Webb v. McDonough, No. 22-1243 (Fed. Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
The VA’s Schedule for Rating Disabilities includes diagnostic codes (DCs), each with a corresponding disability rating, 38 U.S.C. 1155. A particular veteran’s disability may not clearly fall under a delineated DC. VA regulations provide: When an unlisted condition is encountered it will be permissible to rate under a closely related disease or injury in which not only the functions affected but the anatomical localization and symptomatology are closely analogous. The VA considers the functions affected by ailments, the anatomical localization of the ailments, and the symptomatology of the ailments.
Webb served in the Army, from 1968-1970, receiving an honorable discharge. Webb later developed service-connected prostate cancer, the treatment for which caused him to develop erectile dysfunction (ED). In 2015, Webb was assigned a non-compensable (zero percent) rating for his ED. The Schedule did not then include a diagnostic code for ED. The VA rated Webb’s disability by analogy to DC 7522, which provides a 20 percent disability rating for “[p]enis, deformity, with loss of erectile power.” The Board explained that DC 7522 required Webb to show “deformity of the penis with loss of erectile power.” Without such a deformity, he was not entitled to a compensable disability rating. The Veterans Court affirmed. The Federal Circuit vacated. The listed disease or injury to which a veteran’s unlisted condition is being rated by analogy must be only “closely related,” not identical.