Erectile dysfunction is a common issue for men that’s even more prevalent among veterans. Physical or mental health conditions can cause ED. VA disability is available to compensate veterans for these issues. Learn more in this post.
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In this article about VA disability for erectile dysfunction
- Understanding erectile dysfunction
- Why ED is almost always a secondary condition
- Erectile dysfunction VA rating
- When do you get permanent disability for ED?
- SMC for erectile dysfunction
- How to get VA disability benefits for erectile dysfunction
- Woods and Woods can help
More than half of men in the general population experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. So, while it may be uncomfortable to discuss, it’s a real issue affecting many men. And the number of veterans ED affects is even greater than the general population, with one research study showing that ED is about three times as prevalent in veterans. These numbers make it critical for veterans to understand erectile dysfunction, how to connect it to your military service, and the erectile dysfunction VA rating.
Understanding erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is the consistent inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. A psychological or physical issue can cause it.
Common symptoms of ED are:
- Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
- Reduced interest in sexual activity
- Low self-esteem
Various factors can cause erectile dysfunction including those related to the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Stress and mental health concerns can cause or worsen this issue, as can medication used to treat them. A combination of issues also can cause ED.
Common physical causes of ED include:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol or blood pressure
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Certain prescription medications
- Tobacco use
- Alcoholism and other forms of substance use
- Sleep disorders
- Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
- Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
- Low testosterone
Psychological causes include depression, anxiety, stress, and relationship issues.
Men with ED typically are treated for underlying physical or mental health concerns. Doctors can prescribe medications or assistive devices if that doesn’t fix the issue.
Why ED is almost always a secondary condition
A veteran seeking disability benefits for erectile dysfunction must prove service connection for the VA to grant compensation.
The only way you could directly connect ED to your military service is if you were injured during service, and it immediately resulted in ED.
Secondary service connection is a more likely way to link erectile dysfunction to military service. This secondary connection means you must first be service-connected for the issue, injury, or illness that caused the ED. Then you also could be service-connected for ED. For example, if you developed post-traumatic stress disorder due to your military service, it could cause ED.
To establish a service connection, you will need to present the VA with evidence that connects your condition with your service, which can be done in the form of a nexus letter. The VA may also request that you attend a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam, where a VA doctor will assess your condition.
Erectile dysfunction secondary to depression
Erectile dysfunction can be a symptom of depression. Men with clinical depression are about twice as likely to have ED.
Erectile dysfunction secondary to PTSD
Veterans are more likely than the general population to develop post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their experiences in service. The VA found in its research that male veterans with PTSD were more likely than the general population to develop ED as a symptom.
Erectile dysfunction secondary to sleep apnea
Erectile dysfunction VA rating
The VA uses a system of disability ratings to assess what level of symptoms you experience and how much they impact your life. The rating you receive determines your compensation. VA ratings go from 0% (called a non-compensable disability) to 100% (full disability).
Unlike other disabilities, the VA doesn’t have a specific disability rating schedule for erectile dysfunction. Instead, it rates ED under various concerns.
Here are some listings from the Schedule of Ratings that apply to erectile dysfunction and their respective disability ratings. If these codes don’t apply to your condition, you may receive an automatic disability rating of 0%.
(and diagnostic code)
|VA rating||Monthly payment|
|Partial removal of penis (7520)||30%||$467.39|
|Glans removal (7521)||20%||$301.74|
|Erection difficulty due to deformity (7522)||20%||$301.74|
|Atrophy of testicles (7523)||20% for both |
0% for one
Source: Schedule of Ratings
When do you get permanent disability for ED?
Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common losses of reproductive organs. Causes of erectile dysfunction can range from physical loss of the organ to deformities that make it non-functional. This loss of function is compensated by diagnostic code 7520.
If it is a permanent disability, you probably won’t be re-examined in expectation of the disability improving. For instance, if a doctor has to remove half or more of your penis, you’ll get a 30% disability rating.
If doctors removed your glans, you’d get a 20% rating, and if you had both testicles removed, you’d get 30%. If you have atrophied testicles or can’t get an erection because of a physical deformity, you’ll get a 20% rating. Other causes of erectile dysfunction will be rated at 0% but may still make you eligible for Special Monthly Compensation payments.
SMC for erectile dysfunction
Veterans who receive a 0% disability rating won’t receive disability compensation, but they may be eligible for Special Monthly Compensation (SMC). SMC is usually for veterans who have lost the use of organs or extremities, among other conditions and circumstances.
How could a veteran receive a 0% rating but be eligible for SMC? Because any rating indicates that the ED is service-connected. If it weren’t, you wouldn’t receive a rating at all.
SMC has a category termed “loss of use of a creative organ.” Under this category, SMC (k), you can receive monthly compensation for erectile dysfunction, which in 2022 is nearly $120 a month.
How to get VA disability benefits for erectile dysfunction
For the VA to consider disability benefits for erectile dysfunction, you must file a claim. The VA will usually request a Compensation and Pension exam. The examining physician will examine you and ask you questions about your service. Examinations are usually required in claims for VA benefits.
You also can use a Disability Benefits Questionnaire to help your claim. A DBQ allows you to address symptoms, severity, possible causes, and how the condition may be related to other disabilities. A private physician also can complete the form for you.
Once the VA processes your claim for benefits, you will eventually receive a confirmation or denial. If the VA denies your benefits, you may want to file an appeal. If you win your appeal, you should receive monthly compensation plus compensation back to when you filed your claim.
Woods and Woods can help
If you experience erectile dysfunction that is directly related to your military service or as a secondary condition, you deserve VA disability compensation. Contact Woods and Woods to file an initial claim or appeal a rating decision. You only pay us if we win.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, it can. While erectile dysfunction may not be directly caused by something that happened to you in the military, it could be related to another service-induced physical or mental health issue.
While this seems like a simple question, the answer is complicated. The VA does not have a specific rating for ED, but the ratings for ED-related conditions are 0%, 20%, and 30% depending on what’s causing the erectile dysfunction and how severe the issue is.