Brian Reese here the VA Claims Insider, and in this guide, we’ll explore how to get a VA Rating for Rhinitis, including the top 3 ways to prove your Rhinitis was due to your military service.
Generally, veterans meet the eligibility criteria for “Allergic Rhinitis,” in which case, the VA Disability Ratings for Rhinitis are either 10 percent or 30 percent.
The highest scheduler Allergic Rhinitis VA Rating is 30 percent, which means you have Allergic Rhinitis with Nasal Polyps.
Your final Rhinitis VA Disability Rating depends upon the Frequency, Severity, and Duration of symptoms and any impairment or loss (e.g., work/life impacts).
Guess what else?
Many veterans mistakenly believe the maximum rating for Rhinitis is 30 percent…
There are 3 different types of Rhinitis that can be service connected and rated:
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Bacterial Rhinitis
- Granulomatous Rhinitis
For example, Granulomatous Rhinitis can be rated as high as 100 percent (more on that below).
In addition, veterans who suffer from Allergic Rhinitis have an increased risk of developing Obstructive Sleep Apnea, in which case, you can file a VA claim for Sleep Apnea secondary to Rhinitis.
Okay, let’s explore this Insider’s Guide for getting VA disability for Rhinitis, even if you’ve already filed or been denied.
Table of Contents
- What is Allergic Rhinitis in Veterans?
- Do I Have Allergic Rhinitis or the Common Cold?
- Common Signs and Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)
- How to Get a Rhinitis VA Disability Rating: Basic Eligibility Criteria
- Allergic Rhinitis VA Rating: Is Rhinitis a VA Disability?
- How Do I Get a Rhinitis VA Rating?
- What is the Reasonable Doubt Rule for Rhinitis?
- VA Rating for Rhinitis: 3 Paths Revealed
- DC 6522, Allergic or Vasomotor Rhinitis:
- DC 6523, Bacterial Rhinitis:
- DC 6524, Granulomatous Rhinitis:
- What are the VA Secondary Conditions to Allergic Rhinitis?
- About the Author
What is Allergic Rhinitis in Veterans?
Allergic Rhinitis, also called “Hay Fever,” has symptoms similar to the common cold: Runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, nasal congestion, coughing and sneezing, and sinus pressure.
The biggest difference between a head cold and Allergic Rhinitis is that the former is caused by a virus and the latter is caused by allergens.
For example, Allergic Rhinitis is caused by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, or shedding’s by cats, dogs, and other animals with fur or feathers, known as “pet dander.”
Allergic Rhinitis is no laughing matter: It can make your life miserable and negatively impact your work, life, and social functioning.
Do I Have Allergic Rhinitis or the Common Cold?
Here’s a helpful chart to distinguish between the two conditions:
|Condition||Signs & Symptoms||Onset||Duration|
|Allergic Rhinitis||Runny nose with thin, watery discharge and no fever||Immediately after exposure to allergens||Typically for as long as you’re exposed to allergens|
|Common Cold||Runny nose with watery or thick yellow/green discharge; body aches; low-grade fever; cough; stuffy nose, with symptoms worsening at night.||One to three days after exposure to a cold virus||3 to 7 days|
Common Signs and Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis include:
- Runny nose and nasal congestion
- Watery, itchy, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
- Swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes (allergic shiners)
- Postnasal drip
How to Get a Rhinitis VA Disability Rating: Basic Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for a Rhinitis VA Rating, a veteran must meet three (3) criteria by law:
- #1. Medical diagnosis of Rhinitis, in a medical record (Service Treatment Records, VA medical records, or private medical records)
- #2. Your Rhinitis was caused or made worse by your active-duty military service OR by another service connected disability for secondary service connection (“Nexus” for service connection)
- #3. Persistent and recurring symptoms of Rhinitis (“Severity of Symptoms”) in terms of Frequency, Severity, and Duration to include any functional impacts.
If you think you have some form of Rhinitis, but don’t have a medical diagnosis,pick-up the phone and call the VA health facility nearest youto make an appointment right away!
If you’re trying to increase your VA rating for Rhinitis, you need to prove to the VA that your symptoms are now worse and warrant the higher rating criteria by law.
The #1 best way to increase your VA rating for Rhinitis is to have objective medical evidence to show your symptoms have worsened over time.
Allergic Rhinitis VA Rating: Is Rhinitis a VA Disability?
Yes, Rhinitis is a VA disability, and it can be rated under one of three possible Diagnostic Codes (DC) depending on your medical diagnosis:
The VA rates Allergic Rhinitis under CFR 38, Part 4, VA Schedule of Ratings, DC 6522, Allergic or Vasomotor Rhinitis, whereas Bacterial Rhinitis falls under DC 6523 and Granulomatous Rhinitis under DC 6524.
Most often, veterans are rated for Allergic Rhinitis at either 10% or 30%.
How Do I Get a Rhinitis VA Rating?
There are 3 primary ways a veteran can get a VA disability rating for Rhinitis:
#1: Direct Service Connection for Allergic Rhinitis with a rating of 10% or 30%. This means an in-service event, injury, or disease related to your military service caused you to develop Rhinitis.
#2: Secondary Service Connection for Allergic Rhinitis with a rating of 10% or 30%. For example, a veteran can be rated for Rhinitis secondary to Deviated Septum.
#3: Allergic Rhinitis “Presumptive” to Burn Pit Exposure with a rating of 10% or 30%. If you served in the Gulf War region during the presumptive period, the VA assumes your Rhinitis is related to burn pits. The presumptive period for particulate matter exposure is Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War, from September 19, 2001, to the present,or the Southwest Asia theater of operations from August 2, 1990, to the present. To be eligible for VA benefits, you must have gotten one of these conditions within 10 years of your separation from active duty military service.
What is the Reasonable Doubt Rule for Rhinitis?
The Reasonable Doubt Rule, also known as the Benefit of the Doubt Doctrine, means that the evidence provided by the veteran must only persuade the decision maker that each factual matter is “at least as likely as not.”
This means there’s a 50/50 chance.
When, after careful consideration of all evidence, a reasonable doubt arises regarding service origin, the degree of disability, or any other point, such doubt will be resolved in favor of the veteran.
The courts further likened the reasonable doubt rule as akin to the principle in baseball that the “tie goes to the runner.”
When in doubt, the benefit is ALWAYS given to the veteran.
Independent providers and C&P examiners must consider and give weight to the veterans self-reported symptoms when completing their DBQ for Rhinitis.
VA Rating for Rhinitis: 3 Paths Revealed
There are three possible Diagnostic Codes (DC) and VA Ratings for Rhinitis depending on your medical diagnosis.
DC 6522, Allergic or Vasomotor Rhinitis:
- Allergic Rhinitis with Polyps, rate at 30%.
- Allergic Rhinitis without Polyps, but with greater than 50 percent obstruction of nasal passage on both sides or complete obstruction on one side, rate at 10%.
DC 6523, Bacterial Rhinitis:
- Bacterial Rhinitis with Rhinoscleroma, rate at 50%.
- Bacterial Rhinitis with permanent hypertrophy of turbinates and with greater than 50 percent obstruction of nasal passage on both sides or complete obstruction on one side, rate at 10%.
DC 6524, Granulomatous Rhinitis:
- Granulomatous Rhinitis with Wegener’s granulomatosis, lethal midline granuloma, rate at 100%.
- Granulomatous Rhinitis other(s) with infection, rate at 20%.
Pro Tip:Were you exposed to Burn Pits?If you served in Afghanistan,Southwest Asia or certain other regions and developed Sinusitis, Rhinitis, or Asthma within 10 years from your separation from active duty service, these respiratory conditions are presumed to be service-connected. This is especially big news for Afghan war veterans.
What are the VA Secondary Conditions to Allergic Rhinitis?
It’s possible for your Allergic Rhinitis to be caused or made worse by another service connected disability for secondary service connection.
Here’s a list of common VA secondary conditions to Allergic Rhinitis:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Deviated Septum
- Nasal Polyps
- Weakened immune system from other illnesses or medications taken to manage your service connected disabilities.
What Should I Expect at a C&P Exam for Allergic Rhinitis?
A C&P exam for Allergic Rhinitis involves a series of verbal questions, to include a physical examination, and diagnostic testing (X-Rays, CT scans, or MRIs, if none have been performed).
The following are a list of common questions asked at a VA C&P exam for Rhinitis, based on the DBQ for Rhinitis.
#1. Does the veteran now have, or has he/she ever been diagnosed with Rhinitis?
If yes, select the appropriate diagnosis and describe the history and onset of the condition.
#2. Is there greater than 50% obstruction of the nasal passage on both sides due to Rhinitis?
Yes or no.
#3. Is there complete obstruction on the left side due to Rhinitis?
Yes or no.
#4. Is there complete obstruction on the right side due to Rhinitis?
Yes or no.
#5. Is there permanent hypertrophy of the nasal turbinates?
Yes or no.
#6. Are there nasal polyps?
Yes or no.
#7. Does the veteran have any of the following granulomatous?
If “yes,” check all that apply:
- Granulomatous rhinitis
- Wegener’s granulomatosis
- Lethal midline granuloma
- Other granulomatous infection (describe).
#8. Are there any other pertinent findings of Rhinitis?
#9. Have imaging studies of the sinuses or other areas been performed?
If yes, indicate the type and results.
#10. Is there any evidence of a Deviated Septum?
#11. Does the veteran’s Rhinitis impact his/her ability to work?
If yes, describe impact of each of the veteran’s sinus, nose, throat, larynx, or pharynx conditions, providing one or more examples.
About the Author
Founder & CEO
Brian Reeseis a VA benefits expert, author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned, andfounder of VA Claims Insider–“The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”
His frustration with the8-step VA disability claims processled him to create“VA Claims Insider,”which provides U.S. military veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned for successfully submitting or re-submitting a winning VA disability compensation claim.
Brian isalso the CEOofMilitary Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability claims and has served more than 4,600,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.
His eBook, the“9 Secrets Strategies for Winning Your VA Disability Claim”has been downloaded more than 300,000 times in the past three years and is the #1 rated free VA disability claims guide for veterans.
He is aformer active duty Air Force officerwith extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from theUnited States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).
Allergic rhinitis with polyps qualifies for a 30 percent disability rating. A Veteran may get a 10 percent disability rating if their allergic rhinitis has no polyps, but comes with a higher than 50% blockage of the nasal tube on both sides or full blockage on one side.What are the 3 things you need to get a rating in the VA disability? ›
- a medical diagnosis,
- a connection to active duty military service (nexus), and.
- medical evidence of recurring or persistent symptoms.
A 30 percent disability rating is the maximum rating permitted for allergic rhinitis under Diagnostic Code 6522. The veteran is not entitled to an increased disability rating for allergic rhinitis symptoms during any other time period relevant to the instant appeal.What is the VA rating for chronic rhinitis chronic sinusitis? ›
Under the Diagnostic Code 6522, a 10% rating is used for vasomotor or allergic rhinitis without polyps but 50% or greater blockage of the nasal passages on both sides. It may also be used if one side is completely obstructed. If polyps (growths) are present, this rises to a 30% rating.What conditions are secondary to rhinitis? ›
Those who suffer from these types of allergies also often suffer from asthma or other conditions like learning disabilities, sleep disorders, fatigue, Eustachian tube dysfunction, or allergic conjunctivitis.Is sleep apnea secondary to rhinitis? ›
Allergic rhinitis increases the risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea by two major mechanisms: 1) increase in airway resistance due to higher nasal resistance and 2) reduction in pharyngeal diameter from mouth breathing that moves the mandible inferiorly.How do I go from 90% to 100% VA disability rating? ›
- #1 Add an additional service-connected condition.
- #2 Increase the rating of an existing service-connected condition.
- #3 Apply for TDIU.
What Is the Most Approved Disability? Arthritis and other musculoskeletal system disabilities make up the most commonly approved conditions for social security disability benefits. This is because arthritis is so common. In the United States, over 58 million people suffer from arthritis.What is the hardest VA claim to get? ›
There are 1,343,013 disabled veterans service-connected for Hearing Loss. Pro Tip: If you've been out of the military for more than 12 months, Hearing Loss is one of the most difficult claims to get service connected and rated above 0%. Get a Medical Nexus Letter to improve your odds of service connected Hearing Loss.Is rhinitis a VA presumptive? ›
#3: Allergic Rhinitis “Presumptive” to Burn Pit Exposure with a rating of 10% or 30%. If you served in the Gulf War region during the presumptive period, the VA assumes your Rhinitis is related to burn pits.
Typically, the VA rates chronic sinusitis as 0%, 10%, 30%, or 50%. To receive at least a 10% VA disability rating, the veteran must experience at least one or two long-lasting, incapacitating sinusitis episodes annually that require antibiotics.What is the VA rating for allergic rhinitis and sinusitis? ›
Under Diagnostic Code 6522, a 10 percent rating is warranted for allergic or vasomotor rhinitis without polyps, but with greater than 50 percent obstruction of nasal passages on both sides, or with complete obstruction on one side. A 30 percent rating is warranted for allergic or vasomotor rhinitis with polyps. Id.Can you have both sinusitis and rhinitis? ›
Blocked sinuses can be caused by the common cold, hay fever or nasal polyps (small lumps inside the nose). Allergic rhinitis and sinusitis are linked to each other, because allergic rhinitis causes your nose to become blocked, and in turn blocks the sinuses.What is the difference between rhinitis and sinusitis? ›
Rhinitis and sinusitis are two common respiratory conditions that can make people feel like they have a cold. Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nose, and sinusitis is an infection in the sinuses, which are air-filled tissues around the nose.What is the VA rating for deviated septum and rhinitis? ›
The VA does provide a 10% disability rating for a deviated septum if the deviated septum is traumatic. To qualify, at least 50% of the nasal passage must be blocked on both sides or 100% of the nasal passage blocked on one side.What are the three types of rhinitis? ›
There are three distinct rhinitis subgroups that are widely accepted: allergic rhinitis (AR), infectious rhinitis, and non-allergic, non-infectious rhinitis (NAR) . These phenotypes, however, are dynamic and may develop into one another.What are the 4 categories of allergic rhinitis? ›
Rhinitis is classified into one of the following categories according to etiology: IgE-mediated (allergic), autonomic, infectious and idiopathic (unknown).What are 4 causes of acute rhinitis? ›
- Pollen given off by trees, grass, and weeds.
- Dust mites.
- Cockroach waste.
- Animal dander.
- Fumes and odors.
- Hormonal changes.
Entitlement to service connection for obstructive sleep apnea, as secondary to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is granted. The Veteran's obstructive sleep apnea is caused by or is the result of her service-connected PTSD.What are the new VA rules for sleep apnea? ›
Sleep Apnea Rating Changes
Under the current rating schedule, VA issues ratings at 0, 30, 50, 100 percent for sleep apnea even if treatments are effective at dealing with the condition. Currently, if a veteran uses a CPAP machine, they will receive a 50 percent rating.
§ 4.97-13, Code 6847, the ratings for obstructive, central, or mixed sleep apnea are as follows: 100 percent rating for “chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention or cor pulmonare, or; requires tracheostomy.” 50 percent rating requires the “use of a breathing assistance device such as” a CPAP machine.What is 90% VA disability check? ›
What is the compensation for a 90% VA Disability Rating? The 2023 compensation rate (an 8.7% increase) for a 90% VA disability rating is $2,172.39. For more information about compensation for dependents, our 2023 VA Disability Rates and Compensation article covers all the updates for the year.What does 80% VA disability get you? ›
How Much Compensation Do Veterans Rated at 80 Percent Receive? As of December 1, 2022, veterans who are rated at 80 percent will receive $1,933.15 per month. However, this amount typically changes each year to reflect changes in the cost-of-living.What is the number 1 disability in the world? ›
The most common disability type, mobility, affects 1 in 7 adults.What is the easiest disability to get? ›
Tinnitus, otherwise known as “Ringing-in-the-Ear-Syndrome” is by far the #1 easiest VA disability to claim. Tinnitus is when you experience ringing, hissing, buzzing, or other noises in one or both of your ears.What do I say to get 100% VA disability? ›
- Sustained their injury or illness during active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training.
- Been honorably discharged from the military.
- Been given a 10 percent or more VA disability rating for the illness or injury.
The Veteran Affairs website reports that 75 percent of all initial applications for VA benefits are denied. These applications are often denied because they have incomplete information or lack necessary documentation. Other reasons for denial include: Not enough evidence to support your disability.What disabilities can the VA not prove? ›
No, there aren't any VA disability claims that cannot be proven. In fact, all VA claims must be proven on an “at least as likely as not” basis. If you have no evidence (no proof), your VA claim will get denied.What is the average VA disability rating for rhinitis? ›
§ 4.31. Under DC 6522, allergic or vasomotor rhinitis is rated as 10 percent disabling when it is manifested by a greater than 50 percent obstruction of both nasal passages or complete obstruction of one nasal passage without polyps. A 30 percent disability rating is warranted when polyps are present.How do you prove sinusitis to the VA? ›
- A current diagnosis by a medical professional;
- An in-service event, injury, or illness; and.
- A medical nexus linking the current diagnosis of chronic sinusitis to the in-service occurrence.
Allergic rhinitis is caused by the immune system reacting to an allergen as if it were harmful. This results in cells releasing a number of chemicals that cause the inside layer of your nose (the mucous membrane) to become swollen and excessive levels of mucus to be produced.Which virus is the most common cause of rhinitis? ›
Human rhinovirus is the most common pathogen responsible for almost 50% of the cases.How is rhinitis and sinusitis diagnosed? ›
While it may sound unpleasant, comparing the color and type of mucus is another way to help determine what's causing your nasal congestion. Clear nasal drainage often coincides with allergies. Persistent yellow or green nasal discharge in large amounts may be an indicator of sinusitis.
Rhinitis is the medical term for inflammation of the inner lining of the nose. Chronic nasal inflammation lasts over a long period of time, typically longer than 12 weeks. It's different from acute rhinitis, which lasts a few days or up to 4 weeks before going away. Most often, allergies cause chronic rhinitis.What is the primary symptom of rhinitis? ›
Allergic rhinitis, or allergic rhinosinusitis, is characterized by paroxysms of sneezing, rhinorrhea, and nasal obstruction, often accompanied by itching of the eyes, nose, and palate. Postnasal drip, cough, irritability, and fatigue are other common symptoms [1-3].What are the stages of rhinitis? ›
On the basis of ARIA, patients with rhinitis are placed into one of four categories: (1) mild intermittent, (2) mild persistent, (3) moderate/severe intermittent, and (4) moderate/severe persistent (2).Is rhinitis an upper or lower respiratory infection? ›
Acute upper respiratory tract infections include rhinitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and laryngitis.Can a Veteran be rated for sinusitis and rhinitis? ›
A 30 percent disability rating for sinusitis with allergic rhinitis from June 11, 2002, is granted, subject to the law and regulations governing the payment of monetary VA benefits.Can you get a VA claim for rhinitis and sinusitis? ›
Typically, the VA will only approve a VA disability claim for chronic sinusitis, as the condition can be long-term or permanent. As of 2021, the VA began using a presumptive service connection process for eligible veterans who could have been exposed to sinusitis-causing pollution during their service.What percentage does the VA give for allergic rhinitis and sinusitis? ›
Bethany: Typically, allergic rhinitis is rated under 38 CFR 4.97 diagnostic code 6522. So, that diagnostic code includes two evaluations, a 10 percent rating, and a 30 percent evaluation based on different symptomology.