If you receive disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA), you have already been assigned a disability rating. What not everyone knows is that you can seek to have your rating increased after it gets assigned, even potentially years or decades after you are first awarded benefits. But how can you increase your disability rating, and what do you need to do?
What is Your VA Disability Rating?
Your VA disability rating is a measure of how badly your combat-related disabilities impair you, represented as a percentage of disability. This percentage is determined by the VA when you apply for benefits, based on the evidence provided with your application. This ranges from 10% at the lowest, and increased by intervals of ten up to 100% disability.
Why is it Important?
The primary reason to care about your disability rating is that it determines the level of benefits you receive. Any veteran with at least a 10% disability can qualify for some benefits, but higher percentages qualify for more benefits. Thus, you can increase the amount of money and other benefits you receive from the VA by increasing your rating.
How Can You Increase Your VA Disability Rating?
Seeking an increase in your disability rating is similar to appealing a denial of benefits from the VA. The primary difference, however, is that you can apply for an increased rating based on developments that have occurred, such as having an existing condition worsening over time or developing a new condition related to your military service. To do this, however, you will need medical or scientific evidence to back your claims, which you can use as part of your application.
What Should You Do?
To seek an increase in your disability rating, you will need to file an application to have your rating reviewed by the VA. To do this, you will need to gather all the necessary evidence, as well as file the correct application. To give yourself the best chance at success, however, you should make sure to speak to a lawyer with experience handling veterans disability appeals, who can assist you with your application and argue on your behalf.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.