The VA assigns applicants a disability rating based on the severity of their condition. These ratings are expressed in percentage increments of 10.
Decoding Your VA Disability Rating
VA disability ratings can range from 0% to 100%. A 0% rating means the disability is service-connected but does not have any negative effects. This is also known as a non-compensable rating. Veterans with a 0% disability rating receive no monthly compensation but gain access to healthcare benefits and travel allowances.
A 10% rating is the minimum requirement to receive cash compensation. If you have more than one service-connected disability, you will receive a rating for each condition. Your total disability rating is then calculated using what’s referred to as the “whole person” theory. Ratings can’t be simply added together because a person can never be more than 100% disabled or 100% able-bodied.
Applications for Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability
It is often difficult to obtain a 100% rating. However, if a Veteran is unable to work, they may apply for Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU). This allows a Veteran to receive benefits at the 100% maximum rate, even if they have a lower disability rating.
To be eligible for TDIU, a Veteran must have one service-connected disability with a rating of 60% or higher, two or more service-connected disabilities with a rating of 70% or higher with one individual disability rated at least 40%. The Veteran’s earnings must also be below the threshold required to be considered substantial gainful employment.
Changing Disability Ratings
VA disability ratings are not set in stone. Your rating can be increased if your condition worsens over time or decreased if your condition improves. If you believe your condition has worsened or you have a new condition that was not initially evaluated, you can request a reexamination. If the VA believes your condition may have improved, they can request a reexamination.
Contact Us Today
If you believe your current VA disability rating is not accurate, the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, can help. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.