When you’re disabled or injured during your time in the military, you’re awarded a rating based on those injuries. The rating you receive determines how much compensation you’ll receive each month. But how are these ratings calculated?
How VA Math Works
VA math is incredibly simple when there’s only one rated disability with a service connection. The rating that is assigned to that disability is the only rating necessary to calculate compensation. The math gets more complicated when multiple disabilities with service connections come into play.
The overall ratings equate to the compensation amounts that one would receive per month. Those rates for one veteran alone (with no dependants or spouse) are as follows:
- 10% – $144.14
- 20% – $284.93
- 30% – $441.35
- 40% – $635.77
- 50% – $905.04
- 60% – $1,146.39
- 70% – $1,444.71
- 80% – $1,679.35
- 90% – $1,887.18
- 100% – $3,146.42
The VA calculates ratings by considering veteran’s disabilities on a percentage scale, from 0% to 100%. If a veteran has a rating of 30%, the VA considers them to be 30% disabled and 70% not disabled.
When a veteran has a 30% rating and a 20% rating, the VA will think about how that 20% rating affects the non-disabled percentage. (20% x 70%) which amounts to 14%. Because the veteran is already 30% disabled, the new percentage only affects the remaining non-disabled part of the veteran.
So, when you add these two together, the veteran is only 44% disabled instead of 50% disabled. This rating would be rounded down to 40% and they would get $635.77 each month if they were unmarried with no dependents
These numbers change based on the number of children you have and whether or not you’re married.
Using a Disability Calculator
A good way to calculate your disability rating is to use a VA disability calculator. This will allow you to input your ratings to receive your combined rating. You simply input whatever condition you have along with the rating that you’ve been given, and it will calculate your total rating as well as the amount you can expect to receive in compensation.
When using the disability calculator, you’ll also be able to add in whether or not you’re married and how many dependents you have. That way you’ll get a good rundown of just how much compensation you are going to receive.
But what if your ratings are much lower than you expected?
Hire an Attorney to Improve Your Ranking
You may have received a lower than average rating for your condition. One way to increase your ratings is to submit an appeal. Submitting an appeal can show the VA that you deserve a higher rating as your injuries are more serious than what they initially believed.
To properly submit an appeal you must have supporting evidence from a doctor, showing that your disabilities are worse than you originally thought. They must show evidence of an examination, how it was connected to your service, and any treatment you’ve had so far.
It’s hard to go against the VA on your own, so you should consider hiring an attorney to help you get the compensation that you deserve each month. An attorney will be able to help you build your case and your appeal.
A good attorney will also be able to recommend you to a doctor who will evaluate your disabilities fairly.
When hiring an attorney, look for someone with a good track record and experience working on VA benefits cases. Make sure that they have the time and energy to spend on your case, so you aren’t left fighting it alone.