You have applied for VA disability benefits in Ohio or elsewhere and have just received your award letter in the mail. Contained within that award letter is an explanation of the VA’s decision, including the disability rating it has assigned to your claim. The higher this disability rating is, the more benefits the VA believes you are entitled to receive.
The disability rating is a percentage that ranges from 10 percent to 100 percent in ten-percent increments. The number is meant to reflect the VA’s opinion as to how severe the impact of your service-related conditions are on your ability to obtain and maintain employment. The larger the number, the greater the impairment and thus the need for greater benefits.
However, receiving the highest disability rating of 100 percent is not as easy of a task as it might seem.
What a One Hundred Percent Disability Rating Means
If the VA has assigned your claim a 100 percent disability rating, it means that they have determined your conditions prevent you from engaging in any meaningful work. This disability rating also means that you are not capable of caring for yourself from day-to-day as well and likely need assistance with bathing, dressing, and preparing food, among other tasks.
Some conditions, such as missing two or more limbs or blindness, are automatically presumed to meet this level of impairment. If you do not have one of these presumptive conditions, the VA will review your medical diagnoses and records to decide if your impairment justifies a 100 percent disability rating. The VA may also consider statements from yourself, your family, and your caregivers in making its decision.
Increasing Your Odds of Getting a One Hundred Percent Rating
As you might expect, getting a 100 percent disability rating can be a challenge if you do not have one of the conditions that automatically qualifies for that rating. Your chances of obtaining this rating increase if you have two or more conditions that each have a high disability rating.
For example, the VA can assign a 100 percent disability rating to your claim if you have a primary condition rated at 80 percent and two secondary conditions, each rated at 50 percent or higher.
The more thoroughly your conditions and needs are documented, the greater your chances of obtaining the disability rating you deserve. For this reason, you should speak candidly with your doctor about all of your symptoms, even if you believe they are related to the same condition.
Participate in all reasonable diagnostic tests that your provider suggests and do your best to keep up with treatment and procedures that are recommended. This helps demonstrate to the VA that your conditions are legitimate and your symptoms are real, not feigned.
Contact Your Cincinnati Veterans Law Attorney for Additional Help
Working with a lawyer who is familiar with the VA claims and appeals process can also help you get the rating you deserve. At Veterans Law Attorneys, we can review your case and help you appeal an unfavorable rating you might have received. If you deserve a 100 percent rating, we will fight to get you there.
Get started by calling Veterans Law Attorneys at 833-753-5168 or by contacting us online.