Understanding Your Va Rating For Bipolar Disorder
A service-connected bipolar disorder can profoundly disrupt your day-to-day life. Furthermore, the complexities of bipolar mean that it is often not well understood by the VA, leading to ratings that are perhaps not what they should be. As a result, even with serious and debilitating symptoms, veterans are sometimes denied the help they need and deserve. If bipolar disorder is interfering with your ability to work specifically, maximizing your VA rating for bipolar disorder is critical. This is where the disability attorneys of Veterans Law Group do their work.
Every veteran has stepped up and served his or her country, often at unimaginable personal cost. Veterans benefits arent charity or a handout theyre repayment of a small fraction of what your country owes you for your service. Period.
However, the VA is a Federal bureaucracy. It employs hundreds of thousands of people. Its the single largest healthcare system in the country, with over 1,200 locations. If it were a country, it would have a budget around the size of Portugals. Its not uncommon to find yourself facing this massive administrative machine all alone. And this is where an experienced VA disability attorney can make a big difference.
% Permanent And Total Disability Ratings
Permanent and total disability refers to veterans whose disabilities are total and permanent in nature, meaning there is zero or close to zero chance of improvement.; P&T disability ratings are protected from being reduced and may entitle you or your family to additional VA benefits, including VA healthcare and certain state-level benefits.; If veterans believe they are entitled to a P&T disability rating, they can write a letter to their local VA Regional Office requesting it.; With the letter, they should include medical evidence showing that their condition is not expected to improve in the future.; Importantly, veterans who receive TDIU benefits are not automatically considered P&T.; If you receive TDIU, you are considered totally disabled even if your combined disability rating is less than 100%; however, TDIU can be permanent or temporary.
If you have a permanent and total rating for a service-connected condition, you are no longer required to attend VA Compensation & Pension examinations.; Furthermore, your permanent and total rating tends to be protected from reductions.; Importantly, if VA does not make a finding of permanent and total, veterans can apply for it directly.
How Many Veterans Receive Disability Compensation
- Total number of Wake County veterans who received Disability Compensation: 9,680
- Number of veterans who had a zero to 20 percent disability rating: 2,840
- Number of veterans who had a 30 to 40 percent disability rating: 1,849
- Number of veterans who had a 50 to 60 percent disability rating: 1,571
- Number of veterans who had a 70 to 90 percent disability rating: 2,420
- Number of veterans who had a 100 percent disability rating: 1,180
- Approximate ratio of male to female Veteran Disability recipients: 8.9 to 1.3
- Recipients under age 35: 1,443
- Recipients ages 34 to 44: 1,690
- Recipients ages 45 to 54: 2,144
- Recipients ages 55 to 64: 1,830
- Recipients ages 65 to 74: 2,217
How Is The Va Disability Percentage Calculated
The VA uses what is known as a combined rating table. This means that a persons efficiency is determined first by the most disablingor highest individually rated conditionand then by less disabling conditions ranked in order of severity.
For example, a veteran may receive a letter from VA notifying them that they have two service-connected disabilities, TBI and a back injury, rated at 50% each.
Normally, 50% plus 50% would equal 100%, but this veterans total disability rating is listed as 80%.
This is how the combined rating table works:
In the case above, the VA takes 100 and subtracts the highest individually rated condition . This means the veteran is initially considered 50% disabled and 50% efficient.
100% whole efficient person 50% = 50%
The veterans back injury is also rated at 50%, but no longer at 50% of the whole efficient person. Instead, the back injury rating is subtracted from the remaining efficient person.
50% remaining efficient person 50% = 25%
So only 25% is added to the first 50% .
50% + 25% = 75% combined disability rating
VA rounds the combined disability rating up to the nearest 10, so 75% becomes 80% total disability.
The Prior Court Order Was Entered By Agreement; It Expressly States That My Ex
Not by a long shot. ;All the VA money is tax-free, so he would get even more money in the end by waiving a piece of the pension.;
Lets take an example: Suppose Johns total retired pay is $1,600 and the court awards Mary, his former wife, 50%, or $800. ;Then John obtains a VA disability rating and elects to receive VA disability compensation, which equals $600. ;This means that he waives $600 of the pension to receive VA payments.;
Now the pension-share payment from the retired pay center to Mary is only $500 a month instead of $800 . ;Shes short by $300 due to the actions of John in applying for VA payments.;
Johns income is now $500 from the pension and $600 from VA. ;If hes paying taxes at 20% federal, 5% state, then hes receiving net: $375 from the pension and $600 from VA, for a total of $975, while Mary will only be getting $375 a month.;
If John were to reimburse Mary, then hed pay to her the missing $300 each month, which is deductible for him on his taxes, and that only costs him $225 in his tax brackets. ;Thus he still has $750 after taxes, whereas before the VA waiver, he was receiving $800 taxable each month, or $600 after-tax income! ;And Mary has the full amount which the court initially ordered.
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Va Disability Claim: Special Monthly Compensation
SMC is an additional tax-free benefit paid to veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses, and parents. Special Monthly Compensation is a higher rate of compensation due to special circumstances, such as the need of aid and attendance by another person or for a specific disability . This benefit is referred to as aid and attendance, and the compensation is based on the veterans need for aid and attendance from another person.
Va Disability Ratings Explained
If the VA determines that you have a compensable service-related condition, or multiple such conditions, they will assign a disability rating between 0% and 100%.;
A 0% disability rating goes to veterans who have a service-related diagnosis, but the condition is not severe enough to affect lifestyle, employment or social functioning and does not require medication. A 100% rating goes to veterans whose service-related conditions are completely disabling.;
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About Va Disability Compensation
VA disability pay is a monthly tax-free monetary benefit paid to veterans as a result of their service-connected disability and is intended to compensate veterans for loss of quality of life and civilian employability. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities that occurred during service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. Generally, the degrees of disability are designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses.
VA disability rate increases are determined by Cost-of-Living-Adjustments . To calculate the VA disability rate increase the average of the COLA indices of July, August, and September 2020 was compared with the 2019 3rd quarter average. See our COLA increase watch for more information on how 2021 VA disability rates will be determined.
Va Disability Ratings Are Not Always Permanent
Many disability ratings are temporary and the VA retains the right to reexamine the disability rating at any time. If they wish to reexamine you, you will receive a Notice of Reexamination letter in the mail which will include a scheduled appointment date.
Make sure you attend this appointment or reschedule, as the VA can reduce or terminate your benefits rating if you fail to attend this scheduled appointment. After the VA reexamines your condition, they will make a recommendation to increase, decrease, or leave your benefit at its current rating.
There are times when your ratings may be protected, based on the type of disability, how long you have held the rating, your age, or other factors. Here is more information about VA Disability Reexaminations and Benefits Reductions.
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Application For Va Disability
VA disability payments are not automatic – as with everything else in the military, there is a process, and this one requires that the retiree affirmatively apply for disability payments.;38 U.S. Code § 5101. The specific form used is the VA Form 21-526, Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension.
A VA disability election is revocable, per DOD Financial Management Regulation, Volume 7B, Section 120205. Presumably a veteran would have little incentive to do this, unless to facilitate receipt of Combat-Related Special Compensation . Doing so requires filling out the same VA Form 21-526.
Apply For Va Benefits
Start today. Your payment starts to accrue the day you file, no matter how long it takes to get the claim settled.
Though it is possible to file a claim yourself, it is highly recommended that you seek the free assistance of a veterans service officer employed or certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Completing forms completely and correctly will affect the outcome of your claim.
VSOs represent veterans, their dependents, and survivors through each stage of the claims process, including appeals.
VSO representatives are available in each state and usually in every county.
Unlike other government benefits, disability benefits through the VA is a legal process.
In order to receive benefits and compensation, you must file a claim with the United States proving eligibility through legal, military, and medical evidence.
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Who Is Entitled To Va Compensation For Medical Issues
Veterans who apply for VA disability compensation must have medical conditions that are the result of an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated while on active duty or active duty for training; or from injury, heart attack, or stroke that occurred during inactive duty training.
VA guidelines state that such disabilities may apply to medical conditions such as Lou Gherigs Disease, mental health issues including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and more. All medical claims submitted to the VA will be reviewed for determining the nature and severity of the condition as well as whether the condition is deemed by the VA to be service connected.
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What Are Ssdi And Sdi
SSDI, also known as Social Security Disability Insurance, is offered to those who have qualifying disabilities or conditions regardless of whether they have served in the United States military. SSDI is a federal-level benefit you earn after working long enoughafter having earned 40 credits.
How are the 40 credits calculated? According to the Social Security Administration those credits are earned by your work and payments into the Social Security fund for a maximum of four credits per year. The credits are based on your total earnings during the year and the requirement to earn those credits is subject to review and change.
Some may earn more credits than they can use in a lifetime, but this does not increase the level of benefit or payment amounts.
Social Security benefits have medical requirements and non-medical criteria. Those meeting the non-medical requirements are paid benefits when it is determined their medical issues are expected to last a minimum of one year or result in the death of the patient.
Social Security Insurance, also known as SSI, is similar to SSDI in some ways, but is a need-based benefit and subject to income caps. Such caps mean that if you draw VA disability pay but not military retirement pay, you may qualify for SSI.
Quick Breakdown Of SSA Benefits
Is There Additional Compensation For Disabilities Involving Severe Impairment
Veterans who have service-connected conditions that result in severe impairment, including the loss of use of extremities, blindness, loss of organ function, or the regular need for aid and attendance, may be eligible for additional monthly compensation. This type of compensation is known as Special Monthly Compensation.;
VA special monthly compensation is a higher rate of compensation paid to veterans as well as their spouses, surviving spouses, and parents with certain needs or disabilities. Special monthly compensation is paid in addition to regular VA disability compensation. The rates for SMC in 2021 can be found at the VAs SMC page.;
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How Much Is Va Disability Your 2021 Guide To Va Disability Compensation
Veterans trying to make their way through the process of filing a disability claim often come away with more questions than answers about ratings and compensation.
Understanding the complicated paperwork and the VAs unique way of doing math can make it confusing to determine how much VA disability compensation you might receive.
If youve ever scratched your head trying to figure out just how much is VA disability and where can you go for help with your claim, then youve come to the right place!
At VA Claims Insider were veterans helping veterans, and we know how challenging the VA disability claims process can be. We also know how important it is to understand that process so you can get the rating and compensation you deserve by law.
Lets take a look at some common questions related to how much is VA disability?including how to calculate your compensation, how disability ratings affect compensation, and how to get help with your claim.
You DESERVE a HIGHER VA rating.WE CAN HELP.
Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Strategy Session with an experienced Veteran Coach. Learn what youve been missing so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation youve earned for your service.
How To Apply For Va Disability Compensation
First, obtain your DD 214. Then fill out VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension. Once you have completed it, mail it to the following address:;
Department of Veterans Affairs
PO Box 4444
You can also apply online using VONAPP, or bring the form in-person to a Veterans Administration regional center near you.
If youre originating a new claim, be prepared to furnish your DD-214, and allow the Veterans Administration access to your medical records as well as your military records.;
You dont have to submit supporting evidence right away in order to apply, but you may have to submit to a medical exam. Once you start a VA disability compensation claim, you have up to one year to submit supporting evidence.;
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Va Disability Rates Charts Effective 12/1/2020
Basic Rates 10% 100% Combined Degree Only.
|Veteran with Spouse & One Parent||$535.35|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$577.35|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$48.00|
|Veteran with Spouse and One Parent||$1,664.71|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$1,762.71|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$113.00|
|Veteran with 1 child only||$476.35|
|With 1 child and spouse||$532.35|
|With 1 child, spouse and 1 parent||$574.35|
|With 1 child, spouse, and 2 parents||$616.35|
|With 1 child and 1 parent||$518.35|
|With 1 child and 2 parents||$560.35|
|Each additional child under age 18||$26.00|
|Add. child over 18 in a qualifying school program||$84.00|
|Spouse receiving Aid and Attendance||$48.00|
|Veteran with 1 child only||$1,526.71|
|With 1 child and spouse||$1,656.71|
|With 1 child, spouse and 1 parent||$1,754.71|
|With 1 child, spouse, and 2 parents||$1,852.71|
|With 1 child and 1 parent||$1,624.71|
|With 1 child and 2 parents||$1,722.71|
|Each additional child under age 18||$61.00|
|Add. child over 18 in a qualifying school program||$197.00|
|Spouse receiving Aid and Attendance||$113.00|
Va Benefits For Dependents
The VA also pays certain benefits to surviving spouses and children of service-disabled veterans. The VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefit is a tax-free monthly benefit paid to qualified spouses and children of veterans who died in the line of duty or as a result of injuries or illnesses incurred as a result of their military service. In some circumstances, this benefit is paid out to the deceased veterans parents.;
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How Much Is The Average Va Disability Check
How much is VA disability paying out on average? To understand that figure, its helpful to know a few statistics about the veteran population.;
As of fiscal year 2018, there were 19,602,316 veterans eligible to receive a disability rating through the VA. Of those more than 19 million eligible veterans, only 4,743,108 are receiving disability compensation benefits and have a combined disability rating of at least 0%.;
That means that 75.8% of eligible veterans are not receiving disability benefits through the VA for one reason or another.
There are many possible reasons for this. Some veterans dont know theyre eligible; some filed for a rating and were denied; some became frustrated with the notoriously difficult VA and gave up. Some veterans dont believe theyre deserving of benefits
This confirms our own experience at VA Claims Insider that 80% of veterans receiving disability compensation are underrated and deserve a higher rating.
So how much is VA disability paying out on average? The average combined VA disability rating for all veterans, across all demographics, is currently 10%, which means the average disability check comes to only $144.14.
As youve seen, compensation increases considerably with increased ratings, and the increase from 90% to 100% is exceptional. This is why its so important to do everything you can to get the maximum rating youre due and pursue all your options.