The VA recognizes IBS as a disability that may be eligible for disability benefits. The VA assigns a disability rating to each veteran’s condition based on the severity of their symptoms.

To be eligible for VA disability benefits for IBS, veterans must meet the VA disability rating and its criteria, which may require a significant impact on daily activities and the need for ongoing medical treatment.

What Is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects many people, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. It is a chronic medical condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life through abdominal distress.

Does the VA Count IBS as a Disability?

The VA recognizes IBS as a disability. Veterans with service-connected IBS may be eligible for VA disability benefits, healthcare benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and other VA disability compensation.

What Rating Do I Need From the VA To Get IBS Coverage?

To be eligible for disability compensation for IBS, veterans must receive a disability rating of at least 10%. The IBS VA rating system ranges from 0% to 100%, with higher ratings indicating more severe symptoms and greater abdominal distress. Therefore, a 10% or higher rating is necessary for the VA to provide disability compensation for IBS.

How Do You Prove IBS to the VA?

Veterans with IBS must provide medical evidence of their symptoms, including their severity, duration, and frequency, to prove IBS to the VA. The VA may request medical records and reports from healthcare providers to determine the level of the disability rating.

Keeping a symptom journal can be a useful tool for documenting these details. Additionally, veterans can submit statements from family members, friends, or coworkers who can provide a personal account of the veteran’s symptoms. This evidence can help the VA disability claim for disabled veterans with IBS.

How Do I Prove a Disability Like This Is Service Related?

Proving that your disability is service-related can result in many benefits from the United States government, especially for Gulf War veterans, resulting in chronic diseases. Proof can be presented in the form of the following:

  • Medical records: If the veteran received treatment for disability while on active duty or shortly after leaving the service, these medical records can help them with service connection claims.

  • Service records: If the veteran experienced situations during their military services that have caused them to function poorly, this information should be documented in their service records.

  • Statements from fellow service members: Veterans affected by IBS can ask their fellow service members to rise as witnesses during their experience in military duty.

  • Expert opinions: Statements from medical experts regarding the veteran’s symptoms during their military service can help prove the condition is true. 

Overall, providing as much evidence as possible to establish the link between the veteran's condition and their military service is important. Therefore, the VA will consider all documents in deciding on the veteran's disability claim.

You may check out the Healthline IBS VA disability guide for more information.

Sending Disability Claims

Veterans can use one of the several methods to send in a disability claim to the VA:

  • Online: Veterans can file a claim for VA disability benefits online using the VA’s eBenefits website. Veterans can create an account, complete their applications, and track the status of their service connection claims.

  • Mail: Veterans can download and complete the VA Form 21-526EZ and mail it to their area's VA Regional Office. The VA's website has a locator tool to help veterans find the appropriate office.

  • In-person: Veterans can also personally visit a VA Regional Office to file their claims. They can schedule an appointment with a VA representative to get help with the process.

The VA may take several months to process a disability claim, and veterans may need to provide additional information or attend a medical examination.

Potential Benefits Veterans Might Claim

If your IBS disability is proven eligible for benefits by the VA, here are some perks you might claim:

  • Disability compensation: This tax-free benefit is intended to provide financial support for the veteran's medical and daily living expenses and compensate for the loss of income and quality of life resulting from the disability.

  • Health care: Healthcare services are provided to veterans with eligible IBS claims. These services can be conducted by doctors, nurses, therapists, and other health care practitioners.

  • Vocational rehabilitation and employment: This program provides services and assistance to veterans with service-connected disabilities who want to enter or re-enter the workforce — even after complications from Gulf War syndrome.

  • Education and training: Eligible veterans are up for educational benefits, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program.

  • Home loans: Veterans with approved VA ratings are offered loan benefits, including adapted and special housing adaptation grants.

  • Life insurance: The VA offers options for veterans with service-connected disabilities like IBS.

  • Dependents’ and survivors’ benefits: If you have a service-connected disability, your dependents may be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits.

Work with a qualified representative, such as a Trajector team member, to understand your VA benefits eligibility and help you navigate the claims process. Check out this veteran benefit guide for more information. 

Final Thoughts

Veterans need to seek professionals when obtaining the benefits they are entitled to. Suppose you or a loved one is a veteran who is struggling with a disability and needs help accessing VA benefits. In that case, we encourage you to request a free medical evaluation today to learn more about how we can help. 

We are committed to supporting veterans and their families and are here to help you every step of the way.