If you’re injured while serving this country in the Armed Forces, you could be eligible for financial benefits.
Upon reviewing the severity of your injuries, along with your physical and mental limitations, Veterans Affairs will assign you a disability rating. This disability rating determines the benefits that you’ll receive due to your condition.
But what do you do if your condition gets worse and you find yourself struggling to work?
You will start by filing a claim for a rating increase. The VA will evaluate your situation, and either grant or deny the claim.
While there is no guarantee that you’ll receive a rating increase when you file a claim, doing so with the proper paperwork increases the likelihood of success.
Reasons to file for an increase
There are a couple of scenarios where you might file for a rating increase, depending on your situation.
For starters, if you end up with a new disability in addition to the condition that you’re currently rated for, you can apply to have that injury added to your claim. There’s a formula the VA uses to combine the disability ratings for these injuries to give you a new, potentially higher VA disability rating.
You can also file for a rating increase if your current disability gets worse over time. In this situation, you must prove that your impairment is more severe than when you were assigned your current rating and require more assistance.
Generally, conditions like chronic back pain, lung conditions, loss of range of motion, severe hearing loss, ulcers, and cancers receive coverage through the VA. You might also receive benefits for a traumatic brain injury, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
If you feel like your condition is getting worse, filing for a rating increase is your best option.
What a rating increase can mean for you
The main reason you’d file for a VA disability increase is the additional benefits that it could provide for you.
You can expect higher monthly payments with a rating increase, which will assist you in your day-to-day life. The amount of extra money that you’ll receive depends on how much your rating increases.
For example, in 2022, a veteran with a disability rating of 10% receives a monthly payment of $152.64/month. That number increases to $301.74/month for a 20% disability rating. However, neither of these categories are eligible for additional money to help care for dependents.
When you get to a 30% disability rating, you can start receiving extra payments for dependents. Your base rate also jumps to $467.39 per month.
The numbers continue to increase as your percentage gets higher, as a 60% disability rating means a $1,214.03 monthly payment, while a 90% rating means $1,998.52 per month.
In addition to money, veterans can also have access to health care through the VA.
Along with health care comes treatment for the condition that is causing your disability. Mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety are eligible for treatment options.
How to file for a VA disability increase
Before filing for a rating increase, you’ll want to collect any documents and evidence you have to support your claim. This will include medical records and supporting documents.
Once you have all the supporting documentation, you can begin filling out the necessary forms and submission.
Veterans Guardian VA Claim Consulting has a full team of experts standing by to assist as you work through the process of getting a VA disability rating increase. If you feel your rating is too low and your condition has worsened, use our experience to your advantage. Our team can help you through the entire process and ensure you’re ready to submit your claim with confidence.