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VA Disability Calculator

Disclaimer: This is only an estimated calculation. It relies solely on input from the user and does not include any applicable bilateral factors.

How the VA Rates Disabilities

The VA assigns a percentage rating to every disability claimed or reasonably raised by a veteran. The ratings are based on 10% increments and range from 0% (a non-compensable rating) to 100%. There are significant differences between disability compensation and other compensation programs administered by the military or VA.

To rate disabilities, the VA lists those disabilities in order of severity. It then combines them using “VA Math” to arrive at a rating. For example, let’s consider a veteran with two service connected disabilities, each rated 50% disabling. The VA will take the veteran, initially considered 100% able-bodied, and subtract the highest rating first. Our veteran is now 50% able-bodied, and 50% disabled. Next, they take the 50% able-bodied veteran and subtract another 50%. That equals 25%. The VA next adds those two numbers together (50% and 25%). In this case, that number equals 75%, which rounds up to 80%. Thus, 50 +50 does not equal 100 when dealing with the VA – it actually equals 80.

Importantly, disability compensation is the same no matter what rank the veteran held while in service or job the veteran holds in civilian life. A retired general who is a heart surgeon and a retired private who teaches at a public school receive the exact same amount if they have an identical disability rating.

2022 Disability Compensation Rates (Please note these are individual rates. Additional compensation may be available for veterans rated higher than 30% who have a dependent child, parent, or spouse.)

 

Disability Rating 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%
Monthly Compensation $152.64 $301.74 $467.39 $673.28 $958.44

 

Disability Rating 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Monthly Compensation $1214.03 $1529.95 $1778.43 $1998.52 $3332.06

 

Total Disability Rating Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU)

Most disability compensation decisions are made utilizing objective criteria. A Compensation and Pension exam is scheduled, and the medical provider evaluates the veteran to determine the severity and origin of a disability.  TDIU is a program where the veteran’s rating may be less than 100% but due to their service connected conditions, is unable to maintain substantially gainful employment. TDIU can be either temporary or permanent. Temporary TDIU will be reevaluated and not every period of inability to work qualifies for a TDIU rating. While the VA can schedule veterans for reexamination to evaluate whether a disability has improved it is rare for that to happen when someone has a permanent TDIU rating that is not expected to improve.

Secondary Service Connection

The concept of direct service connection is relatively straightforward. The veteran has a current disability, evidence of an in-service precipitating disease, injury, or event, and a nexus between the current disability and in-service precipitating disease, injury, or event. Secondary service connection involves disabilities that can be tied to an existing service-connected disability or treatment of that disability.

An example of secondary service connection is headaches that result from tinnitus. The veteran raises a claim for tinnitus and the VA schedules a C&P exam. The tinnitus claim is deemed at least as likely as not caused by the in-service event and the veteran receives a compensable rating based on the existing schedule. Later that same veteran experiences headaches that would receive a compensable rating. If the evidence shows that the veteran’s headaches are as likely as not caused or aggravated by the tinnitus, they would be eligible for secondary service connection.

Bilateral Factors

Disabilities of paired extremities or muscle groups – i.e., both knees, both shoulders, etc – are considered to be more disabling due to the bilateral impairment experienced by the veteran. Accordingly, veterans with rated, service connected disabilities are entitled to the addition of the “bilateral factor” when the evidence demonstrates disabilities in paired extremities or muscle groups.

Who is Stone Rose Law?

Stone Rose Law is the largest military and veteran’s benefits firm in the state of Arizona – although we are proud to represent clients all over the world. Lead by experienced trial attorneys and military veterans, our firm has the knowledge, training, and experience necessary to obtain the benefits our country’s heroes have earned. Whether you’ve been denied for the first time or the fifth, give us a call at 480-498-8998 and experience the difference Stone Rose Law can make.