United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is directly responsible for providing support and benefits to those who have served the country through military service. The VA offers medical support, job training and even college tuition benefits for service members who have reentered civilian society.
There are also disability and medical benefits available for individuals who have serious health issues stemming from their service. When determining what kind of benefits a specific veteran can receive, the VA will typically perform a lengthy medical evaluation that culminates in a report establishing that veteran’s specific disability rating.
The disability rating assigned to you determines how much you receive in disability benefits. What can you do when you disagree with your disability rating?
You can build a case for a different rating
The VA will base your disability rating on the impact of your medical condition. If you have several medical concerns, the VA will combine the rating for each to determine your total disability rating. Those with pre-existing conditions can also get disability benefits if their service aggravated their condition.
In theory, those seeking disability benefits from the VA have the right to appeal unfavorable decisions. That includes unfair or unreasonable determinations regarding their disability rating. However, you usually only have one year from the initial decision to take action.
If you receive a low rating of just 15% but cannot work any job at all, you won’t get the kind of benefits you need to support yourself and your family. Bringing in your own medical records and connecting with professional support can help you initiate the necessary internal processes with the VA to revisit the decisions about your benefits claim.
A higher disability rating could benefit your whole family
If the VA reviews your medical documentation or provides new testing and assigns you a higher percentage for your disability rating, you will receive more benefits. Even a 5% increase could potentially bump you into the next category for compensation and improve your financial circumstances.
Recognizing when you need to push back against the outcome of a VA disability benefits determination can help you connect with the support you deserve after your service.