Disability rates for veterans can go up or down over time. But not just due to cost of living increases.
Changes in your health and personal situation also affects how much you get. And this is tied directly to your Disability Rating.
About Disability Ratings
Your Disability Rating is given to you by the VA. It’s a percentage number that’s based on the “severity of your service-connected condition.” The lowest Disability Rating is 10%. The highest is 100%.
Basically the more your disability affects your health and ability to function, the higher your Disability Rating percentage. This percentage is used to determine how much money you can get each month.
This Disability Rating doesn’t just affect how much you get paid for disability. It’s also used to figure out what other benefits you may be eligible for (ie. VA health care).
Current Veterans Disability Rates
So what are the current rates for disability? Let’s take a look at where they’re at as of the time we’re writing this at the end of 2020.
At the low end are those who have a 10% Disability Rating. The current monthly payout at this level is $142.29. And it remains at that level even if you have dependents like a spouse, child(ren) or parent(s).
On the high end are those with a 100% disability rating. Someone in this situation who also has a child, spouse and 2 parents gets $3684 each month. This can go higher if you have additional children or a spouse that receives Aid and Attendance.
Ways To Increase Your Veterans Disability Rating
Since the Disability Rating plays a big part in how much you get each month, if you can increase your rating, you can increase the amount of money you get.
One way to increase your rating is if your disability gets worse. Maybe you are experiencing new symptoms or your pain level gets worse. If this happens, you will need a doctor to back you up on this. So you’ll want to go see a VA doc or a private one.
Another way to increase your rating is if you start experiencing a new disability. Maybe your original claim was for a leg injury but you have begun to experience Depression. In this case you can file a new disability claim and, if accepted, it can increase your Disability Rating.
Also good to know is that there are certain conditions that tend to be “higher value” conditions and lead to higher Disability Ratings. These include many mental health issues such as PTSD, depression and anxiety disorder. Other “high value” conditions include some respiratory issues, heart problems as well as Migraines and Sleep Apnea.
A Final Word of Warning
Before you rush out and try to increase your Disability Rating, a word of warning. When you do this, you basically open your claim up to be re-evaluated by the VA. When this happens, it’s possible the VA can lower your rating or even cancel it. So just be 100% sure your claims are not only legit, but you have what you need to back them up!