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Extraschedular VA Ratings Definition

Extraschedular ratings are assigned when the rating criteria for a veteran’s disability does not accurately reflect their level of disability.  Usually this happens when a veteran experiences symptoms or limitations not considered by the rating schedule. Thus, VA must determine if the veteran is eligible for a higher rating than the schedule sets forth.  An extraschedular VA disability rating may be warranted for veterans who experience unique or especially severe symptoms of a service-connected condition.  However, in order to receive an extraschedular rating, those symptoms must not already be contemplated (i.e. taken into account) in the rating criteria for that disability, or not contemplated to the extent necessary for adequate compensation.  Essentially, if manifestations of a veteran’s condition go above and beyond what is listed in the rating criteria, an extraschedular rating may be warranted.

The criteria for an extraschedular rating fall under VA regulation 38 CFR § 3.321(b)(1):

  • A veteran must show, and VA must find, that “the case presents such an exceptional or unusual disability picture with such related factors as marked interference with employment or frequent periods of hospitalization” that make it impractical for VA to assign a schedular rating.
  • The final determination on whether an extraschedular rating is warranted must be made by the VA Undersecretary for Benefits or the Director of Compensation Service.