VA Claims Made Easy: The Definitive Guide to the VA Disability Compensation Program

VA Claims Made Easy

Hi fellow Veterans, Brian Reese here from VA Claims Insider, and this is your VA Claims Made Easy moment, because we go in-depth to bring you the most common VA disabilities by body system, condition, and rating using REAL VBA data.

Filing a VA disability claim is pretty simple using the new website, and in fact, I do a complete step-by-step tutorial in this video:

However, you don’t just want to “file” a VA claim—you want to file a WINNING VA disability claim, with the right strategy and evidence necessary to get the VA benefits you’ve earned by law.

The bottom line is every Veteran’s VA claim is different and unique to them, which means YOU must do an inventory of your body from head-to-toe, and carefully document your disability conditions in medical records, if/how they’re related to your military service, and how severe your symptoms are today.

Generally, the more severe your symptoms, the higher the VA disability rating you’ll receive.

Do you deserve a HIGHER VA disability rating by law?

In our experience with over 10,000 disabled veterans, 8/10 (80%) are UNDERRATED by the VA…

If you’d like to get *exclusive* members-only access to the most comprehensive VA disability education on the planet, and potentially get the VA rating you deserve in less time, please click the link below to join the world’s largest community of Veterans Helping Veterans Worldwide™

With VA Claims Insider ELITE, it’s VA Claims Made Easy:

>> Click HERE now to complete our 3-step intake process and speak with a Veteran Coach (VC) <<

Veterans can use the information gleaned from this post to get a better understanding of some of the more interesting facts about the VA disability system, along with some of the easiest things to claim for VA disability.

Think of this post as your VA Claims Made Easy moment, to help you get “inside” the 8-step VA claim process and arm yourself with data to help you in your VA disability claim journey.

The information in this post was compiled using the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) 2019-2020 annual report to Congress about the VA disability compensation program.

We analyzed the entire 52-page VBA report, including data from 56 VA regional offices, 14,558 employees, and 4,944,275 veterans with a combined service-connected VA disability rating of 0% or higher.

Here’s a summary of our key findings about the VA disability compensation system.

VA Claims Made Easy Data – Summary of Our Key Findings

VA Claims Made Easy
  • The VA spends an estimated $84.6 billion per year in VA disability compensation payments to disabled veterans and surviving spouses
  • Only 4,944,275 of the estimated 20,000,000 veterans in the United States have a combined VA disability rating of 0% or higher (just 24.7% of veterans)
  • An estimated 75.3% of veterans in the United States do NOT receive any sort of VA disability compensation benefits from the VA…this is a bit shocking
  • 4,944,275 veterans with a VA rating of 0% or higher have a total of 27,169,321 disability conditions service connected, meaning the average number of service-connected conditions per veteran is 5.50
  • A tale of two extremes: The most common combined VA disability rating is 10% (18.2% of total) followed by veterans with a 100% VA rating (15.7% of total)
  • Tinnitus (aka, “Ringing in the Ear Syndrome”) is still the #1 most common service-connected VA disability condition across all veteran demographics
  • 76.7% of all service-connected mental health conditions are either Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), or Chronic Adjustment Disorder (CAD)
  • The average VA disability rating for mental health is 70%, and the most common service-connected mental health disability is PTSD, which represents 59.1% of all service connected mental health conditions

10 Most Common Service Connected VA Disability Conditions

  1. Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)
  2. Hearing loss
  3. Limitation of flexion, knee
  4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  5. Lumbosacral or cervical strain (neck condition)
  6. Scars, general
  7. Paralysis of the sciatic nerve (sciatica and radiculopathy)
  8. Limitation of motion of the ankle
  9. Migraines (headaches)
  10. Limitation of motion of the arm

Most Prevalent VA Disabilities for *NEW* VA Compensation Recipients in FY 2019

Limitation of flexion, knee108,037
Hearing loss88,055
Lumbosacral or cervical strain76,050
Limitation of motion of the arm71,038
Scars, burns (2nd degree)65,675
Limitation of motion of the ankle55,028
Post-traumatic stress disorder49,743
Paralysis of the sciatic nerve42,314
Total number of most prevalent disabilities782,270
Total number of disabilities1,594,475

Most Common VA Disabilities for *ALL* VA Compensation Recipients in FY 2019

Hearing loss1,306,066
Limitation of flexion, knee1,177,885
Post-traumatic stress disorder1,118,041
Lumbosacral or cervical strain1,063,781
Scars, general1,036,326
Paralysis of the sciatic nerve899,559
Limitation of motion of the ankle705,073
Limitation of motion of the arm567,656
Total number of most prevalent disabilities10,658,699
Total number of disabilities27,169,321

Average Combined VA Rating By Gender

Average Combined VA Disability Rating by GenderMale% MaleFemale% FemaleTotal% Total
Total4,350,857 519,031 4,944,275 

Total Estimated Annual Payments Made by VA to Disabled Veterans

Combined Service Connected VA Disability RatingTotal Estimated Annual Payments By VA Rating
Total Estimated Annual VA Disability Payments to Disabled Veterans$84,665,293,361

Most Common VA Disability Conditions by Gender

VA Disability ConditionBody SystemMale%Female%Total% Total
Hearing lossAuditory1,256,6305.40%26,3590.80%1,306,0664.80%
Limitation of flexion, kneeMusculoskeletal1,001,6324.30%170,7104.90%1,177,8854.30%
Post-traumatic stress disorderMental995,1894.20%112,1443.20%1,118,0414.10%
Lumbosacral or cervical strainMusculoskeletal881,4143.80%175,9075.10%1,063,7813.90%
Scars, generalSkin893,2323.80%130,7003.80%1,036,3263.80%
Paralysis of the sciatic nerveNeurological808,5833.40%83,0512.40%899,5593.30%
Limitation of motion of the ankleMusculoskeletal611,5592.60%89,9332.60%705,0732.60%
Limitation of motion of the armMusculoskeletal503,1252.10%62,0791.80%567,6562.10%
Total most prevalent VA disabilities  9,424,99040%1,131,68633%10,658,69939%
Total number of VA disabilities 23,457,597100%3,451,154100%27,169,321100%

Average VA Disability Rating by Body System

VA Disability Body SystemTotal numberPercent of all VA disabilitiesAverage VA disability rating
The Eye315,4081.20%0%
Dental/ Oral129,8160.50%10%
Hemic/ Lymphatic72,2570.30%0%
Infection/ Immune/ Nutrition53,9330.20%0%
Total All VA Disability Conditions27,169,321100%Average VA Rating is 10%

About the Author

Brian Reese is a VA expert and founder of VA Claims Insider“The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

Click to learn more >> About VA Claims Insider HERE.

Brian’s frustration with the 8-step VA disability claims process led him to create “VA Claims Insider,” which provides disabled veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim in less time.

Brian Reese, Capt, USAF, about to leave Afghanistan
Brian Reese, Capt, USAF, about to leave Afghanistan

He is also the CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability, and has served more than 6,000,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

Veterans can download one of his #1 most downloaded FREE eBooks right here right now: “Top 10 High-Value VA Disability Claims Explained – How to INCREASE Your VA Rating in LESS time (legally)”

Brian is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to southern Afghanistan in 2011 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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Hi Veterans, how would you like to learn 3 VA disability claim SECRETS from actual VA Rating Officials, aka, the people who determine your final VA rating?

Brian Reese here, USAF 100% disabled veteran, and founder of VA Claims Insider.

Part of the reason we call ourselves VA Claims “INSIDER” is because we get access to information that nobody else does…

In my brand-new 30-minute video training you’ll hear from “Actual VA Raters Who Reveal 3 VA Claim SECRETS (Learn What the VA Doesn’t Want You to Know…)”

Are you finally ready to get the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve?

Enter your email address below for immediate FREE access to the training:

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Dear Veteran, here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

STEP #1: Complete Basic Information
STEP #2: Sign Members Agreement
STEP #3: Join the Mastermind Group

If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

*Website Disclaimer*

VA Claims Insider, LLC is NOT an accredited agent, VSO, attorney, or entity recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. VA Claims Insider, LLC does NOT assist veterans with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim or work with an accredited representative, many of which offer services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO by clicking HERE. Veterans may also search and find Accredited Attorneys and Claims Agents by clicking HERE. By using this website or VA Claims Insider, LLC’s Mastery or Elite program, you acknowledge that there are completely FREE services available to assist veterans with VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans always have the option to utilize the free services provided by entities such as National Service Organizations (e.g., DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, among many others), Service Organizations, State Sponsored Veteran Service Officers, and/or the paid services of VA accredited agents or attorneys. Utilization of VA Claims Insider, LLC’s website or services is NOT required to submit a claim for VA disability benefits, and you may achieve a positive VA disability claim outcome with these other free or paid organizations. Information listed on this website, including but not limited to, success percentages, disability rating increases, and processing timelines are averages and not specific to any one claim. VA Claims Insider, LLC MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF RESULTS BY USING THIS WEBSITE OR OUR SERVICES, AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. Under no circumstances does VA Claims Insider, LLC, provide medical or legal advice. This website is solely for marketing purposes and contains no medical or legal advice. The VA Claims Insider® name and logo are registered trademarks of VA Claims Insider, LLC.