When a veteran applies for benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the agency will assign a rating based on the severity of the applicant’s disability. The VA will rate a disability from 0 percent to 100 percent in 10 percent increments. Applicants may be paid additional amounts when they have severe disabilities, a seriously disabled spouse, or a spouse, child, or dependent parents.
When the VA finds that a veteran suffers from multiple disabilities, a combined ratings table is used. Calculating a combined disability can be extremely complicated because the math does not follow traditional addition. For example, a 60 percent disability and a 20 percent disability does not automatically lead to a combined rating of 80 percent.
An experienced VA disability lawyer can help you navigate this complex process to figure out how to get a 100 percent rating.
How Do I Increase My VA Disability Rating?
The difference in benefits between a 70 percent and a 100 percent rating can be quite significant. For example, under current guidelines, a veteran with a 70 percent rating may be entitled to a benefit rate of $1,365.48, while a 100 percent rating would result in $2,973.86 in monthly benefits. A veteran with a spouse and child and a 70 percent rating could receive $1,566.48, while a veteran with a spouse and child could be eligible for $3,261.10 with a 100 percent rating.
In specific cases, a veteran may be able to get their disability ratings increased by arguing that their condition was not adequately investigated. Veterans who feel their ratings are too low can file an appeal. Claims filed more than a year after the rating decisions were received can result in claims needing to be reopened and new evidence needing to be submitted.
How to Increase Individual Ratings
Many veterans are classified as having a disability rating of around 70 percent despite their disabilities being persistent and disruptive in their daily lives. In many cases, these veterans are unable to maintain full-time employment.
Appealing a disability rating will likely involve proving that a disability has worsened or the initial evaluation was incorrect. Appeals filed with the VA over disability ratings can be very complex and challenging for the ordinary person. Most applicants need help from an experienced attorney who can provide knowledgeable assistance as it relates to the types of documents and records that the VA is seeking.
Individual Unemployability, also known as Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU), is a VA disability compensation program that allows certain veterans to receive compensation at the 100 percent rate even when their service-connected disabilities are not rated at the total level.
A veteran either needs to have one service-connected disability rated at least at 60 percent or two or more service-connected disabilities with at least one disability rated at 40 percent or more with a combined rating of 70 percent or more. Individual Unemployability recipients cannot maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of service-connected disabilities.
Contact Us for Legal Help with Your VA Disability Rating Appeal
VA disability benefits lawyer George Sink Sr. understands the challenges that veterans face because he is a disabled veteran himself. He has the experience necessary to help you secure the correct disability rating to get the full benefits you need and deserve.