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Last updated on November 30, 2020

Understanding VA Disability Ratings

November 19, 2019

Filing a VA disability claim can be confusing and frustrating due to not knowing where to start. Understanding the initial rating that you want to file for is a critical aspect of building your claim. Learn what these ratings are, then follow the sign up below to file your claim correctly the first time!

What is a VA Disability Rate?

The term “VA Rating” gets thrown around a lot, but what does it actually mean?

And how does it affect you?

A VA Disability Rating is assigned to disabled veterans during a VA Disability Process. The rating is a percentage used to determine the benefits the veteran is eligible to receive for their service-connected conditions. 

The rating percentage assigned to the condition is meant to quantify how disabling the condition is. Benefits will then be determined accordingly. 

What Conditions are Eligible to Receive a Rating?

The VA maintains an extensive catalog of conditions that it will award compensation benefits to. The typical types of conditions covered include:

Basically, so long as there is a diagnosis from a medical professional that the VA will recognize and proof that the condition is service-connected, there is an opportunity to receive compensation.

How Does the VA Use its Rating System?

All disabilities are subject to be rated between 0% and 100%. A 0% rating generally means that the condition barely affects the veteran, but is still recognized to be present. A rating of 100% means that the condition is severe enough that the veteran is unable to work or properly take care of themselves.

Each condition recognized by the VA has its own rating ratios and definitions. For instance, some conditions have a cap on their possible ratings, meaning they will not qualify for 100%. Ankle injuries, as an example, do not receive disability ratings above 20%. 

Other conditions have a base rating above 0%. As an example, if you have had a kidney removed the minimum rating for that condition is 30%. 

Knowing the ratio of ratings for your condition is often helpful in filing your claim with the VA for only you know the true extent of your disability, meaning that you will best understand which rating you should rightfully qualify for. 

Also, if you are suffering from the effects of more than one service-connected disability, it is possible to have separate conditions rated and then combined using VA Math to determine a final rating number to be used in determining benefits compensation. 

What Kind of Compensation Can I Expect?

After all the evidence in your claim has been reviewed you will receive a single diagnostic code with a percentage rating. This is even in cases where a veteran may be eligible to receive additional compensation for multiple conditions. 

Along with the disability rating, the VA will also take into account your living situation. If you have a spouse, children, or dependent parents you may be eligible for additional compensation benefits. 

As of 2019, the disability compensation benefits for each VA rating regarding a veteran with no dependents are as follows (all amounts are monthly):

  • 10%- $136.24
  • 20%- $269.30
  • 30%- $417.15
  • 40%- $600.90
  • 50%- $855.41
  • 60%- $1,083.52
  • 70%- $1,365.48
  • 80%- $1,587.25
  • 90%- $1,783.68
  • 100%- $2,973.86

With dependents it is possible to see the 100% rating go as high as $3,527.22.

How do I file for a VA disability Claim?

When filing a disability claim with the VA for compensation benefits it is always helpful to be as informed as possible. The more you know about your own condition and how it is rated by the VA, the more you will be able to provide the necessary evidence needed to get the rating you believe you deserve for your service-connected condition. 

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