What You Need To Know About Va Combined Disability Ratings
In cases where the VA must rate a veteran for more than one medical issue, the VA uses a combined ratings table to determine the final percentage.
The VA points out that its disability system is not additive, which the VA official site explains means that if a Veteran has one disability rated 60% and a second disability 20%, the combined rating is not 80%. This is because subsequent disability ratings are applied to an already disabled Veteran, so the 20% disability is applied to a Veteran who is already 60% disabled.
The VA Combined Ratings Table is a tool used by the VA to make the combined rating determination. The table is lengthy and requires each disability to be listed in order of severity and the VA rater follows a procedure using the ratings matched with the table to arrive at the accurate combined disability percentage. The VA official site offers an example of how this calculation is made:
- A veteran is rated with a 50% disability and is also rated with a different medical condition at 30%
- According to VA calculations, the combined value will be found to be 65 percent, BUT
- The 65 percent must be converted to 70 percent to represent the final degree of disability
- In a different example on the VA official site, a veteran rated with two disabilities at 40% and 20% requires a calculation to arrive at the combined value of 52%
- The 52% must be converted to the nearest degree divisible by 10, which is 50%.
Calculating Va Back Pay Using The Va Disability Retro Calculator
Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTDs VA disability retro calculator is designed to help veterans estimate the amount of VA disability back pay they might be due based on the factors described above. The VA disability retro calculator calculates your back pay by asking several straightforward questions.
Veterans simply type in the answers to get an immediate estimate. If you recently received a grant resulting in VA disability back pay, you may want to use the calculator to get an idea of how much money you will receive.
Veterans Pension Versus Disability Compensation
In some cases, veterans can receive disability compensation. It’s not the same as the VA pension. Heres a way to tell the difference:
Disability compensation is for an illness or injury that happens because of or was made worse by your military service. Its not income-based and war service is not required.
A VA pension is for war veterans with a low income and who may have a disability that is not service-related.
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How Is Va Disability Back Pay Calculated
Your VA disability back pay will be unique to you and your determined employability. There is no set amount a disabled veteran is entitled to receive. The VA will use several different factors when calculating your disability back pay. First is your effective date. The second is the specific VA disability rating assigned to your condition. In most cases, the higher the VA disability rating you receive, the more the VA will owe you in back payment. The VA also will consult its historical disability compensation tables, especially if its calculating back payments over multiple years. This allows the VA to effectively factor in cost of living changes from year to year.
Its important to note that many medical conditions and disabilities change over time, sometimes either improving or worsening. If this is the case, the VA may assign a staged disability rating to your condition, which allows the VA to consider how a disability changes over time as it evaluates your compensation claim. This sometimes can make the process of determining back pay a bit more difficult since it must be calculated relative to the severity of the condition from year to year.
How Scars Are Rated By The Va
The Department of Veterans Affairs rate scars based off of different factors, including the amount of scars a veteran has. Other determining factors the VA takes into account are the placement of the scar, the scars permanence, and how much pain the veteran is in.
The official diagnostic code for the VAs scar rating is under 38 CFR §4.118, diagnostic code 7800, 7801, 7802, 7804, and 7805. You will receive your VA compensation rating for scars based within the following categories:
Submitting A Fully Developed Claim
When you submit a Fully Developed Disability claim, it reduces VA processing time. You must mail in your VA Form 21-526EZ with all the available evidence and supporting documents. To use this process you must certify that:
- The VA needs no additional records to review your claim, and
- You will submit to a medical exam if necessary.
The VA notifies you if they need any additional information to process your fully developed claim.
Increasing The Rating For A Current Service
Because most injuries and illnesses change over time, the Veterans Administration allows Veterans to file for an increase in certain disability ratings. It is important to note that the VA will not automatically adjust a Veterans compensation if his or her condition worsens the Veteran has to actively file for an increase, even if it is clear to the VA that the conditioned has worsened.
The effective date is an important concept in all claims, especially claims to increase an existing rating. When a claim is successful, the back pay will date back to the effective date of that particular claim. Generally, the effective date is the date from which VA benefits are paid. It is the date that entitlement to the higher rating arose or the date the claim was filed, whichever one is later. The earlier the effective date, the larger the back pay. Regarding increased rating claims, the effective date can be the date the condition worsened to a level worthy of an increased rating, even if the claim was filed later, as long as the claim, or an Intent to File, is filed within one year of this worsening. The usual way to show that a conditioned has worsened is a record of hospitalization or examination, thus making the date of hospitalization or examination the date the conditioned worsened. It is possible, however, to show that the condition worsened by way of lay statements or other evidence. Below are a series of examples to illustrate the concept of effective date and back pay:
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How Va Disability Back Pay Works
Once the VA has calculated the back pay amount, it’s usually paid in one lump sum. All future disability pay after that date is paid out monthly. Money may be received through direct deposit into a bank account or via a paper check.
How the effective date is determined can be confusing and may depend on the veteran’s specific situation. If, for example, the VA believes the disability is directly related or was made worse by military service, the VA may consider the effective date to be when the injury or medical condition occurred provided you apply for disability compensation within a year of being discharged.
How Va Disability Back Pay Is Calculated
The total amount of monthly disability a veteran receives is entirely unique to their situation there is no one set amount that everyone receives. A few factors determine how much you can expect, and they are:
- Effective Date: When you applied for benefits or when you received an injury or medical condition
- VA Disability Rating: The VA uses a disability ratings system to determine the extent of your disability and whether or not you qualify to receive benefits.
Benefits are paid out to veterans who have a disability rating of at least 10%. If you receive a rating lower than that, it means the VA acknowledges you have a disability, but that it’s not severe enough for you to receive benefits.
However, even if you receive a rating between 0-9%, if your medical condition ever worsens, your claim paperwork is in place, so you can refile for benefits at that time.
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What If The Va Never Issued A Decision On My Original Application
If the VA failed to issue a decision on your original application for benefits, and you later file a new application, the effective date may be the date of your original application. This will be true, however, only if the medical evidence shows that your disability had arisen by the date of the first application. Also, you must be able to prove you applied for benefits earlier and there must not have been any communication from the VA that could have been perceived as a denial letter. Other legal matters must also be considered that require consultation with a VA disability attorney.
How To Find Out The Status Of Your Veterans Disability Claim And Effective Date
There are three main ways to answer the second question. The first possibility is that the VA first received evidence of the veterans unemployability when he or she filed a veterans claim for service connection or when the VA was considering whether to grant service connection for VA benefits. If the VA eventually grants service connection for the veterans disability and awards TDIU, then the entitlement of benefits and the effective date for the TDIU would be the date the VA received the claim for service connection or the date the veteran first became unemployable due to his or her service-connected disabilities, whichever is later.
If the VA first received evidence of the veterans unemployability after the VA granted service connection, but before the VA made a final decision on the rating for the disability, the effective date for an award of TDIU benefits would be the date the VA received the claim for service connection or the date the veteran first became unemployable due to his or her service-connected disabilities, whichever is later.
As you can see, this can be a tricky determination to make when it comes to veterans benefits, so it is always important to analyze the effective date set by the VA on your rating decision to see whether they got it right and you are getting the right retro pay.
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Common Questions About Va Disability Back Pay
- What is VA disability back pay?
- What is an effective date?
- How is VA disability back pay calculated?
- What are some common myths about VA disability back pay?
- Who can file a VA disability claim?
- Is my VA back pay taxable?
- Can a VA attorney help me get back pay faster?
- Is there a time limit for when I need to file my claim?
The process for being approved for veterans disability benefits can certainly be challenging. Since the VA faces such a substantial backlog of benefits applications, you can wait for months, sometimes even years, before your compensation claim is finally approved. But the good news is that once your claim is approved, the VA also will compensate you for all disability benefits that have accrued while youve been waiting. Since VA disability benefits are designed to compensate veterans for considerable loss of working time, the VA will do its best to ensure it provides as much disability compensation as is appropriate, including back pay.
If youre thinking about applying for VA disability benefits or if youre already involved in the compensation process you may have questions about how back pay might apply to your case. Below are just a few of the most common questions associated with VA disability back pay.
Va Individual Unemployability Back Pay
This article explains how veterans get their VA Individual Unemployability back pay. This article also covers missing back pay, back pay amounts, and appealing. Well explain how many veterans end up missing thousands of dollars in IU back pay.
Have questions about how to get your VA Individual Unemployability back pay? We can help. We offer free VA claim evaluations to anyone who needs help.
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Va Disability Ratings For Back Pain Explained
Hi Veterans, in this post, I will be covering the VA disability ratings for back pain criteria in detail.
Many veterans suffer from various back conditions due to their active duty military service and perhaps youre wondering if you can get VA disability for back pain.
Generally, VA disability ratings for back pain range from 10% to 100% and depend upon the frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms, including Painful Motion, Limitation of Range of Motion , and Functional Loss or Impairment.
In addition, Back Pain is a common secondary VA disability claim, especially Radiculopathy secondary to back conditions or back pain.
Okay, lets jump into some important definitions first because these principles are critical to understand and may affect your final VA disability rating for back pain.
How To Apply For Va Disability Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs recommends eligible Veterans apply for disability compensation benefits through the VA’s eBenefits online portal. However, Veterans may also apply by mail with VA Form 21-526EZ, in person at your regional benefits office, or with help from a trained professional.
In any case, you will need access to your DD214 , the medical evidence of the disability, and dependency records .
If you have yet to separate from service, you may still apply using the Benefits Delivery at Discharge program. To be eligible for the BDD, you must:
- Be on full-time active duty , and
- Have a known separation date, and
- Your separation date is in the next 90 to 180 days
If you have less than 90 days until separation, you may still file a fully developed or standard claim.
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Do Not Assume Your Claim Has Been Processed Mistake
Human error is a fact of life. VA claims may be assigned incorrect effective dates, your actual compensation amount may not match the percentage you were told you are receiving, your claim may be stuck in the system, etc.
There are many variables involved in the VA claims process and veterans are strongly encouraged to carefully review all VA communication regarding their back pay and claims if you find errors or have questions its best to contact the VA immediately to start addressing the issue-the longer you wait, the more complicated it may be to fix the problem.
How To Calculate Veterans Pension
Your yearly family income must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify for the Veterans Pension benefit. If eligible, your pension benefit is the difference between your countable income and the annual pension limit set by Congress. VA generally pays this difference in 12 equal monthly payments.
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What Is The Effective Date If I Reopened A Claim
If your claim for disability compensation benefits was denied and you submitted new and material evidence to reopen that claim, and the VA then awarded you benefits, your effective date will generally not be the date of your first application. Instead, the effective date will usually be the date you submitted your application to reopen the claim.
How To Determine Your Disability Compensation
To determine your disability compensation, you need to file a claim with VA. The VA rates your disability by severity after reviewing every piece of evidence in your claim.
You may only receive compensation for a single diagnostic code per condition, even if that condition satisfies more than one diagnostic code. However, those with more than one condition may receive additional compensation based on the combined rating system.
You may receive additional compensation if:
- You have very severe disabilities or loss of limb
- you have a spouse, children, or dependent parents
- you have a seriously disabled spouse
Note: If you have more than one child or your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits , be sure to include the figures from the “Add” row.
Did you know: Veterans can use their disability income in conjunction with their VA loan benefits. Speak with a home loan specialist to see how much you can afford.
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Make Sure You Get All The Va Benefits You Are Entitled To
We are knowledgeable in all aspects of the Veterans Administration claims process. Our attorneys take care to provide the medical evidence and administrative details that are critical to getting a VA claim approved.
We know the VA claims process can be frustrating. Were here to help. Contact the VA disability benefits attorneys at Marc Whitehead & Associates to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation. Call us today at
About Marc Whitehead
Va Math: The Fuzzy Math Behind Your Va Disability Rating
If you have one disability, then the rating for that disability and the rating for your total disability will be one and the same.
However, most of us have more than one service-connected disability.
So how does the VA consider all of them and wind up with one combined VA rating percentage?
If you receive several ratings for corresponding disabilities, they will not just be added together in a cumulative nature.
If you are rated at 70% for PTSD and 50% for Sleep Apnea, you wont be 70% + 50% = 120% disabled.
Because its physically impossible to be more than 100% disabled.
Instead, the VA starts with your highest overall rating, multiplies the next highest rating into the previous one, adds it on, and so on.
In the example I just gave, the VA would take the highest rating first, the 70% for PTSD.
According to that number, they would assume that 100% 70% = 30% of you is still healthy.
Then they multiply that remaining 30% by the rating for your Sleep Apnea disability, which is 50%.
Take 50% of 30% and you wind up with 15%.
Add that 15% onto the original 70%, and you wind up with an 85% total disability rating, which would be rounded up to a 90% combined VA disability rating.
The process continues for each disability remaining from highest to lowest.
Is that clear?
Clear as mud, but its the system we have.
But rather than trying to run your own calculations, just use our FREE Combined VA Rating Calculator above!
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