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What Is The VA Disability Rating for Parkinson's Disease: Explained

June 28, 2023

Life has a knack for throwing curveballs, and if you're a veteran living with Parkinson's disease, you're up against quite a pitch. But remember, you're not alone. Today, let's navigate the maze of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Disability Rating for Parkinson's disease together. Through this warm, detailed guide, we aim to simplify your understanding of the compensation process and ensure you're aware of the benefits you rightly deserve.

Unraveling Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that silently but persistently chips away at dopamine-producing neurons in your brain. This insidious assailant often takes its time, with symptoms developing gradually over the years. These symptoms can range from tremors and rigidity to bradykinesia (slow movement) and postural instability. While Parkinson's is primarily a movement disorder, it also extends its influence on cognitive functions and mood.

VA's Acknowledgement of Parkinson's Disease

The VA, recognizing the unique challenges that Parkinson's disease presents, has categorized it as a presumptive condition for Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange. This is significant because it implies that the VA presumes Parkinson's in these veterans is intrinsically related to their military service. This presumption paves the way for veterans to receive disability compensation relatively easily.

Delving into the VA Rating System

At the heart of the VA disability compensation lies the VA rating system. This rating system is essentially a measure that determines the level of disability and the corresponding compensation received. The ratings oscillate between 0% and 100%, depicting the severity of the disability and its impact on the veteran's life.

Deciphering the VA Rating for Parkinson's Disease

The VA meticulously assigns a disability rating for Parkinson's disease based on the extent of your symptoms and their impact on your everyday life.

Unpacking Parkinson's Ratings

The VA rates Parkinson's disease under the diagnostic code for Parkinsonism, 8004. A cursory glance might seem perplexing, but once you delve deeper, the meaning unfurls. This rating includes a 100% disability rating for veterans who necessitate continuous medication for symptom control and exhibit signs of marked restriction of daily activities or livelihood.

Accounting for Additional Symptoms

Parkinson's is not just a solitary disease; it often brings along companions in the form of additional symptoms like depression, cognitive difficulties, or sleep disturbances. The VA acknowledges this reality. These symptoms can be separately evaluated and rated, potentially leading to an elevation in overall disability compensation.

Optimizing Your Compensation

The initial compensation you receive might seem like a sealed deal, but it's not. There are avenues that can lead to an increase in this compensation.

Claiming Secondary Conditions

Parkinson's, a progressive disease, often gives rise to secondary conditions over time. These conditions can be claimed separately, potentially pushing your overall compensation upwards.

Ensuring Regular Re-Evaluations

It's essential to remember that Parkinson's doesn't standstill. It's a progressive disease. Regular re-evaluations can ensure your rating remains a true reflection of your condition and adapts with its progression.

Navigating the VA Disability Compensation Application

The path to applying for VA disability compensation may seem strewn with obstacles, but with an organized approach, it becomes a walk in the park.

Building Your Evidence Base

Begin by collecting all relevant medical records, maintaining a detailed log of your symptoms, and gathering any other pieces of evidence that vividly demonstrate your condition's severity and its impact on your life.

Submitting Your Application

Once your evidence base is solid, you can submit your application. This can be done online through the VA website, by mail, or in person at a VA office. Ensure every detail is double-checked for accuracy before submission.


What does 'presumptive condition' mean?

A 'presumptive condition' is a disease that the VA assumes to be related to military service. This presumption simplifies the disability compensation process.

Can I receive a rating for additional symptoms of Parkinson's?

Yes, additional symptoms like depression or cognitive difficulties can be separately evaluated and rated, which can potentially increase your overall disability compensation.

How can I boost my compensation?

You can enhance your compensation by claiming secondary conditions related to Parkinson's disease and ensuring your condition is regularly re-evaluated by the VA.

How do I apply for VA disability compensation?

You can apply for VA disability compensation online through the VA website, by mail, or in person at a VA office. Be prepared with all necessary evidence and ensure your application is filled out accurately.

What is the VA disability rating for Parkinson's disease? Conclusion

Embarking on the journey of understanding what is the VA disability rating for Parkinson's disease might feel like stepping into a maze. However, with the right map, the path becomes clear. Remember, you're not alone in this journey. With the right information at your fingertips, you're one step closer to comprehending your rights and benefits.

Do you have a VA claim number to track your benefits? Learn to identify the claim number and receive the required benefits with American Veteran.

Michael Blair contributes his expertise to help veterans access government benefits and resources. Through his informative articles and guides, he plays a vital role in empowering veterans and improving their quality of life.
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