Over time, a disabled veteran’s condition may grow worse. When a disability worsens, you deserve greater compensation for the increased disability. You will need an adjustment of your disability rating to increase the amount of disability compensation you receive.

Unfortunately, disabled veterans face an overworked and slow government bureaucracy when pursuing appeals or adjustments with the VA. What is actually designed to be a simple process can take years and ultimately fail over the smallest discrepancy. Our veteran law attorneys can help you appeal your VA disability rating if your rating has been incorrectly determined or your injury gets worse.

Why Does My VA Disability Rating Matter?

Your disability rating is directly tied to the compensation you receive from the Department of Veteran Affairs. The higher your rating, the higher your benefits. The VA assigns a disability rating from 0-100% in 10% increments – more severe injuries receive higher ratings.

For example, if you have a spinal cord injury with complete loss of mobility, you may get a rating of 100%. However, most people with an incomplete spinal injury only get a 40% rating, even when they have a permanent disability. This means that your injury must be substantial for you to merit a high rating.

Do I Qualify to Increase My VA Disability Rating?

Once your initial VA disability claim has been approved for benefits, you can request that the VA rating of a service-connected disability be increased. A disabled veteran who is service-connected for their physical and/or mental disabilities need only ask the VA for a review of their rating and provide evidence of the worsening of their condition. Because service-connection has already been established, the VA focuses only on medical evidence and the potentially increased rating.

By law, medical records from a VA or military service hospital, or records from private or public medical institutions, serve as evidence if they show worsening of your condition. Statements from a disabled veteran explaining how their condition has worsened may also serve as evidence. The VA may also require the vet to undergo a medical exam by one of its appointed medical professionals.

If you were treated by a VA or military service health care facility, the request for a disability rating increase requires only one form, Form 21-526EZ, which asks for the name(s) of the site(s) of treatment so they may be contacted. If your treatment was in a civilian facility, Form 21-4142 is also required to authorize the release of records and/or for physicians to confer with the VA.

Is Time a Factor to Reevaluate My VA Disability Rating?

Even though there is no time limit, the timing of your request for a disability rating change is important. If it has been more than one year since your benefits were granted, a standard request for a reevaluation of the disability rating can be made.

However, if it has been less than a year, your request becomes an appeal, which is a much more complex process. As veterans law attorneys assisting disabled veterans, George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers navigate the confusing appeals process for our clients. We save you time and frustration and may put additional money in your hands sooner.

What if I Have Multiple Disabilities?

Most veterans, particularly as they age, have multiple disabilities, which the VA rates as “combined disabilities.” However, the combined disabilities rating calculation is not a straight-forward additive system. For example, a disability rated at 20% and a second one rated at 30% yield a combined rating of 44% according to the VA’s Combined Ratings Table, not 50% as might be expected.

Further, once a disability rating of 80% is achieved, each additional disability increases the combined rating by only 2% for each 10% of an additional rating. For example, ratings of 80% and 10% combine for 82%, not 90%. The VA makes achieving a 100% disability rating difficult, regardless of a veteran’s injuries or illnesses.

Prove Individual Unemployability for a 100% Disability Rating

The VA will pay certain veterans 100% disability compensation, even though VA has not rated their service-connected disabilities at the total level. This compensation program is known as Total Disability for Individual Unemployability (TDIU). It is meant for disabled veterans who are unable to get or keep substantially gainful employment because of their service-connected disability.

A disabled veteran whose disability rating is not as high as it should be may be able to obtain TDIU compensation at a 100% disability rate. Individual unemployability requires you to have one disability rated at 60% or more. If you have multiple disabilities, one must rate at 40% or more for a combined rating of 70% minimum.

The VA may still grant TDIU benefits to veterans who don’t meet the rating requirements, but more evidence will be needed. This may include obtaining job records and employers’ or former/prospective employers’ affidavits, as well as medical records and expert vocational consultant reports. Veterans’ disability lawyers can help you gather this evidence for the VA to adjust your disability rating.

How George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Can Help

Our veterans’ disability attorneys can help you work through the difficult, time-sensitive rules to receive the full benefit you deserve. We have experience with the VA Compensation Appeal System for disabled veterans and know the complexities of the process. We stand ready to guide you or your injured loved one through the government rules and procedures.

Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today to help file your claim and see whether your disability rating should be higher. Our disability benefits lawyers won’t charge you a legal fee unless you obtain a favorable decision. We want you to have all of the VA compensation you deserve.

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I could see right away the first time I spoke to somebody that I did the right thing.
- Robert W. -Disabled Vet- Actual Client¹
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The government makes it hard to get your benefits but George Sink injury lawyers made it easy.
- Julius F. -Disabled Vet- Actual Client¹
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I really felt for the first time somebody was in my corner. He’s a Veteran and I’m a Veteran. That’s why I called George Sink.
- Alvin A. -Disabled Vet- Actual Client¹

How to Increase your VA Disability Rating

Once a claim for veterans’ disability benefits has been granted, a veteran can request that the VA rating of a service-connected disability be increased at any time. The VA knows that many conditions grow worse, and it knows that it has a large population of aging beneficiaries.

A disabled veteran who is service-connected for their physical and/or mental disabilities need only ask the VA for a review of their rating and provide evidence of the worsening of their condition. By law, medical records from a VA hospital or other military service hospital reflecting hospitalization or treatment, or records from private or public medical institutions, serve as evidence if they show worsening of the veteran’s condition. Statements from a disabled veteran explaining how their condition has worsened may also serve as evidence.

The VA still must follow the claims process, but because service-connection has already been established, the VA focuses only on medical evidence and the potentially increased rating. The VA may also require the vet to undergo a medical exam by one of its appointed medical professionals.

If the veteran was treated by a VA or military service health care facility, the request for a disability rating increase requires only one form, Form 21-526EZ, which asks for the name(s) of the site(s) of treatment so they may be contacted. If treatment was in a civilian facility, Form 21-4142 is also required to authorize the release of records and/or for physicians to confer with the VA.

However, the timing of the request for a disability ratings change is vitally important. If it has been more than a year since benefits were granted, a standard request for reevaluation of the disability rating can be made, as described above. If it has been less than a year, the request becomes an appeal, which is a much more complex process.

As Veterans Law attorneys assisting disabled veterans, we at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers navigate the confusing appeals process for our clients. This saves time and headaches, and may put additional money in your hands sooner.

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Seeking a 100% Disability Rating through ‘Individual Unemployability’

To determine qualification for benefits, the VA rates the extent of each veteran’s service-connected disability in 10% increments from 0% to 100% (i.e., 10%, 20%, 30%, etc.). Most veterans, particularly as they age, have multiple disabilities, which the VA rates as “combined disabilities.”

However, the combined disabilities ratings calculation is not a straight-forward additive system. For example, a disability rated at 20% and a second one rated at 30% yield a combined rating of 44% according to the VA’s Combined Ratings Table, not 50% as might be expected.

Further, once a disability rating of 80% is achieved, each additional disability increases the combined rating by only 2% for each 10% of rating. For example, a rating of 80% and 10% combines for 82%, 80% and 20% combine for 84%, etc. These are just some of the things we know and you don’t want to find out on your own – believe us!

The VA makes achieving a 100% disability rating difficult, regardless of the veteran’s injuries or illnesses. However, the VA will pay certain veterans 100% disability compensation, even though VA has not rated their service-connected disabilities at the total level.

This compensation program is known as Total Disability for Individual Unemployability (TDIU). It is meant for disabled veterans who are unable to get or keep substantially gainful employment because of their service connected disability.

A disabled veteran whose disability rating is not as high as it should be may be able to obtain TDIU compensation at a 100% disability rate.

Individual unemployability requires the veteran to have one disability rated at 60% or more, or if more than one disability exists, one disability ratable at 40 percent or more and a combined rating of 70 percent or more. However, the VA will also grant the TDIU benefit to veterans who don’t meet the rating requirements, although the evidentiary requirement is slightly higher.

Any veteran who has been unable to find and keep a job that provides substantially gainful employment should explore TDIU — total disability rating for individual unemployability.

The veterans’ disability lawyers of George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers are here to discuss requesting TDIU from the VA with you and help you compile evidence the VA would require for such as disability rating. This may include obtaining job records and employers’ or former / prospective employers’ affidavits, as well as medical records and expert vocational consultant reports.

Increase VA Disability Rating: We’ll Fight For You

The disability rating the VA assigns is key to the amount of compensation you receive as a disabled veteran. If you deserve a higher disability rating, and thus more money, we at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers want to help you get it.

Our veterans’ disability lawyers can help disabled individuals work through the sometimes difficult, confusing and time sensitive rules to receive the full benefit they have coming from the government. We stand ready to guide you or your disabled loved one through the what you know are often extremely upsetting government rules and procedures. We have experience with the VA Compensation Appeal System for disabled veterans, and know the kinds of evidence required to obtain positive outcomes to appeals with as little delay as possible.

Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today to help file your claim and see whether your disability rating should be higher. We want to see veterans get ALL of the benefits they deserve.

Don’t go without benefits you are due. Don’t make a mistake that could cost you thousands. Don’t fight the VA alone. You are not alone. Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers now.