## The Bilateral Factor For Va Disability Compensation

**Berry Law**Veterans Disability

One commonly misunderstood area of VA disability involves the way the VA combines individual ratings, especially in relation to the bilateral factor. When a veteran has two or more service connected disabilities, each unique disability gets its own rating or percentage of disability. One might think that the VA would simply add those ratings together to get the combined rating, but they do not. Instead, the VA employs a calculation, colloquially known as VA math, to combine the ratings using a descending efficiency scale. If you are confused by VA math, you are not alone. To help clients understand VA math, we have put together a 2019 VA disability calculator to help them determine their total disability percentage and monthly compensation.

## How Is My Permanent Partial Disability Compensation Calculated

Its a bit less straightforward than it should be. But at the base level for every percentage you are awarded you are paid two weeks of temporary total disability. So if you are found to have a 10% permanent partial impairment you are paid 20 weeks of temporary total disability compensation.

The trick is, its paid differently than temporary total disability is paid. That is where the confusion comes in. To that end Ohio workers comp lawyer Kip Malek has made a very helpful step-by-step tutorial on how to actually calculate a Ohio permanent partial disability compensation award, otherwise known as a C92 award:

## Can I Receive A 0% Disability Rating

Yes. You can receive a 0% disability rating, which will not result in any monthly compensation from the VA. This is referred to as a noncompensable rating. Some veterans have more than two 0% disability ratings for different conditions who are paid, at the minimum, 10%. This is referred to as a compensable 0% disability rating. Additionally, a 0% disability rating might qualify you for other veteran benefits. Learn more about the benefits you may qualify for with a 0% disability rating in the following article:

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## When Does Disability Count As Income For Va

Does veterans disability count as income? Veterans disability compensation is counted as income in certain scenarios. If you are applying for VA benefits and your spouse receives VA disability, for example, that disability compensation is considered countable income for your household. Does Social Security count as income for VA health benefits?

## Have Additional Questions Contact The Legal Team At Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick Ltd Today For A Free Consultation

The VA is not always correct when calculating disability ratings. If you believe your service-connected condition warrants a higher rating, speak with a veterans advocate at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD. Our consultations are always free to determine if we are able to assist you with your VA disability case. Call us today: .

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## Example Using The Bilateral Factor

Lets stick with the example profile from above, but lets add another knee disability, one on each leg. So, in total, were working with:

- 10% rating for right knee
- 10% for left knee
- 30% rating for a back injury
- 20% rating for right shoulder injury
- 10% for hearing loss.

The two knee injures would qualify for the bilateral factor.

The disability rating for each knee was 10%, but when combined, they equal 21%, according to the VAs Combined Rating Table. Here is how it works:

## Va Combined Ratings Table

The math can be a bit confusing if you try to do it manually thats where this combined ratings table may be helpful.

Lets try the same example with the table below.

We start with the 30% disability. Look at the combined ratings table and scroll down the left column until you find the number 30.

Then go to the right column until you find the 20. The 30 and 20 combine for 44. If those are your only two ratings, you would have a 44% VA service-connected disability rating, which would round down to 40%. But, were not done. We still have to add two 10% ratings.

Start on the left column again. This time, you will look for the 44 in the left column. Then find the intersection point with the 44 and 10. Your new rating is 50%.

Repeat this one more time, starting with 50, and meeting up with 10. Your new combined rating is 55%, which rounds up to 60%.

**Table Instructions:** List all disabilities in descending order. Start with the highest disability rating, find it in the left column, and find the intersecting point with the next highest disability rating. This is your combined rating for these two disabilities. If these are your only two disabilities, you can round to the nearest number divisible by 10 .

Repeat this process until you have run the numbers for all disability ratings.

**Source: 38 CFR 4.25 Combined ratings table. Downloadable PDF: **You can download this table here .

**Also Check: Disability Awareness Activity Packet **

## Combined Rating System For Veterans With Multiple Disabilities

Veterans with multiple disabilities use the combined rating system.

To use the combined rating system, arrange the disabilities in order by severity and locate the intersect of the two numbers on the table below.

The VA rounds the final figure to the nearest to 10 percent.

If the Veteran has more than two disabilities, find the combined value for the first two, without rounding, and repeat with the third disability. Once you have a final number, round to the nearest 10%.

For example, if disability 1’s rating is 40% and disability 2’s is 20%, the combined rating is 52%. That figure gets rounded to the nearest 10%, making the disability rating 50%.

For a three-disability example, if disability 1’s rating is 60%, disability 2’s rating is 30%, and disability 3’s rating is 20%, we first find the rating of 1 and 2. The rating of 1 and 2 comes out to be 72. We then take the first combined rating and find the intersect with disability 3. The final number comes out at an even 80% rating.

10 |
---|

$160.89 |

#### FOOTNOTES:

**$1,975.71**.

## How Do Benefits Work If I Have Two Separate Service

Lets say you have two separate medical conditions, both of which are service-connected and thus qualify for VA disability compensation. How will the VA combine these ratings?

For instance, if you have one disability rated at 60-percent, and another rated at 20-percent, you will not receive compensation at the 80-percent level. The VA does not add your ratings together to determine your total rating. Instead, it has its own formula to combine multiple disability ratings.

The formula is meant to account for the percentage of your ability that is taken away due to your service-connected condition. Supplemental to this formula is the VA rating table. The table provides and easier way to determine your combined rating. Based on this table, you would end up with 68-percent, not 80. However, the rules governing disability ratings require that the VA round up or down to the nearest number divisible by 10. In this case, you would receive a 70-percent rating.

The table can be confusing. Take a look at our VA disability calculator to determine your VA disability rating.

** Note**: Depending on your conditions combined rating and your ability to sustain employment, you may be eligible for Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability . TDIU allows veterans to be compensated at the 100-percent rate in cases where their service-connected disabilities impact their ability to work.

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## 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.

## Can You Get Va Disability Pay For Erectile Dysfunction

The short answer is yes. It is possible to receive compensation from the VA for erectile dysfunction. However, there are some hoops to jump through.

First, the VA does not view erectile dysfunction as a service-connected disability. Some ailments are automatically deemed to be service-connected by the VA.

One example of this is diabetes in veterans who have been exposed to Agent Orange. Another is Malaria if you have served in a malaria region.

These types of afflictions are considered presumptively service-connected. Because of this, veterans who qualify are automatically eligible for a VA disability rating.

Because ED is not a presumptive service-connected condition, you will need to prove service connection in order to be considered for compensation.

To do this, you will need to provide a medical nexus from a qualified health professional. The health professional will need to assess whether any connection exists between your condition and your time in service.

What Does It Mean To Have a Service-Connected VA Disability?

If you suffered physical trauma during service that is directly causing erectile dysfunction, this will be relatively easy to prove.

Besides being a secondary service-connected condition, erectile dysfunction can also be brought on by medications used to treat service-connected health issues. Many medications, including those used to treat diabetes, depression, and anxiety can cause erectile dysfunction as a side effect.

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## Proving A Service Connection

Once you have an official PTSD diagnosis, youll need to be able to prove a service connection for your condition. In essence, a service connection is a specific incident or set of circumstances that could have caused your condition. In the case of PTSD, almost any aspect of military service is enough to be a service connection.

If you served in a combat zone, were taken prisoner, or lost friends in the service, those can all qualify as service connections. Harsh service conditions, such as poor hygiene conditions or inhumane discipline can also qualify. The incident you use as your service connection will need to be something documented in your military records.

**Also Check: Lamar Disability Resource Center**

## The Rating Decision May Lead To Granting A Benefit Which Was Not Applied For

When submitting a claim for disability benefits, the Regional Office does not require the claimant to articulate every benefit that he or she is seeking. The claimant probably has no idea of what is available based on his or her evidence. The Regional Office is required to examine every claim including all of the evidence and testimony and determine if other benefits are applicable. For example a claim for Disability Compensation might end up being awarded for SMC or 100% for unemployability or providing aid and attendance or housebound allowances or providing retroactive benefits or housing allowances or clothing allowances or automobile adaptations and the list goes on and on. You should not be surprised if the award is different from what you expected.

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## How Does The Va Disability Rating System Work

During the review and approval process, the VA assigns your condition a disability rating. The evidence you submit to demonstrate the severity of your disability helps the VA determine what rating your condition warrants.

Most VA disability ratings range between 0 and 100 percent in increments of 10. There are exceptions, however. For example, mental health conditions are rated at 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, and 100-percent. Intervertebral disc syndrome has a maximum disability rating of 60-percent when evaluated based on incapacitating episodes.

It is important to know that not all disabilities are rated the same way or under the same criteria. The VA generally reserves the 0-percent rating for conditions that it does not determine to be significantly limiting. On the other hand, the 100-percent rating typically corresponds with total disability, or a condition that VA deems extremely limiting. The ratings in between are determined based on rating criteria, which is why the thoroughness and credibility of the evidence you submit is so important.

You must receive a disability rating of 10-percent or higher to be eligible for a monthly benefit check from the VA. At a 0-percent rating, you can qualify for certain ancillary benefits, such as health care, but you will not receive monthly compensation.

## What Happens When You Get 100 Va Disability

All veterans who qualify to receive 100% Disabled Veteran Benefits from the VA will receive full medical care for their conditions and a monthly monetary payment. In addition to this standard compensation, many veterans who have 100% ratings are also eligible to receive Special Monthly Compensation from the VA.

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## How Va Math Works

The combined rating is the rating that the VA uses to determine compensation payments and access to other benefits. Its extremely important to understand how the VA came up with your combined rating so that you can make sure your disability benefits are being calculated, and to make sure you have access to all of the benefits and disability compensation you are entitled to. For example, the higher combined rating you have, the greater your monthly benefits and compensation rates will be. Also, combined ratings are very important when determining whether you meet the requirements for Total Disability based on Individual unemployability .

VA math is simple when there is only one rated disability with service connection. In that case, the veterans combined rating is simply the rating that is assigned to their service-connected disability. Things get complicated when there are multiple VA Disability Ratings. Each service-connected disability is assigned its own rating based on the severity of the veterans symptoms. Then, the VA adds the ratings together to get the combined disability rating using the VA combined ratings table. However, the VA does their addition a little bit different than were all probably used to. In the world of VA math, 2+2 does NOT equal 4. Instead, the VA likes to add in a few more steps. The process is best explained with an example:

## How Can Cck Help

VA math can be confusing and frustrating. Previously, veterans had to use VAs **Combined Ratings Table** and **Compensation Benefit Rate Tables** to calculate their combined disability rating and compensation amount. Now, you can use the VA disability rating calculator provided by Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD.

To learn more about retro benefits, take a look at our **back pay calculator.**

If you believe you deserve a higher combined rating or if your service-connected disability prevents you from working, contact CCK for a free consultation at 800-544-9144.

Disclaimer: This calculator uses Veterans Affairs disability ratings and compensation amounts as of December 1, 2020. It does not account for historical compensation amounts. This calculator is intended to provide an estimate of your VA disability rating and compensation amount. You should not rely on this calculator in your decision making or for your financial planning. This calculator does not provide legal advice, and is not a substitute for legal advice. We do not represent or guarantee that we will obtain the numbers shown in this calculator in your case.

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## How Does The Va Rate Disabilities

When it comes to service connected compensation claims, the VA takes the view that it should not add whole numbers together to get your rating but, instead, the VA takes percentages of percentages. It is as if the VA says if you are 10% disabled then you are 90% healthy. Therefore, the next rating is not added but is used to take a percentage of the healthy 90%. So for a veteran with two 10 ratings the first ten percent rating would be 10% of 100, which is 10%. The second ten percent rating would be 10% of the 90% , which is 9%. So the combined rating would be 19%. The percentages are all rounded up or down to the nearest ten percent. Here, the rating would be rounded to 20%.

The combined rating system starts to work against a veteran when he gets closer to 100%. It gets harder and harder to get that higher rating, especially once a veteran is over 50%. For instance, if a veteran has a ratings of 50% for PTSD, 50% for Sleep Apnea, a rating of 20% for diabetes and 20% for a back problem the combined rating is 80%. So even though 50+50+20+20 equals 140 in real math it is only 80 in VA math.

## How Can I Be Sure They Rate My Disability Accurately

The best way to ensure that you receive the proper rating for your disability is to file a well-detailed claim backed up with solid evidence. Experts advise that when you apply, focus less on naming your condition than on listing all of your symptoms. The VA is obligated to follow-up on each symptom listed, and those symptoms may point to more or different conditions than you were aware of. This will help them assign the most accurate rating for your disability.

Also, be aware that if you are receiving compensation for a disability and that condition worsens, you can apply to have your claim evaluated for an increase in the disability rate. The VA emphasizes the importance of fully developing your claim.

**Recommended Reading: How Much Is Ssi Disability In California **

## Va Disability Ratings For Erectile Dysfunction

The VA uses a system of disability ratings to assess what level of disability you are experiencing. The rating you receive for your disability will determine your rate of compensation. VA ratings go from 0% to 100% .

Unlike other disabilities, the VA does not have a specific disability rating schedule for erectile dysfunction. Instead, they rate ED under 38 C.F.R. § 4.115b. There is a whole list of specific disabilities under this rating.

Here are some of the listings that apply to erectile dysfunction and their respective disability ratings. If the below codes dont apply to you, you will receive an automatic disability rating of 0%.