My disability has gotten worse. Can I get an increase in my VA disability rating?

Injured Veteran on disability with crutchesWhen the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) approved your application for VA disability benefits, they gave your physical or mental impairment a disability ranking of between 0 and 100 percent. This rating directly affects the amount of disability benefits you receive. If your medical condition has gotten worse over time, which is common, you have the right to ask for an increase in your disability rating.

How to Obtain an Increase in Your VA Disability Rating

If you are thinking about asking for an increase in your disability rating, it is important to understand how to do this properly and the possibles outcomes of your request. Here are the steps you need to follow:

#1: Consider the Possible Consequences

When you ask the VA to increase your disability rating, they will review your entire file. They could decrease your benefits if they determine that your condition has gotten better or that a mistake was made in the initial determination of your disability benefits. Before deciding whether to request an increase, you should consult with your physician and an experienced VA disability lawyer.

#2: Make the Correct Request

The way that you request an increase in your disability rating will be based on how long it has been since your claim was approved. If it has been less than a year since the VA awarded you disability benefits, you cannot file a motion for reconsideration. You will need to file an appeal, which can require you to attend hearings and court proceedings.

If your request for disability benefits was granted more than a year ago, you can request a reconsideration of your rating. You do this by filing Form 21-526b.

#3: Provide Medical Documentation

You will need to provide the VA with medical records showing that your condition has worsened. If you are being treated by a private doctor, you will need to complete Form 21-4142 so that he is authorized to speak with the VA and to release your medical records to them. If your doctor is a VA physician, you will need to provide the name and address of the VA medical facility where you are being treated.

Contact a Roswell VA Disability Attorney for Assistance With Your Claim

Do you need to ask for an increase in your disability rating? Call our Roswell office or fill out the online form on this page to schedule your free consultation to discuss your situation and whether filing this request is in your best interests.