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How Do VA Diagnostic Codes Work?

When the VA finds a connection between your illness and military service, you’ll receive a detailed analysis of their decision. Part of it includes getting a diagnostic code based on your symptoms. Every veteran applying for benefits receives one, and it highlights what the VA considered when determining their rating. Understanding what it means is a great start if you want to appeal your claim or learn more about your results.   

What Is A VA Diagnostic Code?

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a diagnostic code is essential to your VA rating sheet because it’s assigned as a way to identify your medical condition. The four-digit codes range from 5000 to 9999. Unless you have an unlisted illness or disability, every person filing a VA disability claim will get a specific one based on 15 different categories. If you have ongoing symptoms stemming from an original diagnosis, an additional four-digit code will be assigned next to your primary one.

How Are VA Diagnostic Codes Determined?

When you receive a diagnosis, the code will correlate to a specific set of ratings ranging from 10 to 100. To receive a category rating, you must meet certain criteria associated with each score. Your overall rating will be higher if your symptoms are severe. A 10 disability rating is used for mild symptoms, while a 100 rating is considered the most severe. Every situation is different, though, and the VA will make its decision on a case-by-case basis.

What Happens If You’re Misdiagnosed Or Have Multiple Codes?

Sometimes, one disability may have similar symptoms to another, or you may have more than one diagnosis. The VA might misdiagnose you in these cases, leading to a lower rating. If you’re in one of these two situations, be sure the VA gives you a favorable rating reflecting your actual condition. This way, you’re eligible for a higher payout each month. In the case of a misdiagnosis, however, you also have the right to appeal the VA’s decision in court to reevaluate your claim. 

What Does An Analogous Rating Mean?

The VA will assign you a specific diagnostic code for your injury. However, you’ll receive an analogous rating if your condition does not fall under the Veteran Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD). Instead of giving you a standard code, the VA will evaluate you based on the condition that most closely resembles your symptoms. Most of these cases get a more favorable rating, which means you may receive greater compensation.  

Our Attorneys Will Help You With Your VA Benefits Claim

Understanding the VA’s rating can be complicated. However, understanding how the process works will help ensure you’ll be appropriately diagnosed and compensated. Always review the details of the VA’s decision. If it’s inaccurate, know that you can appeal the decision with the help of a professional attorney.

At Turley Redmond & Rosasco, L.L.P, our team of veterans’ disability lawyers will help you secure the VA benefits you deserve. If you have any questions about your case or want to schedule your free consultation, fill out the contact form on our website or call us at 855-622-7686. We serve Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and more.

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