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How Can I Increase My Disability Rating?

Published on December 10th, 2019

The amount of veterans disability compensation you receive each month depends on your disability rating. Your disability rating is a percentage number that represents the VA’s view of how your service related medical  conditions impact your ability to work and earn a living.  Generally, the VA considers your medical history and records, employment, and the report from your compensation and pension exam when determining your rating. So if you want to increase the rating, you’ll need to demonstrate that your medical conditions have worsened, or your ability to work has decreased because of these conditions.

If you want to request a disability rating increase, it helps to gather supporting evidence. If your medical and employment history do not show the need for a ratings increase, the VA will deny your request, and in some unfortunate cases, they could even decrease your rating. These are situations where you should seek legal representation. At Jackson & MacNichol we can help you appeal a bad ratings decision to ensure that you and your family are getting the benefits you need. Call us today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation.

A Ratings Increase Is Possible When Your Health or Employment Prospects Get Worse

Many veterans request and receive disability compensation soon after their discharge. As the years go by, their medical conditions may worsen–and they may also develop new ones. Often, the VA requires you to take a new C&P exam every few years. But if you haven’t gotten looked at recently, and you feel that your disability rating does not reflect your current condition, you can request a new C&P exam. You can start the process by filling out a Veteran’s Supplemental Claim for Compensation (Form 21-526EZ) and submitting it online or to your VA Regional Office (VARO).

When you request an increase to your disability rating, the VA will usually schedule you for a new C&P exam. The problem is, if this exam doesn’t go well, you could actually see a decrease in your disability rating. For this reason, you should only start the reevaluation process if you are pretty certain that your condition has worsened so that you will get a ratings increase. You can consult with a doctor beforehand, and put together a convincing medical file that you can bring to your C&P exam.

During the C&P exam, the VA doctor may examine you, ask questions about your life, and look through your medical file. Be aware, however, that these doctors are busy and sometimes don’t do a thorough job.  However, based on their observations, they will write a report that the VA will use to determine your new disability rating. If you have more than one medical condition, the VA may grant you a ratings increase that will not affect your monthly compensation. This is because the VA uses complicated math to determine your final combined disability rating when you have several service related conditions.

A Lawyer Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve

When you go through the hassle of the ratings increase process, and you don’t get the results you want, it may be time to talk to a lawyer. The veterans benefits lawyers of Jackson & MacNichol can file an appeal on your behalf and ensure that the VA will give your case a second look. If you believe you are not getting the compensation you deserve, don’t give up without a fight. Call us for free at 1(800) 524-3339 for help with your VA disability rating increase.


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