When you’re disabled because of something that occurred while you were in the military, your disability is assigned a rating. The rating determines what percentage of benefits you’re eligible to receive, amongst other things.
To increase one’s rating from 70% to 100%, they can claim for Individual Unemployability. To do this, they must meet the following circumstances:
- They must have a single disability that is rated at 60%,
- or they must have a combined rating of 70% with one disability rated at least 40%.
Individual unemployability may be used to help a veteran receive more compensation. If they’re unable to work, they can receive further benefits. This is used to help veterans who can’t increase their ratings in other ways.
For example, if they have met the cap on certain disability ratings or if their symptoms don’t warrant an increase.
Discussing Different Ratings
Veterans are assigned ratings based on their disabilities. Here are some ratings for common disabilities:
- Chronic congestive heart failure: 100%
- Paralysis of the sciatic nerve: 80%
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: 70%
- Erectile dysfunction: 20%
- Tinnitus: 10%
- Hearing loss: 10%
Keep in mind that these ratings vary per person, but these are the most common ratings associated with certain disabilities.
Ratings are combined using a table. You might think that two disabilities both rated at 20% would give you a total rating of 40%, but that’s actually not the case. Two 20% ratings equal 36% when combined. A 90% rating plus a 94% rating equals a 99% rating, the highest combined rating you can get.
Why is My Rating So Low?
There are a few reasons that your rating is so low, but the most common one is because your doctor didn’t properly examine your injuries, therefore not getting the full scope of the injury that you sustained.
The injury can be reexamined and an appeal can be filed to increase your rating.
Tips to Increase My Rating
After your injury or disability has been rated, you may think that there isn’t a way to change it. You may think that you’re stuck with the rating you’ve received. However, that’s not the case. You can and likely will be able to increase your rating.
File an Appeal
Filing an appeal is the best way to increase your rating. Along with your appeal, you will need to submit documentation from a doctor that proves that your injury is serious and should be rated higher.
Your doctor will provide evidence that explains exactly why it’s in need of a higher rating. For this reason, you should go to a talented doctor that knows what they’re doing. Hiring an attorney is the best way to get in touch with a good doctor. They can recommend you to someone who will be able to best help you.
Hire an Attorney
An increase from a 70 to 100 VA disability rating may seem like a challenge, but an attorney can help you make it happen.
When hiring an attorney, always make sure that you pick someone with a good track record and lots of experience working on cases against the VA. Their experience will be invaluable in helping you get the compensation that you deserve.
To hire the best attorney, you should do research on attorneys in your area, speak with veteran friends and ask for recommendations.
When you first meet with an attorney, make sure to ask as many questions as you can. Form a first impression and decide whether or not you want to continue working with them before you sign a contract.
There’s nothing wrong with meeting with multiple attorneys, just make sure you don’t sign a contract until you’re absolutely sure you want to work with someone.