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How Does the VA Rating System Work?

Published on May 27th, 2020

Once your disability has been deemed service-related, the VA will rate your condition to determine how much your impairment affects your ability to work. The rating system, known as the VA Schedule of Rating Disabilities (VARSD), takes into consideration the severity of your condition and provides a rating of 0-100%. Those with a higher percentage will receive greater benefits.

VA Schedule of Rating Disabilities Categories

The VA breaks down disabilities into 15 categories, such as respiratory, digestive, and musculoskeletal conditions. Within each category, there are subcategories for common diagnoses a veteran may live with as a result of their service. These diagnoses then have severity rankings—such as severe: 60%, moderately severe: 40%, moderate: 20%, and mild: 10%—which correspond to symptoms a veteran may suffer because of their diagnoses.

What if My Disability is Not Listed in the VARSD?

For those struggling with a condition that is not specifically outlined in the VA Schedule of Rating Disabilities, a similar condition can be substituted. The VA will seek to assess your disability in a manner that is medically equal to another outlined condition.

How Will My Multiple Conditions Be Assessed?

The VA can provide ratings for multiple conditions, provided they are related to your service. If it is unconfirmable whether one or all of your conditions were caused by your service, the VA follows a ‘benefit of the doubt’ rule. You might think that multiple ratings will simply be combined, with 60% plus 40% equaling 100%. A rating of 100% disability is very uncommon, and it is more likely that the example of 60% plus 40% will result in a 76% rating.

Contact Our VA Disability Compensation Lawyers

Are you awaiting your first rating or think the one you received was incorrect? Our VA disability compensation lawyers can help. We are willing to provide a free case evaluation to all potential clients. Please contact us today for more information or to schedule your appointment.


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