2005
VASRD in effect July 1, 2006
VASRD in effect July 1, 2007
VASRD in effect July 1, 2008
VASRD in effect July 1, 2009
VASRD in effect July 1, 2010
VASRD in effect July 1, 2011