How VA Disability Ratings Work

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on November 13, 2017  in Veterans' Disability News. Updated on March 2, 2022

disability rating payIf you are a veteran and have a medical condition that was caused or worsened by your military service, you might qualify for disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The amount of benefits you may be able to receive will be based on your disability rating.

The VA disability lawyers at Lynch Law Firm, PC explain disability ratings below. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case with a knowledgeable VA attorney. If you were assigned a disability rating you do not agree with, we may be able to help you appeal the rating.

Disability Ratings

If your application for VA benefits is approved, the VA will assign you with a disability rating. This rating signifies the seriousness of your disability and directly correlates to the amount of benefits you will receive.

Ratings can be between 10 and 100 percent and increase in 10-percent increments. Individuals who have lower disability ratings have what the VA considers to be less serious disabilities. A higher disability rating indicates that the veteran has a more serious disability.

The higher your disability rating, the higher monthly compensation you will receive. For example, a single veteran with no children and a 10-percent rating would receive compensation of $133.57 at the time of publication. If the veteran had a 100-percent rating, he or she would receive monthly compensation of $2,915.55. The current amount of compensation is updated periodically on the VA’s website.

The disability rating determines the base amount of compensation a veteran will receive. This amount can be increased for multiple disabilities or injuries or if the veteran has dependents, such as a spouse or children. This amount is also subject to an annual cost of living adjustment.

Combined Ratings

In many instances, a veteran may have more than one disease or disability. However, the VA does not simply add the disability rating for each condition, such as adding a 20-percent rating to a 30-percent rating to get a 50-percent combined rating. Instead, the VA uses a Combined Ratings Table to calculate a combined disability rating.

The VA arranges the disabilities in order of severity. It then determines the percentage of efficiency the veteran has after the most severe disability. The next most serious disability is then considered and applied to this remaining efficiency to get a new disability rating.

For example, if a veteran is 40-percent disabled, he or she is still 60-percent efficient. The VA will combine the veteran’s efficiency rating from the first disability with the disability rating for the next most severe disability. The resulting number is then added to the disability rating for the most severe disability. This process repeats until all disabilities have been accounted for. The final number is then rounded to the closest increment of ten.

Contact a VA Disability Attorney

If you disagree with the disability rating the VA has assigned to you, it is possible to appeal the decision. However, it is best to pursue this type of action with the help and guidance of a trusted VA disability attorney.

Our firm has helped countless veterans receive disability benefits after sustaining injuries and disabilities in the armed forces. We can help you navigate the complex VA disability process.

We provide a free initial consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront fees and you do not pay unless you receive benefits.

Call (800) 518-0508 and speak to a lawyer today.

* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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