VA Disability Ratings: What they mean & VA Math

Use our VA Disability Calculator to calculate your rating.

THE VIDEO: In this week’s video, Robert Chisholm sits down with CCK’s Managing Attorney, Jonathan Greene, to talk VA disability ratings – how they’re determined for individual disabilities and how to calculate your own Combined Rating.

THE EXAMPLE: A veteran has Post Traumatic Stress rated 50%, tinnitus rated 10%, and bilateral hearing loss rated 10%. One might assume that that veteran’s combined rating would be 70% because 50 + 10 + 10 = 70, but this is not the case. Instead, the rating is calculated like this:

Look at the highest rating (PTS at 50%) first. If the veteran is 50% disabled, then (according to VA) he/she is 50% NON-disabled.

100% – 50% disabled = 50% NON-disabled

So, according to VA’s rules, the next rating (tinnitus at 10%) only comes out of the remaining 50% that is NON-disabled.

10% of 50% = 5% [OR .1 x .5 = .05]

We then add that 5% to the 50% to get 55% disabled. The remaining, NON-disabled percentage than becomes 45%.

5% + 50% = 55% disabled 100% – 55% = 45% NON-disabled

The next rating (bilateral hearing loss at 10%) only comes out of the remaining 45%.

10% of 45% = 4.5% [OR .1 x .45 = .045]

We then add 4.5% to 55%, getting 59.5%. Since there are no more disabilities to combine, we can round to the nearest multiple of 10 to find the veteran’s final combined rating. Because it is greater than 55%, we round up to 59.5% (if it was 52% or 54.5%, for example, we would round down) and the veteran will receive compensation at the 60% level.

4.5% + 55% = 59.5% ≈ 60% disabled

MORE ABOUT VA’S DISABILITY RATING SCHEDULE