VA disability compensation provides tax-free monthly payments, and if you can prove you have a service-connected condition, you may be eligible for compensation.
The amount you may receive is partly based on the percentages for each service-connected condition according to a Veteran’s combined VA disability rating. Percentages are rated on a scale from 0% to 100% in 10% increments.
A 100% disability rating denotes a medical condition that is completely and totally disabling, leaving the individual with no expectation of finding gainful employment.
Dollar amounts change annually.
However, as an example of what you might expect, in 2023, if a disabled Veteran with a spouse and no children has a 100% VA disability rating, they would be entitled to a tax-free monthly disability compensation payment of $3,621.95.
Veteran Ratings cannot guarantee 100% total disability or that a claim will be approved. But our experience guiding more than 150,000 Veterans over the past seven years, combined with our consultant network’s deep knowledge and expertise, gives Veterans the best possible chance for approval at the highest rating when they submit a claim.
Criteria Required for VA Disability Approval
You may be eligible for VA disability benefits or compensation if you meet these requirements.
You have a current illness or injury (known as a condition) that affects your mind or body, and you served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.
In addition, at least one of these must also be true:
- You got sick or injured while serving in the military and can link this condition to your illness or injury (called an in-service disability claim), or
- You had an illness or injury before you joined the military and serving made it worse (called a pre-service disability claim), or
- You have a disability related to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until after you ended your service (called a post-service disability claim).
For some conditions, the VA automatically assumes that a Veteran’s service caused a condition. These are known as presumptive conditions. If you have a presumptive condition, you don’t need to prove that your service caused the condition. You only need to meet the service requirements for the presumption.
Categories of presumptive conditions include:
- A chronic (long-lasting) illness that appears within one year after discharge
- An illness caused by contact with contaminants (toxic chemicals) or other hazardous materials
- An illness caused by your time spent as a prisoner of war (POW)
Presumptive claims have a high chance of approval when a Veteran can show through a DD 214 that they were deployed to an eligible location during a specific period and developed a qualifying disability condition due to their military service. VA ratings for presumptive conditions range from 0% to 100%, depending on the condition and the severity of symptoms.
Presumptive conditions vary by four main categories:
- Vietnam Veterans
- Atomic Veterans
- Gulf War Veterans
- Gulf War Veterans exposed to burn pits
Physical Disabilities: Simple Claims with High Success Rates
According to the most recent Veterans Administration report to Congress, the 10 most common VA disability claims to get approved in descending order are:
- Hearing Loss
- Limitation of Flexion, Knee
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Lumbosacral or Cervical Strain (Back Pain)
- Scars, General
- Paralysis of the Sciatic Nerve
- Limitation of Range of Motion of the Ankle
- Migraines (Headaches)
- Limitation of Motion of the Arm
Tinnitus is often considered the easiest VA disability claim to win, but more important, it is often used as a link to other service-connected conditions. By itself, tinnitus is a low value claim only rated at 10% or 0%. It is sometimes filed as a secondary disability that can be made worse when coupled with head and neck conditions, depression and anxiety, PTSD, hearing loss, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), high blood pressure, and others.
Musculoskeletal system conditions are also easy to win, including limitation of range of motion, arthritis, weakness and fatigue, lack of coordination, and decreased movement control. They are also often filed as secondary claims.
Veteran Ratings can provide you with information on each of these common physical disabilities and all others, including how the VA rates each one and the maximum disability ratings that you might be approved for in each type of claim.
Mental Health Conditions: Straightforward Claims for VA Disability
There are 31 mental health conditions that the VA can rate. Of these, the five most common in Veterans are:
- PTSD (Combat, Non-Combat, & Military Sexual Trauma)
- Adjustment Disorder
- Somatic Symptom Disorder
Mental health conditions tend to be higher value claims rated 0% to 100%, with percentage breaks at 10%, 30%, 50%, and 70%.
According to a recent report by the VA to Congress, more than 90% of disabled Veterans rated for a mental health condition are 30% or higher. Additionally, more than 40% are rated at 70% or higher.
Many service-connected physical conditions can lead to or aggravate mental health conditions and vice versa, meaning if you can prove a physical or mental condition, you may be able to get rated for another condition if you can substantiate it. The best way to do this is to work with Veteran Ratings who will refer you to one of our Veteran consulting partners and our private network of doctors. They will be able to provide you with the documentation you need to greatly improve your chances of a higher rating because they truly understand the process and evaluations.
For example, PTSD can have other major health impacts on Veterans due to medication side effects that can lead to sleep apnea, migraines, erectile dysfunction, GERD, and IBS, among others.
Secondary Service-Connected Disabilities: A Viable Option
The VA may approve a claim for disabilities that are “secondary” to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities “presumed” to be related to circumstances of military service.
Under 38 CFR § 3.310, “disabilities that are proximately due to, or aggravated by, service-connected disease or injury, a current disability condition, which is proximately due to or the result of a service-connected disease or injury shall be service connected.”
In other words, a secondary service connection requires showing causation.
For example, several evidentiary elements must be satisfied for secondary conditions to PTSD to prove service connection under the law. They include:
- A medical diagnosis of the secondary disability condition you’re attempting to link to PTSD and;
- A current service-connected primary disability (e.g., your current VA PTSD rating), and;
- Medical evidence establishing a connection between the service-connected PTSD and the current disability you’re trying to connect, such as migraines, GERD, erectile dysfunction, etc. Veteran Ratings’ private network of consultants and doctors provide the needed support to and documentation to give you the best chance at a higher rating.
The first part can be satisfied with any existing medical evidence in service, VA, or private medical records. The second part can be satisfied with a Veteran’s existing service-connected disability rated at 0 percent or higher (i.e., PTSD). The third part can be satisfied with documentation and evidence from one of our qualified medical providers.
Getting Your Claim Approved
The VA does not approve all the claims it receives. Some estimates place that rejection rate at more than 30%. These rejections can be frustrating and lead to critical delays while taking time to gather added information for an appeal or resubmission.
However, when Veterans receive guidance from Veteran Ratings and our network of trained consultants, that approval rating jumps to 95% on a Veteran’s initial submission.
Although there is no way to guarantee a 100% disability rating for any service-connected disability, you will improve your chances significantly of getting the highest possible rating when working with Veteran Ratings and our network.
Increasing the Odds for a Smooth VA Disability Claim Submission
To give you the best possible chance of approval, contact us for a FREE consultation. We’ll assess your needs and then help you strengthen your documentation with the assistance of our network of doctors and other professionals who fully understand the process. You’ll get the critical help you need to guide you through the entire process, giving you the best chance for approval and the highest possible rating, up to and including 100%.
Based on our experience, Veterans who work with us may see as much as a 30% increase in disability ratings as well as quicker approval turnaround times of about 6-8 months instead of a year or longer without our assistance.