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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a prevalent issue affecting many individuals, especially veterans who have served in the military.  

While not often talked about openly, ED can have significant implications for a person’s quality of life, relationships, and emotional well-being. For veterans struggling with ED, accessing VA disability benefits can provide essential support. However, navigating the VA disability claims process for ED can be complex and daunting. In this blog, we’ll explore everything veterans need to know about ED, its connection to military service, the primary disabilities that are connected to ED, and how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rates ED. 

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What is Erectile Dysfunction

ED, characterized by the persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse, is a medical condition that casts its shadow over millions of men worldwide. While the occasional difficulty with erections may be considered normal, the persistence of such issues often signals underlying health concerns that demand attention. Symptoms of ED manifest in various forms, from trouble getting or maintaining an erection to a diminished desire for sexual activity or even a complete inability to achieve an erection altogether. 

Service Connection

To establish direct service connection for ED, a Veteran must demonstrate the following:  

  1. A current clinical diagnosis of ED;  
  2. Evidence of an injury, exposure, disease, or aggravation that was incurred while in the service; and 
  3. A link between the current disability or disease and the illness, injury, exposure or aggravation that was incurred in service. 

To establish secondary service connection for ED, a Veteran must demonstrate the following:  

  1. A current clinical diagnosis of ED; and 
  2. A link between ED and a current service connected condition 
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Primary VA Disabilities That Connect ED as a Secondary Condition:

ED is most often a secondary condition, so it’s essential to connect it to a primary VA disability and demonstrate how the primary VA disability contributes to the development or worsening of erectile dysfunction. 

Several primary VA disabilities can connect ED as a secondary condition. This list may not include all primary disabilities, as it is not exhaustive. 

Depression / Anxiety – Chemical imbalances in the brain can cause sexual complications and ED. 

Diabetes When blood sugar remains high for extended periods, it can harm nerves and blood vessels, leading to difficulties in achieving or maintaining a sufficiently firm erection for sexual activity. 

Heart disease / High CholesterolThe accumulation of cholesterol in the walls or any type of heart disease that slows down the flow of blood in your body can decrease enough blood flow to sustain or maintain an erection. 

Hypertension / High Blood Pressure High blood pressure can affect blood flow which in turn can cause ED. Read more on Hypertension. Connect to Blog 

Prostate issues if the prostate is enlarged, some of the medications may affect ED. Prostate cancer also has many factors that could decrease functionality and blood flow. 

Psychological trauma The way you think, and feel can have an overall effect on performance. It can even cause ED. 

PTSD Veterans engage in much different circumstances and environments than civilians encounter every day. From combat, high stress situations, and complex scenarios that civilians don’t encounter. Because of their service to our country, veterans are much more likely to report having issues with ED and other sexual issues.  

Traumatic Brain Injury/Neurological Disorders – Any time the brain is injured or damaged, there is a risk of affecting the central nervous system, which can have physical or psychological effects on the brain’s arousal response.  

Surgeries on or around the penis – Veterans that have received surgeries may have issues with ED due to their surgery. 

Navigating the VA Disability Rating System:

The VA evaluates erectile dysfunction using different diagnostic codes, such as Diagnostic Codes 7520 – 7524. Ratings can vary from 0% to 30%, depending on how severe the condition is and how it affects the veteran’s daily functioning.  

Here is a breakdown of the VA diagnostic codes: 

Code 7520 is assigned when at least half of the penis is removed, resulting in a 30 percent disability rating. 

Code 7521 is applied when the penile glans are surgically removed, warranting a 20 percent disability rating. 

Code 7523 is designated for complete testicular atrophy. Both testes must be affected to qualify for a 20 percent disability rating. If only one testis is affected, the rating is 0 percent. 

Code 7524 is used when both testes are removed. Removal of both testes results in a 30 percent disability rating, while removal of one testis leads to a 0 percent rating. 

Most Veterans are rated at 0% for ED but receive additional Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) which is an extra $132.74 per month. SMC-K offers extra benefits for veterans facing “loss of use of a creative organ,” which includes anyone experiencing erectile dysfunction. SMC-K payments are made in addition to your regular monthly compensation, meaning that even if you are already receiving a 100-percent rating, pursuing service connection for erectile dysfunction can increase your monthly payment. 

Obtaining VA Disability Benefits for Erectile Dysfunction

Despite the VA’s recognition of ED as a compensable disability, many veterans face challenges in obtaining disability benefits for ED. Initial claims may be denied due to insufficient evidence, lack of a clear service connection, or other administrative reasons.  

If your claim for erectile dysfunction (ED) has been denied, don’t lose hope. Chad Barr Law is here to help you appeal your case and fight for the benefits you deserve. Our experienced team understands the complexities of the VA system and will work tirelessly to ensure that your appeal is thorough and effective. 

We assist you every step of the way, from gathering comprehensive medical records to developing a strategic approach tailored to your specific circumstances. Our goal is to provide you with the support and guidance you need to navigate the appeals process with confidence. 

At Chad Barr Law, we are committed to advocating for veterans’ rights and ensuring that you receive the compensation and benefits you are entitled to. Let us be your trusted partner in seeking justice and securing the assistance you need to move forward. 

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Erectile dysfunction is a prevalent and often overlooked issue affecting many veterans. Accessing VA disability benefits for ED can provide crucial support for veterans struggling with this condition. By understanding the VA disability claims process, establishing a clear service connection, and seeking legal representation, when necessary, veterans can increase their chances of successfully obtaining compensation for ED. If you are a veteran facing challenges with an ED disability claim, consider reaching out to Chad Barr Law for guidance and support. 

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Female Sexual Arousal Disorder   

Just as you would expect, women can have a similar sexual dysfunction, it just has a different name. Female sexual arousal disorder encompasses problems such as decrease in sexual interest, lack of arousal or of physical genital response to sexual stimulation, along with vaginal pain and disinterest in sex were common among women veterans.  

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes female sexual arousal disorder as a disability eligible for compensation. Given its impact on daily life, relationships, and overall well-being, veterans with female sexual arousal disorder may qualify for disability benefits if they meet specific criteria. Read more about Female Sexual Arousal Disorder.