Do you have questions about your VA disability pay rate? Your veterans’ disability attorney in Raleigh at Brent Adams & Associates can answer those questions and help you throughout the application or appeals process. If you were assigned a rating that you don’t agree with, you may be able to take steps to obtain a rating you feel is more appropriate.
How are disability ratings determined?
According to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), 3,354,741 vets were receiving service-connected veterans’ disability benefits at the end of the 2011 fiscal year.
These are monthly payments that are available for vets who have disabilities connected to their time in active service. The benefit amounts are based on the severity of the condition as well as any dependants under the veteran’s care.
The determination of a disability connected to service is done a few ways. Not only are diseases or injuries considered which are directly related to military service, but a pre-existing condition made worse by time in the service could also be included and qualify for benefits. A veterans’ disability attorney in Raleigh may review your case if your disability was denied on the grounds that it is not service-connected.
Factors Affecting VA Disability Pay Rates
The more severe the disability, the higher the compensation will generally be. Disabilities are rated in increments of 10 percent, with the lowest rating at 10 percent and the highest at 100 percent.
For the year 2012, veterans who receive a 10 percent disability rating, with or without dependents, will receive a monthly payment of $127. Those who receive a 20 percent disability rating will receive $251 each month.
Once the disability rating hits 30 percent, the rate will depend on the veteran’s dependents. Dependents that are factored into the disability payments include spouses, children and parents.
Calculating VA Disability Pay Rates
The calculations can sometimes be pretty cut and dry when it comes to disability pay rates. For instance, if a vet is rated at 30 percent and has no depende nts, he or she is eligible in the year 2012 to receive $389. A 30 percent disability rating with only a child would qualify for a rate of $420, and with child and spouse for $469. The VA has detailed charts to which you can refer.
If a vet has more than one disability, the ratings are not simply added. Disabilities are ranked by severity and the percentage of efficiency retained after the most severe disability is used when applying the next disability. The percentages will all be added and a final disability rating (rounded to the nearest 10 percent) will be determined.
Example: If one disability is rated at 30 percent, you will have 70 percent efficiency remaining. If your other disability is rated at 10 percent, it will be applied to the remaining efficiency (70 x 0.10 = 7), coming out to 7 percent. The 50 percent rating from the first disability and 7 percent calculation for the second are then added to get 57 percent, which rounds to 60 percent.
Changes in VA Disability Pay Rates
Even after a vet receives a disability rating, it could change at a later time. Disabilities are reviewed to see if things have improved, gotten worse or remained the same. Therefore, benefits could be reduced, increased, remain unchanged or even discontinued.
In some cases, vets may not have to go through a re-examination if their disability is considered permanent. Meanwhile, those who wish to be re-examined may file the appropriate paperwork to request the re-examination if they believe they may qualify for a higher rating as their condition worsens.
Contacting a Veterans Disability Attorney in Raleigh
There are many reasons a vet may need to consult with an attorney. Claims that have been denied and disagreements with pay rates are a couple of examples. Don’t try to go it alone when you have concerns about your legal rights. Contact veterans’ disability attorney in Raleigh at Brent Adams & Associates at 1-800-849-5931 or 910-892-8177 to discuss VA disability pay rates and your rating.