Understanding the VA rating for Kidney Disease 

Kidneys are an essential part of your body that is responsible for blood filtration, the regulation of blood pressure, and other body systems. The effects of kidney diseases damage these functions, leading to a certain degree of impairment that leaves the kidneys incapable of filtering out waste, causing the accumulation of waste and fluids. This ailment leads to serious health conditions and secondary diseases. 

Kidney diseases for veterans, especially if the condition is connected to their military service, are entitled to a VA claim. However, obtaining this compensation requires understanding how the VA rating for kidney disease works. This can be challenging as there are various factors to consider, so it is ideal to utilize a VA disability calculator. J4V’s VA rating calculator will guarantee to help you estimate your rating, especially the VA disability rating for chronic disease or any form of disability. 

Today’s blog post will answer some of your questions about VA for kidney diseases, such as “Can you get disability benefits for kidney stones?“, “What are the types of kidney disease recognized by the VA“, and other secondary conditions that are a direct result of kidney diseases. 

Types of Kidney Disease recognized by the VA

Kidney disease is determined and can appear in several stages. Most often, it is a secondary condition that is the direct result of a different disease. Here are the most well-known kidney diseases: 

Acute Kidney Disease 

It is defined as a sudden failure of the kidneys. An additional illness is frequently the cause of acute kidney failure, which typically manifests within a few days. The risk of acute kidney failure increases when an individual has another medical condition that requires hospitalization or intensive care. Immediate medical treatment is necessary to treat this condition. 

Kidney Stone

VA claims for kidney stones are also calculated and recognized as a kidney disease. It can grow as small as sand grains or as big as golf balls, which can result in extreme pain, nausea, and vomiting. 

Diabetic nephropathy 

It is a common complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It pertains to having unrestrained blood sugar that damages the capillaries in the kidney glomeruli, which initiates more serious kidney problems. The diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy is made when there is an increase in urine protein excretion (primarily albumin), regardless of any other type of renal disease.

Chronic Kidney Disease 

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) refers to the gradual decline of kidney function. CKD, otherwise known as chronic renal disease (CRD), is determined by blood tests for creatinine, a byproduct of muscle metabolism. An elevated level of creatinine serves as an indication of a lower glomerular filtration rate (GFR), a rate at which your blood is filtered each minute, which is the outcome of a decreased ability of the kidneys to remove waste materials from the blood. 

End-Stage Renal Failure 

It is the most advanced stage of chronic kidney disease that the VA recognizes. It is a severe condition that prevents the kidneys from filtering waste and excess fluids. Those diagnosed with end-stage renal failure require life-support treatments such as dialysis to clean the blood of toxins from an outside source or kidney transplants, which involve kidney replacement. Failure to treat this can lead to the accumulation of life-threatening toxins in the body. 

Secondary Conditions That Can Result from Kidney Disease and Affect VA Disability Ratings 

Due to the many complications it presents, kidney disease can also be the result of various secondary illnesses, which can affect your VA disability rates.  


Kidney disease can result in the decreasing production of red blood cells. This disability leads to anemia, which causes fatigue and weakness. 

Cardiovascular Disease 

Impairment of the kidneys forces the heart to pump against the higher pressure in the arteries, leading to the eventual increase of its workload. It is due to the overdrive of hormone systems trying to increase blood supply to the kidneys. 

Bone Disease 

CKD damages the kidneys, leading to failure to filter blood and regulate hormones. It leaves your body no longer maintaining the right balance of vitamins, which leads to mineral and bone disease. 

Gastrointestinal Disorders 

CKD affects gastric motility, the pancreas, and the gallbladder, which affect the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in renal injury. 

Kidney disease can also be a secondary condition that is the result of diabetes. Type II diabetes is common among veterans who served in the Vietnam War, which is the effect of exposure to Agent Orange

Chronic disease disability is one of the most likely illnesses that is linked to exposure to the Agent Orange herbicide. However, veterans may still not be automatically entitled to an increase in VA rating, unlike other presumptive conditions that are proven to be the direct result of exposure to Agent Orange.  

How VA Disability Benefits for Kidney Disease Are Calculated

The VA rates kidney diseases within a genitourinary system that has a separate rating schedule for dysfunctions (§4.115a) and diagnoses (§4.115b). For an accurate assessment of the severity of the disease, the rating code for dysfunctions is typically used in conjunction with the rating code for diagnoses.  

Rating codes for dysfunctions (§4.115a) are a reference to the severity of the impairment caused by kidney disease. Meanwhile, the diagnosis code (§4.115b) pertains to a specific diagnosis of kidney disease. 

An example of this is a veteran who may have chronic kidney disease and require a transplant or dialysis. The VA will rate your condition under the rating code for diagnosis. Additionally, according to the dysfunction rating schedule, this specific rating code mandates that the VA evaluator takes “renal dysfunctions” into account when assessing your condition. 

The VA assigns five rating percentages—0 percent, 30 percent, 60 percent, 80 percent, and 100 percent—to chronic kidney illness, classifying it mainly as renal dysfunction.

These percentages can be determined by the following:

  • The amount of albuminuria found in a urine sample, along with Edema
  • Waste level collected in a blood test 
  • Diagnosis of hypertension using VA diagnostic code 
  • Poor health 

Here is what the ratings entail and how they can vary. Note that the VA rater will require only one of the requirements to put you under the appropriate rating. 


  • Regular dialysis is required. 
  • Edema and albuminuria persist.  
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) more than 80 mg% 
  • Creatinine exceeded 8 mg% 
  • Decreased function of the kidney or other organs, primarily cardiovascular.  


  • Edema and albuminuria persist 
  • BUN 40 to 80 mg% 
  • Creatinine level within 4 to 8mg% 
  • Poor health 


  • Continuous albuminuria with some edema 
  • Decrease in kidney functions 
  • Hypertension at least 40% disabling under diagnostic code 7101 


  • Constant albumin, or recurring hyaline and granular casts or red blood cells 
  • Faint edema or hypertension at least 10% disablement under diagnostic code 7101 


  • History of acute nephritis, with albumin. 
  • Non-compensable hypertension under diagnostic code 7101 

Regular dialysis entitles you to a 100% rating since one of the rating requirements includes regular dialysis. Also, if you are living a sedentary life in which your disease has left you unable to completely function, or if your blood tests suggest you have more than 80mg of BUN or 8mg of creatinine, or an extreme decreased function of the kidney and other organs.  

Filing a VA disability claim for Kidney Disease 

Experiencing the pain of having a kidney disease is challenging enough, which is why we here at Just4Veterans are here to help you at least ease your concerns about filing for a VA disability claim. 

From filing VA disability claims to calculating the estimated rating you should have; we are here to guide you.   

After you have served our country, it is now our turn to serve you. If you have any further questions, please email us at [email protected] or book a strategy call here.

DISCLAIMER : Just4Veterans LLC is NOT an accredited agent, attorney, entity or VSO recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim with an accredited representative, who may offer their services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO.