VA Compensation for Diabetes

Veterans are entitled to disability benefits for any injury or disability that was a result of service. However, many Veterans don’t understand what disabilities or injuries are the result of service and what disabilities can be attributed to aging. Most Veterans don’t realize they are entitled to VA compensation for diabetes if they can prove it is related to service.

Diabetes and Service Connection

Diabetes mellitus is a very common condition that Veterans suffer from, but it’s not always apparent that they could be entitled to VA benefits for diabetes. This is because diabetes can be the result of numerous conditions. As a result, it could be secondarily service connected to another service connected condition.

Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly produce or use insulin. Insulin is necessary to convert sugar into energy. Some people can manage their diabetes through a restricted diet, while others require daily insulin injections. The more severe the symptoms, the higher the VA evaluation and disability compensation.

How the VA Rates Diabetes

The VA currently rates diabetes as 10, 20, 40, 60, or 100 percent disabling.

  • At 10 percent, the Veteran is able to manage their diabetes through a restricted diet.
  • At 20 percent, the Veteran requires an insulin injection one or more times daily in addition to a restricted diet or taking an oral hypoglycemic agent.
  • At 40 percent, the Veteran needs one or more daily shots of insulin, a restricted diet, as well as regulated activity.
  • At 60 percent, in addition to the requirements listed above, the Veteran must have experienced a hypoglycemic reaction or episodes of ketoacidosis that resulted in hospitalization once or twice a year.
  • At 100 percent, the Veteran would need to take insulin more than once a day, be on a restricted diet, regulate their activity, be hospitalized three or more times per year, and experience progressive weight loss or strength reduction.

Connecting Military Service to Diabetes

While many are familiar with the link between Agent Orange exposure and the development of diabetes, it is less widely known that conditions such as PTSD or musculoskeletal conditions can result in diabetes. Studies have found that conditions such as PTSD, hypertension, and sleep apnea can be risk factors for the development of diabetes.

Additionally, musculoskeletal conditions can result in a reduction in physical activity. This reduction can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which results in obesity, and obesity is one of the main risk factors in the development of diabetes. It is less intuitive to connect diabetes with the above listed conditions, but Veterans who suffer from one could very easily suffer from the other. If a Veteran is service connected for PTSD, hypertension, or sleep apnea, they could become service connected for diabetes secondary to those conditions.

VA Disability Attorneys

Veterans who currently have a diabetes diagnosis due to service are entitled to disability compensation for diabetes. If you are a Veteran and you were denied VA benefits for diabetes, you have the right to appeal.

At Berry Law, we are dedicated to helping fellow Veterans in their fight for disability benefits. Contact Berry Law today for a free case evaluation.