How Disability Ratings Work for Veteran Disability Benefits

Disabled Veteran in a WheelchairVeterans of the United States Armed Forces may be eligible for Veteran disability benefits if they suffered a disability while on active duty. Once the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determines that a Veteran is eligible, the VA uses a disability rating system to determine the Veteran’s disability level and the amount of benefits he is entitled to. Here, we explain how this works.

How the VA Uses Disability Ratings to Determine Benefits

After reviewing a Veteran’s medical records and other evidence, the VA will determine the percentage of disability that he qualifies for through the use of a VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities that contains over 500 approved VA disabilities and their diagnostic codes. The disability will be assigned a code, and the VA will assign a disability rating to signify the extent of disability. The ratings range from 10 to 100 percent and are assigned in 10 percent increments. A higher disability rating means that the disability is more severe and will entitle the Veteran to more monthly compensation.

The Veterans Compensation Benefits Rates Table states the amount of monthly benefits a Veteran would be entitled to based on his disability rating. Here is an example of how this works under the table effective on December 31, 2018, for a Veteran who has no dependents:

  • 10 percent disability: $140.05
  • 30 percent disability: $428.83
  • 60 percent disability: $1,113.86
  • 80 percent disability: $1,639.89
  • 100 percent disability: $3,057.13

Veterans who have more serious disabilities may be entitled to additional compensation. Some conditions that fall in this category include:

  • Loss of a limb
  • Blindness or a severe injury to one eye
  • Deafness
  • Loss of ability to speak
  • Hearing Loss (ex. Tinnitus)

Ratings When There Are Multiple Disabilities

If a person suffers from more than one disability, the VA will use a combined rating table to determine the disability percentage. This figure is not arrived at by adding the disability percentages for each disability together. For example, a Veteran with a 40 percent rating for one disability and a 30 percent rating for another would not have a 70 per combined rating.

Instead, the Veteran’s disabilities will be ranked from the least to the most serious. The first and second most serious disability percentages are used in the combined rating table to determine the percentage of disability, which is then rounded to the nearest 10 percent.

Get the Legal Assistance You Need When Applying for VA Disability Benefits     

Are you a member of the armed forces applying for VA disability benefits? The VA can make many errors in determining your eligibility for benefits and assigning the disability rating for your medical condition that can significantly reduce your monthly payment. Our experienced VA disability attorneys understand the complex rules and laws governing these claims and can ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve. Call our Roswell office to schedule a consultation to learn more about your legal options and how we can help you.


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