Remember when you were in first grade and your teacher taught you that 2 + 2 equals 3? Wait, you didn’t learn math like that? Well, that’s how the VA conducts math. It’s the logic they use when calculating your combined overall disability rating. Like many subjects related to VA disability claims, understanding VA math is a bit complicated.
When it comes to service-connected disability claims, the VA takes percentages of percentages instead of calculating whole numbers. It makes VA math all the more complicated to understand.
So, what exactly does that mean? Let’s say you are 10% disabled. The VA considers you 90% healthy. Therefore, they do not add your next rating, but instead take a percentage of the ‘healthy’ 90%.
Here’s an example: You are a Veteran with two 10% ratings. The first ten percent rating would be calculated as 10% of 100, which is 10%. The second ten percent rating would be 10% of the 90%. Remember, after the VA deducts your first 10%, you are considered 90% healthy. So, your second disability only earns you 9%. Therefore, your combined rating would be 19%. The percentages are all rounded up or down to the nearest ten percent. In this example, the rating rounds to 20%.
Following so far?
Higher Ratings, Harder VA Math
The combined rating system starts to work against a Veteran the closer they get to 100%. It gets harder and harder to get that higher rating, especially once a veteran is over 50%. For instance, if a Veteran has two ratings of 50% and two of 20%, the combined rating is 80%. So even though 50+50+20+20 equals 140 in real math; it is only 80 in VA math.
There are other factors that can affect a rating. For example, if a Veteran has too many ratings on one arm or one leg, then the VA places a cap on those specific ratings. So understanding VA math is significant to a Veteran because knowing how to calculate your disability rating is significant to knowing what benefits you are eligible to receive.
At Veterans Guardian, we review each client’s rating to let them know where they may be missing out on potential benefits. Don’t miss out on potential compensation. Contact us to see if you are eligible for a potential increase.