The VASRD Overview
The VASRD (Veteran Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities) is a federal regulation that lists detailed requirements for assigning Military Disability Ratings to conditions for Military Disability. While it is a regulation, it carries the force of law, and so we refer to it as a "law" throughout the website for simplicity's sake.
Each rating in the VASRD is meant 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 the VASRD can only be changed by Congress. Although the VASRD tries to be fair, it often seems to fall a bit short. It is important to remember, though, that it is practically impossible to assign a rating for every possible condition and all its variations. To address this problem, there are numerous VASRD Principles that guide how the VASRD should be applied in more complicated cases.
Regardless of whether or not we agree with the VASRD, though, it is law, and that’s just the way it is. Sorry. 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 in the VASRD is assigned a four-digit VASRD Code that is used for reference. When assigning a rating, the Rating Authorities will try to choose the code in the VASRD 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 severe scarring on the face, however, it is the scars that can be rated. So the chicken pox condition would be rated analogously under a scar code. See our Analogous and Equivalent Codes page for complete information.
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.
Note: We cannot guarantee that the ratings you may think your condition deserves based on the information on this site will be the ratings you actually receive.
Before you Find Your Condition, read about VA Disability and DoD Disability so that you understand how each rates conditions. The majority of the VASRD applies to both the VA and the DoD, but because of the differences in their rating systems, some rules have to be applied differently.
All of our condition pages give complete information about the current VASRD. Simply Find Your Condition to access the current VASRD. The entire original text of the current VASRD can also be found our site with cross-references to our discussions of the various conditions.
All DoD Disability ratings are based on the VASRD that was in effect at the time of separation, so if you were separated a while ago, you may be rated on older versions of the VASRD. If you were separated between 2001 and the present, make sure to check out our Historic VASRDs page to see how the old VASRDs compare to the current one.