The Department of Veterans Affairs provides veterans (VA) disability benefits to former service-members with qualifying service-related medical conditions. These benefits are designed to ensure you can make a living if you are partially or entirely unable to work.
When you apply and get approved for VA service-connected disability benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs assigns you a disability rating. Your rating is based on how severe the VA believes your condition is. The more compelling the evidence you have that your condition keeps you from working, the higher your rating will probably be. A higher rating means a greater monthly benefit amount.
VA disability ratings range from 0 to 100 percent, in increments of 10 percent. A rating of 0 percent does not entitle you to monthly compensation; however, you are eligible for other benefits, such as healthcare. A rating from 10 to 100 percent qualifies you for monthly compensation.
What Are the 2018 VA Disability Compensation Rates?
The monthly benefit amounts for a single veteran with no children and a disability rating of 10 to 100 percent in 2018 are as follows:
- 10 percent disability rating: $136.24 per month
- 20 percent disability rating: $269.30 per month
- 30 percent disability rating: $417.15 per month
- 40 percent disability rating: $600.90 per month
- 50 percent disability rating: $855.41 per month
- 60 percent disability rating: $1,083.52 per month
- 70 percent disability rating: $1,365.48 per month
- 80 percent disability rating: $1,587.25 per month
- 90 percent disability rating: $1,783.68 per month
- 100 percent disability rating: $2,973.86 per month
Can I Receive Additional Benefits for Dependents in My Household?
If your disability rating is 30 percent or higher, you are eligible to receive additional benefits for a spouse, children, or dependent parents. Your benefit amount also increases incrementally for every additional child. Any child who lives with you on a full-time basis and is under the age of 18, or between 18 and 23 but attending school, qualifies for an additional benefit amount. Children between the ages of 18 and 23 who are in school qualify for a higher incremental amount due to the presumed cost of attending school.
The VA website features an extensive table in which you can find the exact benefit amount for just about any situation imaginable (e.g., 70 percent rating, one spouse, two dependent parents, one school child over 18, and two children under 18).
If I Think My Rating Is Too Low, Can I Appeal for a Higher One?
Absolutely, you can ask the Department of Veterans Affairs for a higher disability rating. Before you do, though, it is important to understand how the process works and also to know that there are risks involved, especially if you do it without help from Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD.
What risks? Basically, when you request that the VA reconsider your rating, it takes a start-from-scratch approach as opposed to only considering your argument for a higher rating. That means the VA could come back and say that, yes, it is re-rating you — and giving you a lower rating than before. Thus, you should make sure to talk with your doctor — and also, ideally, a lawyer — to make sure your case is solid before asking the Department of Veterans Affairs to reconsider.
The appeals process is often very long and frustrating. Give us a call; consultations are always free and we may be able to help.
For the best chance of a favorable outcome, you will want to attach substantial medical evidence and, preferably, also write a personalized letter to the VA that explains why your rating should be higher and points to evidence in your file to support your argument. We can manage your appeal for you so you can focus on your health and family.
Call 401-331-6300 to Speak with Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD
Still have questions about VA disability ratings and your benefit amount? The Veterans Law attorneys at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD dedicate their practice solely to representing disabled veterans, and we can help you get the benefits you deserve. Call our office today for a free consultation: 401-331-6300.
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