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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Military Disability for Covid-19

The VA is currently in the process of initiating procedures to ensure the correct processing and ratings of VA Disability Claims for Covid-19.

By the end of July, the VA plans to release a policy letter which instructs all claims for Covid-19 to be rated analogously under code 6335 for West Nile Virus.

This code will allow for a 100% rating while the Covid-19 infection is active. After that, it will be rated on any lasting side effects (respiratory conditions, liver conditions, etc.).

All infectious diseases are rated using a similar system, so until the VA is able to create a new code specifically for Covid-19, rating it under code 6335 will enable veterans to receive a consistent and fair rating.

The VA's Covid-19 policy letter is still under review, and so may be adjusted before its official release. We'd be surprised, however, if it changes much, as this analogous rating enables Covid-19 to be rated using the same principles that apply to other infectious diseases.

Once the policy letter is released, the VA will be able to process VA Disability Claims for Covid-19 quickly and accurately, but the benefits will also extend to active duty members who are being medically separated. Since the DoD uses the VASRD and the VA's assigned ratings, the DoD will also start using code 6335 for Covid-19 cases leading to medical discharges.

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