GERD VA Rating Explained - The Expert's Guide (3 *NEW* Tips for 2022) (2023)

In this post, we will be exploring the GERD VA rating criteria in detail.

In 2022, a veteran’s VA rating for GERD can be 10%, 30%, or 60%.

So, let’stake a minute to explore the law regarding the symptoms and impairment requiredto warrant a VA disability rating for GERD.

Manyveterans suffer from various digestive system issues, to include GastroesophagealReflux Disease (GERD).

In addition, GERD is a common secondary VA disability claim, especially GERD secondary to PTSD due to the side effects of medication taken to manage mental health symptoms.

A veteran’s final VA rating for GERD depends upon the frequency and severity of their symptoms, meaning, the more severe your symptoms, the higher the VA rating for GERD.

Table of Contents

  • GERD VA Disability Rating: What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?
  • GERD VA Rating: Common Symptoms in Veterans
  • Is GERD a VA Disability?
  • WATCH: How to Get a 60% VA Rating for GERD
  • VA Rating for GERD and Hiatal Hernia
  • VA Disability Rating for GERD
  • GERD Secondary to PTSD
  • About The Author

GERD VA Disability Rating: What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?

GERD VA Rating Explained - The Expert's Guide (3 *NEW* Tips for 2022) (1)

GastroesophagealReflux Disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid repeatedly flows back into theesophagus, which is the tube connecting your mouth and stomach.

When thishappens, the lining inside your esophagus can become irritated due to thestomach acid.

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Thisuncomfortable sensation often leads to heartburn or acid reflux.

GERD is a mildform of acid reflux that occurs at least twice a week, or moderate to severeacid reflux that occurs at least once a week.

Most veteranscan manage the discomfort of GERD with dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, andvarious over the counter or prescription medications.

For example,Omeprazole (or Prilosec) is often prescribed in varying doses to help veteransmanage their GERD symptoms.

If your GERDis very severe, veterans may need stronger medications or even surgery inextreme cases to help ease symptoms.

GERD VA Rating: Common Symptoms in Veterans

GERD VA Rating Explained - The Expert's Guide (3 *NEW* Tips for 2022) (2)

Many veterans have GERD, and according to the Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of GERD involve:

  • A burning sensation in your chest(heartburn), usually after eating, which may worsen at night
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty eating and swallowing
  • Regurgitation of food particles orsour liquid
  • Sensation of a lump in your throat

If you havenighttime GERD and acid reflux, you might also experience:

  • Chronic cough
  • Laryngitis
  • New or worsening asthma
  • Disrupted sleep and insomnia

Is GERD a VA Disability?

Yes, GERD is a VA disability and can be rated at 10%, 30%, or 60%, depending upon the severity of your symptoms.

GERD is most often rated under CFR 38, Part 4, VA Schedule of Ratings, Diagnostic Code 7346, Hernia Hiatal.

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In this video, Brian Reese VA Insider, breaks down: “How to Get a 60 Percent VA Disability Rating for GERD!”

VA Rating for GERD and Hiatal Hernia

GERD VA Rating Explained - The Expert's Guide (3 *NEW* Tips for 2022) (3)

There are various diseases of the digestive system, which produce a common disability picture characterized by varying degrees of acid reflux, abdominal distress or pain, anemia and disturbances in nutrition.

Therefore,certain coexisting diseases of the digestive system do not lend themselves todistinct and separate disability ratings without violating the fundamentalprinciple of pyramiding.

Ratingsunder Diagnostic Codes 7301 to 7329, inclusive, 7331, 7342, and 7345 to 7348,inclusive, will NOT be combined with each other.

A singlerating for GERD will be assigned under the Diagnostic Code which reflects thepredominant disability picture, with elevation to the next higher rating wherethe severity of the overall disability warrants such elevation. See 38 C.F.R. §4.114.

The Veteran’s GERD and digestive disability is currently rated by analogy to hiatal hernia under 38 C.F.R. § 4.114, Diagnostic Code 7346, as that code is normally used to rate GERD due to similarity of symptom presentation.

There is noother pertinent diagnostic code for GERD.

VA Disability Rating for GERD

GERD VA Rating Explained - The Expert's Guide (3 *NEW* Tips for 2022) (4)

GERD VARatings range from 10% to 60%, with an interim break at 30%.

A veteran’s final VA disability rating for GERD depends upon the frequency, severity, and duration of your symptoms, meaning, the more severe your symptoms, the higher the VA rating for GERD.

There is noseparate diagnostic code for GERD, and it’s most commonly assigned a VA ratinganalogous to diagnostic code 7346, Hernia Hiatal:

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Diagnostic Code 7346Hernia Hiatal – GERD VA Rating Chart
Symptoms of pain, vomiting, material weight loss and hematemesis or melena with moderate anemia; or other symptom combinations productive of severe impairment of health 60%
Persistently recurrent epigastric distress with dysphagia, pyrosis, and regurgitation, accompanied by substernal or arm or shoulder pain, productive of considerable impairment of health 30%
With two or more of the symptoms for the 30 percent evaluation of less severity 10%

A 60 VARating for GERD is warranted when there are symptoms of pain, vomiting,material weight loss, and hematemesis or melena with moderate anemia; or othersymptom combinations productive of severe impairment of health.

A 30 VA Ratingfor GERD is warranted when there is persistently recurrent epigastricdistress with dysphagia, pyrosis, and regurgitation, accompanied by substernalor arm or shoulder pain, productive of considerable impairment of health.

A 10 VARating for GERD is warranted with two or more of the symptoms for the 30percent evaluation of less severity.

GERD Secondary to PTSD

Many veterans with GERD or acid reflux, especially those who were diagnosed long after leaving the military are eligible under the law for GERD secondary to PTSD.

For example, if veterans are taking SSRIs to help manage their PTSD symptoms, perhaps you’re suffering from side effects of those SSRI medications, which can lead to digestive system issues.

Thus, veterans can get a GERD VA rating secondary to PTSD.

Serviceconnection on a secondary basis requires a showing of causation.

A showing ofcausation requires that the secondary disability be shown to be “proximately dueto” or “proximately aggravated by” another service-connected disability.

By law,there are three evidentiary elements that must be satisfied for GERD secondaryto PTSD to prove secondary service connection:

  • A medical diagnosis of GERD in VA medical records or private records (unless you already have a diagnosis of GERD in your service treatment records), AND
  • Evidence of a service-connected primary disability (such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, migraines, IBS),AND
  • Medical nexus evidence establishing a connection between the service-connected disability (PTSD) and the current disability (GERD)

The firstpart can be satisfied with any existing medical evidence in service treatmentrecords, VA medical records, or any private medical records.

The secondpart can be satisfied with a veteran’s existing service-connected disabilityrated at 0 percent or higher.

The third part can be satisfied with a medical nexus letter from a qualified medical professional.

C&P Exam for GERD

GERD VA Rating Explained - The Expert's Guide (3 *NEW* Tips for 2022) (5)

A C&P exam for GERD usually involves a physicalexamination and history of your signs and symptoms over time.

Lately, C&P examiners have been administering blood tests during a veterans C&P exam for GERD, which is to screen for Anemia.

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The only accurate way to test for Anemia is through ablood test.

You’ll want to explain to the C&P examiner HOW yourGERD symptoms are limiting or affecting your work, life, and socialfunctioning.

For example, how often do you have symptoms of GERD?

How severe are your GERD symptoms and do they limit oraffect your work, life, and social functioning?

You’ll want to review the GERD DBQ form prior to your C&P exam for GERD, specifically Section III, Signs and Symptoms, with special emphasis on frequency, severity, and duration of your esophageal symptoms.

About The Author

Brian Reese

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.

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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).


What is the VA rating for GERD 2022? ›

It is commonly rated under “Diagnostic Code 7346, Hernia, Hiatal” under § 4.114 Schedule of ratings – digestive system. A hiatal hernia is a common cause of GERD. The VA schedule of ratings allows a disability rating for a hiatal hernia and GERD ranging from 10% to 60%, depending on the severity of symptoms.

How do you prove GERD to the VA? ›

To secure secondary service connection and additional VA compensation, veterans must provide evidence of the following two things:
  1. A diagnosis for the secondary condition by a medical professional; and.
  2. A medical opinion, or nexus, linking the secondary disability to the already service-connected condition.
Oct 21, 2021

Is it hard to get VA disability for GERD? ›

The lowest disability rating is awarded when GERD produces two or more of the symptoms at the 30% level, but with less severity. These symptoms result in a 10% disability rating for GERD and acid reflux VA disability benefits.

How do you get 30% on GERD? ›

A 30% rating requires “persistently recurrent epigastric distress with dysphagia, pyrosis, and regurgitation, accompanied by substernal or arm and shoulder pain, productive of considerable impairment of heath.”

How to get 60 VA rating for GERD? ›

A 60% rating requires “symptoms of pain, vomiting, material weight loss and hematemesis or melena with moderate anemia; or other symptom combinations productive of severe impairment of health.”

How Much Does VA disability pay for GERD? ›

30 percent – VA recognizes 30% for GERD when it leads to “persistently recurrent epigastric discomfort with dysphagia, pyrosis, and regurgitation, accompanied by substernal or arm and shoulder pain that is very severe.”

How is GERD diagnosis confirmed? ›

An endoscopy with biopsy is one of the most common tests physicians use to confirm a diagnosis of GERD. To have the procedure, you may first need a referral from your primary care physician to see a gastroenterologist. The gastroenterologist will examine your esophagus and may take a tissue sample for testing.

How is GERD determined? ›

The diagnosis of GERD is typically made by a combination of clinical symptoms, response to acid suppression, as well as objective testing with upper endoscopy and esophageal pH monitoring.

Is GERD secondary to sleep apnea? ›

Sleep apnea disrupts nearly every system in your body, so it's possible that GERD is, in fact, secondary to sleep apnea.

How does GERD affect daily life? ›

Background. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is typically characterized by heartburn and acid regurgitation. GERD has an impact on the daily lives of affected individuals, interfering with physical activity, impairing social functioning and reducing productivity at work.

Can you get VA GERD secondary to PTSD? ›


If you have service-connected PTSD, the VA will approve benefits for any secondary disabilities with a nexus to the condition. If you were treated for GERD before entering the military, your condition could still receive a secondary service connection if your PTSD aggravated your symptoms.

What is the VA disability rating for GERD secondary to PTSD? ›

Importantly, both ratings for GERD and PTSD can contribute to the veteran's overall combined rating. For example, a veteran may be eligible for schedular TDIU if they receive a 60 percent rating for PTSD and a 10 percent rating for GERD.

What triggers GERD the most? ›

Factors that can aggravate acid reflux include:
  • Smoking.
  • Eating large meals or eating late at night.
  • Eating certain foods (triggers) such as fatty or fried foods.
  • Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol or coffee.
  • Taking certain medications, such as aspirin.

Does GERD worsen with age? ›

There is no one clear age where heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) see a specific spike, but it's a fact of life that heartburn does worsen as we get older.

What level of GERD do I have? ›

Stage 1 (mild): A person has infrequent heartburn and regurgitation happening once or less each week. Stage 2 (moderate): A person has regurgitation or heartburn occurring a few times a week. Stage 3 (severe): A person has regular heartburn, a chronic cough, regurgitation, a hoarse voice, and regurgitation of food.

What is the VA rating for IBS and GERD? ›

4.114 diagnostic code 7346. Ratings under diagnostic code 7346 range from 10 to 60 percent disabling and depend on the presence and severity of a variety of symptoms.

What are the VA disability rates for 2023? ›

How Much Are 2023 Monthly VA Disability Payments?
  • $165.92 per month for 10% disability.
  • $327.99 per month for 20% disability.
  • $508.05 per month for 30% disability.
  • $731.86 per month for 40% disability.
  • $1,041.82 per month for 50% disability.
  • $1,319.65 per month for 60% disability.
  • $1,663.06 per month for 70% disability.
Dec 8, 2022

Is Chronic GERD a disability? ›

Gastroesophageal reflux disease rarely qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Long Term Disability benefits on its own. In order to qualify for benefits, the applicant must be unable to work.

Can GERD cause anxiety? ›

GERD connection to anxiety

A 2015 study found that anxiety and depression increase the risk of GERD, and other studies have found that GERD's negative effect on quality of life increases anxiety and depression, creating a vicious cycle.

Does GERD cause shoulder pain? ›

So can acid reflux cause symptoms like acute pain between your shoulder blades? It can, but it usually means it's progressed beyond simple heartburn and into Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD. While it can require more treatment than acid reflux, the chest and back pain it causes can be managed.

What are the 4 types of GERD? ›

Types of GERD
  • Stage 1: Mild GERD. Minimal acid reflux occurs once or twice a month. ...
  • Stage 2: Moderate GERD. Symptoms are frequent enough to require prescription acid reflux medication, which is typically taken daily. ...
  • Stage 3: Severe GERD. ...
  • Stage 4: Precancer or cancer.

What can be mistaken for GERD? ›

Heartburn-like pain is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but several other conditions can cause a burning feeling in your chest, including gallstones, stomach ulcer and esophageal cancer.

How often should you get an endoscopy if you have GERD? ›

If an initial screening examination is negative for Barrett esophagus or esophageal adenocarcinoma, recurrent periodic endoscopy is not indicated. Among patients found to have Barrett esophagus on screening upper endoscopy, endoscopic surveillance may be indicated at 3- to 5-year intervals.

Does GERD show up on endoscopy? ›

Abstract. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the mos common disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Patients with GERD symptoms may exhibit a spectrum of endoscopic findings ranging from normal endoscopy (EGD negative) to severe ulcerative esophagitis.

What exercises strengthen esophageal sphincter? ›

By lifting and holding the neck from a supine position for 60 seconds at a time, you create enough tension in the muscle associated with the upper esophageal sphincter that it can strengthen the valve.

Can GERD be diagnosed without endoscopy? ›

Gastroesophageal reflux disease can be diagnosed in the office, without the need for expensive tests such as endoscopy. Learn how to make the right diagnosis while avoiding confounding symptoms that might steer a patient toward the wrong specialist.

Does a CPAP help with acid reflux? ›

The mean heartburn score decreased by 62 percent among the sleep apnea patients who were adherent to CPAP therapy. The study also found a progressive reduction in heartburn score with increasing CPAP adherence, which was the only significant predictor for acid reflux reduction in the multiple regression analysis.

Does CPAP make acid reflux worse? ›

Objective criteria show that CPAP treatment does not cause reflux in patients with OSA. Unlike studies reported in the literature, this conclusion has been reached by pre- and post-CPAP assessments. Keywords: Continuous positive airway pressure; Gastroesophageal reflux; Obstructive sleep apnea.

Do people with GERD snore? ›

That said, if you suffer from GERD, chronic reflux may have led to chronic snoring. The more acid is exposed to the soft tissue in the back of your neck, the more harm will occur. This results in additional obstruction and enhanced snoring.

What damage to body does GERD cause? ›

GERD can be a problem if it's not treated because, over time, the reflux of stomach acid damages the tissue lining the esophagus, causing inflammation and pain. In adults, long-lasting, untreated GERD can lead to permanent damage of the esophagus.

Why do I get acid reflux everytime I eat? ›

Common culprits. Some foods and ingredients may intensify heartburn, such as spicy foods, citrus, tomato sauces, and vinegar. Fatty and fried foods linger longer in the stomach, making it more likely that stomach acid leaks back up into the esophagus.

What is the long term consequence of GERD? ›

Long-Term Effects of GERD Untreated gastroesophageal reflux disease can lead to esophagitis - inflammation of the esophagus. Stomach acid is very irritating to the lining of the esophagus and can cause long-term damage. Over time, you could develop a painful ulcer.

What is the VA rating for sleep apnea? ›

You can receive a rating of 0, 30, 50, or 100 percent for sleep apnea. 0 Percent: You are asymptomatic but have a documented sleep disorder. 100 Percent: You have a chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention and require a tracheostomy.

What is the VA rating for anxiety? ›

Accordingly, the Veteran is entitled to a 100 percent schedular rating for her service-connected generalized anxiety disorder with depression. A 100 percent disability rating for generalized anxiety disorder with depression is granted, subject to the criteria applicable to the payment of monetary benefits.

Can depression and anxiety cause GERD? ›

The full correlation between anxiety and depression with GERD is not fully understood. However, a close relationship between the brain and GI tract has been established. Stress and emotions can alter GI function and can even cause GI symptoms and disease.

Which fruit is good for acid reflux? ›

From bananas to coconuts, here are a variety of fruits that are great for acid reflux.
  • Banana. Bananas are one of the delicious fruits for stomach acid. ...
  • Melon. Just like bananas, the benefits of melon for stomach acid come from its alkaline nature. ...
  • Apple. ...
  • Pears. ...
  • Coconut.
Aug 22, 2022

Is Yogurt good for acid reflux? ›

Is yogurt a good choice? Yogurt that is not too sour is also excellent for acid reflux, because of the probiotics that help normalize bowel function. Yogurt also provides protein, and soothes stomach discomfort, often providing a cooling sensation.

Why does everyone get GERD? ›

Everyone can experience heartburn at one time or another because there is a normal level of acid from the stomach that can reflux into the upper body. A number of common activities, including overeating, can cause heartburn.

What medications should older adults avoid for GERD? ›

Potentially harmful medications that can aggravate the symptoms and effects of GERD in the elderly, such as NSAIDs, potassium tablets, bisphosphonates, beta blockers, theophylline and calcium-channel blockers should be avoided if possible.

Will I have GERD for life? ›

GERD is a potentially serious condition, and it will not go away on its own. Untreated GERD can lead to inflammation of the esophagus and cause complications like ulcers, strictures and increased risk of Barrett's esophagus, which is a precursor to esophageal cancer.

Which antacid is best for the elderly? ›

Famotidine and nizatidine are associated with fewer side effects in elderly patients but also must be dose-adjusted for renal function.

What is Stage 3 of GERD? ›

Stage 3 is when GERD is considered to be a severe issue that causes a noticeable decrease in the patient's quality of life. The damage to the lower esophageal sphincter is severe, and the symptoms being experience by the patient can no longer be properly addressed with prescription medications.

What are the symptoms of stage 3 GERD? ›

Stage 3: Severe
  • Heartburn.
  • Regurgitation of food or liquid.
  • Sore throat.
  • Hoarse voice.
  • Chronic cough.

How long does it take for GERD to turn into Barrett's esophagus? ›

This method connected the jejunum to the esophagogastric anastomosis in rats to induce reflux of gastric acid and duodenal fluid into the esophagus, creating a condition similar to that of human esophageal reflux. Barrett's esophagus developed after 20 wk, while esophageal adenocarcinoma appeared after 40 wk[72].

How much is 70 percent VA disability 2022? ›

If you're a Veteran with a 70% disability rating, and you have a spouse, plus 3 dependent children under the age of 18, you would start with the basic rate of $1,754.95 (for a Veteran with a spouse and 1 child). Next, look at the Added amounts table. Find the amount for children under age 18 ($64.00).

How much will VA disability increase in 2023? ›

VA disability pay for 2023 increased by 8.7%. The new disability compensation rates took effect on December 1, 2022. See the current VA disability pay chart, and calculate your monthly compensation.

What does 90% VA disability entitle you to? ›

Veterans who rate at 90 percent disabled may qualify for concurrent retired and disability pay (CRDP). CRDP restores your service pay by eliminating the VA waiver. There is no application process.

What does 80% VA disability entitle you to? ›

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 VA rating for stomach pain? ›

Diagnostic Code 7306 provides a 40 percent disability rating for evidence of moderately severe symptoms including intercurrent episodes of abdominal pain at least once a month partially or completely relieved by ulcer therapy, mild and transient episodes of vomiting or melena.

What is the VA rating for esophageal? ›

Strictures of the esophagus are provided a 30 percent rating where symptoms are moderate. A 50 percent rating is for assignment for severe symptoms permitting liquids only. A rating of 80 percent is for assignment where the condition permits passage of liquids only, with marked impairment of general health.

Is there a link between PTSD and GERD? ›

Yes, GERD is a secondary service connection to PTSD. Research shows that PTSD symptoms like anxiety and depression can lead to acid reflux. Plus, as we mentioned above, some medications for PTSD symptoms can cause GERD.


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