Five Facts You Should Know About Your VA Disability Rating

The disability rating you receive from the Department of Veteran Affairs (also known as the VA) is a core component of determining what benefits you receive. The better you understand your rating and what it means, the more you can take advantage of what your benefits have to offer. Here are five facts you should know about your VA disability rating:

  • The amount of benefits you receive is dependent on your rating
      • The disability rating given by the VA determines just how much you can receive in benefits due to your service-related disability. This is ranked from 0% (meaning you have no service-related disabilities) to 100% (meaning you are fully disabled), rising in increments of 10%. The higher your percentage, the more benefits you can get access to.
  • Your rating is dependent on the severity of your disability
      • The more severe your service-related disability, the higher the benefits you and your loved ones will be eligible for. If you have multiple service-related disabilities, they are not cumulative, meaning they do not simply add one on top of another. However, your rating may rise depending on a number of factors if you have multiple disabilities.
  • Disabilities unrelated to your service do not count
      • The catch to obtaining VA disability benefits is that you must be able to prove that your disabilities are related to your military service. This means it either must have happened when you were in your service (such as suffering a severe injury), or must have a cause originating from your service (such as PTSD). If you cannot prove your disability is service-related, it will not count towards your disability rating.
  • You have the right to appeal your rating
      • When you first apply for disability benefits, the decision you receive from the VA is just an initial assessment. You have the right to appeal your result, either to reverse a rejected application or to try to obtain a higher disability rating. You should make sure to get legal counsel if you wish to appeal, as the process can be complex and difficult for people without the relevant understanding of the law.
  • Your disability rating is not set in stone
    • Even if your disability rating was given to you long ago, you can still ask to have your rating revised. This can be due to an increased scientific understanding of your condition, or due to the emergence of previously unavailable medical evidence, or it can be as a result of your condition worsening over time. Either way, you may be able to increase your rating and thus obtain better benefits.

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.

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