Are you a veteran who has served the United States but experienced a disability as a result of your service? If so, it’s important to be aware of the VA Disability Rating System and the benefits it offers.
We are going to simplify the subject, ensuring you have a clear understanding of what VA Disability Rating entails, How to obtain it and how to calculate your rating accurately.
With that being said, let’s dive into it.
What is VA Disability Rating?
The VA Disability Rating is a system designed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to evaluate and compensate veterans for disabilities sustained during their service. It’s a percentage assigned to each disability, representing the condition’s severity and its impact on the veteran’s daily life.
The higher the rating, the higher the amount in compensation.
How to Get a VA Disability
In order to get a VA Disability rating, you need to follow a structured process as discussed below:
(i) Submit a Claim
The first step involves submitting a claim for disability benefits to the Veterans Affairs. You can do this via mail, online, or by visiting a local VA office.
Ensure you present all the necessary medical documentation, evidence, and supporting documents in order to strengthen your case.
(ii) Medical Examination
Once the VA receives your claim, they will schedule a Compensation and Pension (C&P) examination. This evaluation is performed by a qualified VA healthcare professional and it’s meant to assess your disability’s severity and impact.
(iii) Supporting Documentation
Collect all relevant medical records, treatment reports as well as statements from healthcare professionals. As the term implies, these documents will support your claim and help show the connection between your disability and serving in the military.
(iv) The Review Process
Lastly, the VA will review your claim, factoring in the evidence you provided and the results of the medical examination. This stage takes a while and so, it is important to exercise patience and be ready to provide any additional information if asked so.
What is the Eligibility for VA Benefits?
When it comes to eligibility, You have to show that the condition was a result, or worsened by your active duty, active or inactive duty training.
If you got discharged due to dishonorable conditions or due to bad conduct, you do not qualify for VA disability benefits.
However, you have the option to challenge the discharge status and qualify for VA benefits.
What Disabilities Are Rated by the VA?
The Department of Veterans Affairs considers a wide range of physical and mental health conditions when determining disability ratings. These encompass different categories, including but not limited to:
- Musculoskeletal injuries like lower back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and muscle strains.
- Eye conditions such as the loss of an eye, cataracts, and inflammatory eye conditions.
- Hearing Loss
- Nerve & Neurological Damage like epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and migraines
- Respiratory conditions like asthma and other ailments that affect the lungs.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Chronic adjustment disorder
- Major depressive disorder
In situations where a veteran has multiple disabilities, the veteran affairs combines the ratings of each to in order to reach a final disability rating.
How to Calculate VA Disability Rating
The VA utilizes a Combined Rating Table. This factors in multiple conditions to figure out your overall VA disability rating. Here is a brief overview of the process:
- Individual Ratings- Here, each disability has a separate rating ranging between 0 and 100%. These ratings are based on medical evidence, symptoms as well as the disability’s severity.
- Combined Ratings- For multiple disabilities, the VA combines the individual ratings of each condition. The rating is also based on the severity of the disabilities.
- Rounded Rating- The final combined rating is rounded to the nearest 10 percent. If your combined rating was 66% for instance, it will be rounded up to 70%.
Understanding the VA Disability Rating system is important if you are seeking benefits.
By following the tips above, you can navigate the process easily and maximize the chances of getting the benefits you deserve.