What Is a VA Disability Rating?

When you are injured in the course of military service, you are given a disability rating that will be used to determine the amount of compensation you will be sent each month. Your disability rating will also impact other VA benefits. If you have multiple disability ratings, your combined rating will be calculated using a specific formula, not strictly added to reach a sum.wheelchair bound disabled man

What Is Your Rating Based Upon?

When the powers-that-be calculate your disability rating, they are looking at several things. These include:

  • Doctor’s reports, the results of medical tests, and other evidence
  • The results of your compensation and pension exam if one was warranted
  • Any other information gleaned from federal agencies or other sources

What Happens Once Your Rating Is Determined?

When your disability rating is determined, you will get a notice in the mail telling you what that rating is. If you have received a rating of at least 10 percent, you will receive your first check in the mail or via direct deposit within 15 days. Should you disagree with your rating, you can file an appeal. There is a year-long statute of limitations for your filing.

Benefits For Specific Disabilities

Once you receive your disability rating, you may want to apply for other benefits that will help you with the financial needs of your day-to-day life. With a 100% disability rating, you could qualify for access to unlimited commissaries and exchanges as well as dental care.

Individual unemployability benefits are available to those injured in service who are no longer able to work, even when the disability rating is less than 100 percent. There is also an annual clothing benefit that is available if your disability requires special clothing.

What Other Benefits Are Available?

If you are disabled in the line of service, there are several benefits you may qualify for. Each has its own requirements and restrictions, and the level of compensation is often directly connected to a disability rating. A VA counselor or Florida veteran’s disability attorney can help you determine which of these you qualify for:

  • Health care
  • Life insurance
  • Education benefits
  • Dependent benefits
  • Other benefits available from your local or state VA office

What About Social Security Disability?

As a veteran, in order to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, you must be permanently disabled. Not every condition that receives a disability rating from the VA will be considered as a permanent disability to the SSA. The same is true of Supplemental Security Income. However, if you have a 100% disability rating, you automatically qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. If you have less than a 100% VA disability rating, do not assume that Social Security will kick in when you have been injured while on duty. It simply does not happen in all cases.

What Is The Florida Impairment Rating Schedule?

Florida has an impairment rating schedule that is similar to the disability rating system utilized by the VA. This rating schedule is utilized in workers’ compensation cases. Here is a brief overview:

  • Your level of impairment determines how much wage replacement benefits your receive and for how long
  • Impairment values are rounded to the nearest whole dollar
  • The upper extremities have a dominant side, lower extremities do not
  • Multiple impairments on a single extremity are combined before being converted for the whole person
  • The largest value for ankylosis is used for the rating system
  • In some cases, values are added as a sum, and in other cases, they are combined using a specific formula
  • Pre-existing conditions are not always rated

Not All Disabled Veterans Receive Benefits

Unfortunately, while one would hope that being injured or acquiring a disability during service would automatically qualify you for VA disability benefits, this is not always the case. There are many reasons why a veteran’s claim for disability benefits, even with a rating, can be denied.

In some instances, claims are denied because paperwork is missing. In others, it is because a signature has been omitted. At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, we believe that veterans should be well-informed of all the benefits they are entitled to and how to obtain them, and we know this doesn’t always happen. 

Ultimately, the reason for denial doesn’t matter. The reason for receiving misinformation doesn’t matter, either. What matters is that there is an injured veteran who has not secured the benefits he or she is entitled to. That is what our disability attorneys focus on. We have been fighting for veterans’ rights for more than three decades because we believe that it is just one way we can thank those who have served.

Protecting Veterans’ Rights in Florida to Seek Disability

Your service matters, as does the sacrifice of your family. If you have been injured while in service and your injuries have led to disability, we are here to help. You are more likely to have a successful claim when you have our disability attorneys review your case and help you file your claim or an appeal.

If you have already filed for and had your benefits denied, we can assist you. We know why the government most frequently denies claims, and we know the methods that have helped others in the past overturn their denial. You and your family do not deserve to experience financial hardship after all that you have done for your country. Please call our office today at (866) 460-1990 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation. 

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