Connecting with benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can take years. However, if you do qualify, VA disability compensation can give you tax-free income to help you cover your living expenses and medical care.
To qualify for those benefits, you must have a disability directly related to your service. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries are some of the more serious and longer-lasting disabilities that veterans suffer.
Regardless of the nature of your medical condition, one of the first steps in the disability process will be applying for and receiving a rating for your disability. What influence does that rating have on the benefits that you receive?
Ratings come in 10 percent increments
After a careful review of your medical records, the VA will determine how significantly your injury affects your daily life and your ability to earn income. Those with conditions so severe that the person permanently requires assistance or can never seek full-time employment again may qualify for full disability. Most others will receive a disability rating that falls somewhere between 10% and 90%.
The higher the percentage, the greater the amount of benefits that you qualify for upon approval will be. It is possible for those with multiple injuries to receive multiple, separate disability ratings that can all factor into a combined disability rating. In some cases, your combined rating will be higher than the sum of those individual ratings because they combine to create more impairment than they would on their own.
Proving how much of an effect your condition has on your daily life is only one step in the process of getting qualified for and maximizing the VA disability benefits you receive. Getting help from an experienced attorney with this process can increase your chances of success and make it easier for you to keep the focus on your recovery rather than on VA bureaucracy.