VA disability ratings are based on the severity of your service-connected conditions and disabilities. If you disagree with the rating decision made by the VA, you may file a supplemental claim and submit new evidence.
The rating process for multiple disabilities and conditions can get complicated. However, the right VA benefits law firm can help you navigate the system and obtain the compensation you deserve.
A Brief Introduction To The VA Disability Rating System
In simple terms, a disability rating refers to an injury and its intensity that fosters its eligibility for relevant benefits. Further, it makes use of a point system to rate disabilities. There are ranks from 0 to 100, 0 being the least severe and 100 being the most severe injuries.
Some common factors that might be considered in this aspect are:
- The condition’s severity.
- Your ability to function and how the injuries impact it.
- Different supporting evidence you carry.
If you have higher points, there are higher chances of your claim’s approval. However, if you are unsure about where to begin, check out a few steps. Following them helps you get through this complex system and get a solution at the earliest:
Identify Your Impairments
As you probably know, the VA determines your disability rating and related compensation based on the evidence you submit and the results of the C&P exam. Your ratings are combined to produce a total rating that determines your monthly rate.
This is a complex process, and your possibilities of getting successful will significantly depend on the quality of your medical records and other evidence that proves how severe your condition is and that it is service-related. A nexus letter that connects your disability to an injury or illness that occurred during active duty is critical, as well as a medical expert’s opinion that establishes the severity of your symptoms.
Occasionally, a condition isn’t listed in the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities but produces symptoms that closely resemble those of a diagnosed condition. In these cases, the VA may assign an analogous rating – for example, skin sensitivity caused by exposure to jet fuel might receive a similar rating of sunburn. In addition, working with a knowledgeable advocate can significantly increase your VA disability rating by ensuring all relevant information is accurately presented in your claim.
Veterans need to provide as much documentation as possible to demonstrate the severity of their disabilities. This includes medical records, statements from family members and coworkers about the limitations caused by the condition, and other relevant information.
The evidence you submit to support your claim can significantly impact the final disability rating. However, the most critical evidence is your VA compensation and pension exam, or C and P exam.
Your C and P examiner will assess your current occupational and social impairment level. They will then compare that to the criteria in a set of diagnostic codes. Based on these criteria, the examiner will assign a percentage rating. This number compensates you for your service-related disability. A rating can range from 0% to 100% in 10% increments. The higher the rating, the more you will receive in monthly benefits.
Communicate With Your Representative
If you have a service-connected disability, you must fully know your assigned rating percentage. This percentage indicates the severity of your condition and the extent to which it limits your ability to work. It can also impact your benefits and may lead to additional claims if your condition worsens.
When applying for a new disability claim or requesting an increase in your existing rating, it is essential to have complete medical evidence of your conditions and a strong nexus letter that connects the symptomology to your service-related event. This can include documentation such as medical records, treatment notes, and statements from family members and coworkers regarding the effects on your daily life.
It is also helpful to understand how to calculate combined ratings along with the options available depending on your unique circumstances. A higher rating can help you access additional benefits, including supplementary healthcare, adapted housing, and assistive technology.
If you believe your current disability rating does not accurately reflect your condition's impact on your life, there are several ways to file for a higher rating. You can request an increase as part of a new claim or file a Notice of Disagreement within a year of the initial decision and start the formal appeals process.
When filing a claim for an increased rating, you should carefully consider the change in your symptoms and whether it is significant enough to warrant a more considerable increase in your disability rating. For example, if you have PTSD and are having nightmares every night, that may not be a significant enough change to warrant an increase in your disability rating.
Remember, a disability rating is only one piece of calculating monthly benefit payments. In order to determine your total efficiency rating, you have to blend your ratings with other disabilities.
The Bottom Line
Accompanies with overarching rules that can serve veterans, the VA has a complicated procedural framework. Although the process of filing claims is easier, there might be chances when you need help. In such situations, do not hesitate to seek help.
With this, it’s a wrap on navigating the VA Disability Rating System. It was a pleasure to enlighten you with such information. But if you have something on your mind, do comment below and let us know! It is always a delight to know what our readers have been thinking.