What is a VA disability rating?

Posted by Zachary A. VanDykeNov 30, 20200 Comments

The Department of Veterans Affairs pays you benefits based on the extent of your disability, expressing your VA disability rating as a percent. The higher your percentage, the more benefits you are eligible for. To put it another way, a 100% disability rating means that you can receive the full compensation rate. If your rating is less than 100%, you receive only a portion of the benefits available. 

Understanding the criteria that determine your VA disability rating may help you receive all the benefits you deserve. There are two main independent factors that determine your disability rating. 

Work ability

If your service-connected disability prevents you from working, individual unemployability applies. With individual unemployability, your disability rating is automatically 100%. This means you can receive the full benefits without having to combine ratings for multiple disabilities. 

Combined ratings

The VA can determine your disability rating on the basis of one disability or several. If you have multiple disabilities connected with your service, the VA combines the disability rating for each to determine your overall disability rate. 

Combining multiple disability ratings is not a simple matter of just adding them together. One disability already diminishes your capacity. Combining subsequent disabilities takes this into consideration. The VA uses a combined ratings table to arrive at a final calculation. 

To qualify for VA benefits, your disabilities must have resulted from your time in uniform. Depending on your prognosis, your disability rating may be either temporary or permanent. Your disability rating cannot be more than 100%.