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VA Announces Major Updates to Disability Ratings for Digestive Conditions

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has recently unveiled significant changes to the Schedule for Rating Disabilities, particularly concerning digestive conditions. According to VA, these updates reflect advancements in medical treatment and knowledge, ensuring a more accurate compensation for veterans.While the updates impact a large number of digestive conditions, here are three key changes:
Celiac Disease: Effective May 19th, 2024, celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder affecting gluten processing, will have its own tailored rating criteria. Previously evaluated through analogy, veterans with celiac disease will now be eligible for ratings ranging from zero to 80 percent under a specific diagnostic code. This update ensures a more precise assessment of the disabling effects of celiac disease.Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): The rating criteria for IBS has been adjusted to better reflect the frequency of symptoms. Instead of the previous options of zero, 10, and 30 percent evaluations, veterans may now receive ratings of 10, 20, or 30 percent based on symptom severity. This change ensures that veterans are fairly compensated based on the impact of their condition.

Hemorrhoids: VA has revised the evaluation criteria for both internal and external hemorrhoids. Previously, mild or moderate cases warranted a zero percent evaluation, while more severe cases received 10 or 20 percent. With the new criteria, mild or moderate hemorrhoids will now qualify for a 10 percent evaluation. This adjustment ensures a more equitable assessment of this condition’s impact on veterans.

Importantly, these updates will not affect veterans’ current ratings. However, veterans can apply for increased compensation if they believe their conditions warrant it. Reductions in evaluation will only occur if there is an improvement in disability sufficient to warrant a reduction under the former criteria.

For veterans with pending claims related to these conditions as of May 19th, 2024, both the old and new rating criteria will be considered, with the more favorable criteria applied to ensure veterans receive the compensation they deserve.

If you have questions about these changes, or want to file a claim for a digestive condition, please contact our office at 404-467-9017.

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