Austin Veterans' Disability Ratings
Texas Veterans’ Disability Ratings Attorneys
If you served in the military and you have suffered an impairment or become disabled as a result, you may be entitled to receive veterans’ disability benefits. The Veterans Administration has a comprehensive disability guide intended to help determine both whether you can qualify for disability benefits and how much you are entitled to receive. The VA will use this guide, as well as other relevant information, to assign a disability rating.
Your disability rating has a direct impact on how much you can receive in benefits from the VA, and it is very important that your rating be an accurate reflection of how severely your medical condition affects you.
What is a Veterans’ Disability Rating?
A veterans’ disability rating is a percentage ranging from 0 percent to 100 percent. This percentage indicates how severely you are impaired or how badly your health and abilities are impacted by your medical problems or conditions.
The percentage of impairment has a direct impact on the amount of money that you can receive in disability benefits. For example, you will not be eligible for any benefits at all unless your rating is 10 percent or higher.
The higher your rating, the more compensation you can receive. For example:
- A disability rating of 10 percent could result in a compensation rate of $129.
- A disability rating of 20 percent could result in a compensation rate of $255.
Once your disability rating is 30 percent or higher, you are entitled to additional compensation if you have dependents. For example:
- A veteran with a disability rating of 30 could be entitled to $395 if he was single and had no dependents. If he had a spouse, then he could be entitled to a compensation rate of $442. With a spouse and a child, he could be entitled to $476.
- A veteran with a disability rating of 100 percent would be entitled to $2,816 in compensation if she was alone, and $3,088 with a spouse and a child.
How is a Veterans’ Disability Rating Determined?
The VA has a Schedule for Rating Disabilities consisting of more than 700 different diagnostic codes. The codes are organized based on the body system that is affected. Some examples include:
- Mental disorders
- Respiratory system problems
- Cardiovascular system problems
- Digestive system issues
The VA refers to this schedule to provide guidance on how a given medical problem impacts you and to what extent a specific medical issue impairs your earning capacity.
In order to determine what impairments you have and how much they affect you, the VA will want to have access to your detailed medical records. Based on the information in the records, the VA will consult the Schedule for Rating Disabilities to assign you an impairment rating (a percentage of impairment).
To make sure that you receive the full benefits that you are entitled to, the medical condition or disability that you have can be evaluated under different applicable diagnoses. If there is a discrepancy or reasonable doubt about whether your disability results in a certain level of impairment, the decision should be made in your favor.
For example, if there is evidence to indicate that a 30 percent impairment rating is appropriate, but other evidence points to a 40 percent impairment rating, then your rating should be 40 percent.
In the event that you have multiple medical conditions or problems that can be directly tied back to your service, the VA will assign a rating for each of your disabilities or problems. Using this information, the VA has a chart available called the Combined Ratings Table that allows them to determine a single impairment rating based on your multiple conditions.
The VA consults the table to determine the appropriate combined disability rating. The number determined by using the Combined Ratings Table will always be rounded to the nearest multiple of 10 and will never be more than 100 percent.
What If Your Disability Rating is Too Low?
In some cases your rating will be lower than it should be. This could result in your obtaining less compensation than you deserve, so it is important that you take action if this happens to you.
If your benefits are denied or your disability rating is too low, you can appeal to have your rating raised.
Each stage of appeal gets progressively more legally complex, so you should make sure that you seek proper legal representation. In most cases, it is best to get a lawyer to help you as soon as you receive either a denial of disability benefits or an impairment rating that you believe is too low.
Disability Rating Too Low? Our Veterans’ Benefits Lawyers Can Help
At The Bob Richardson Law Firm, our Texas veterans’ disability benefits attorneys have extensive experience representing veterans. We can put our knowledge of VA disability cases to work for you in order to help you get all of the benefits you deserve.
To learn more about how we can help, call us at 800-880-5100 or use our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential claim review.