What is a Disability Rating?
Every veteran who applies for veterans disability benefits will be assigned a disability rating upon review of the medical evidence submitted as part of your claim. This rating dictates the level of compensation you are eligible to receive based on the severity of your disability or condition.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rates disabilities on a scale from zero percent to 100 percent in increments of 10 percent. For example, you may receive a rating of zero percent, 10 percent, 20 percent, etc.
Depending on your circumstances, you may also be eligible for additional compensation. This includes if:
- You have a severe disability or a loss of a limb
- You are married, have dependent children or dependent parents
- You have a seriously disabled spouse
If the VA determines that you have multiple disabilities, your ratings for each disability will be combined together to determine your level of compensation, however they will not be simply added together. The VA uses a formula in its Combined Ratings Table to calculate your combined disability rating.
Once a disability rating has been assigned, there may be opportunities for it to change. The VA may require a re-examination of your condition six months after leaving the service and then again between two and five years later. During a re-examination, the VA will verify the severity or continued existence of your disability. If there is indication that your disability has improved, your current disability rating may no longer be correct, in which case your rating and benefits could be reduced or even discontinued.
Veterans do have the option to file a VA Form 21-4138 to request a re-evaluation if your condition worsens or a new disability develops. In this case, your disability rating and benefits may be increased in accordance with the severity of your disabilities.
If you have been denied veterans disability benefits, contact Vets National Advocates for a free consultation. We will guide you through the appeals process and help you get the benefits you deserve.