We will start this blog with a riddle: When does 20 plus 20 not equal 40? If you are a Veteran you know that the answer is: when it comes to VA “Math.” For those who are not familiar with VA Math, this is the slang term that refers to the way in which the VA combines multiple ratings. Ask any Veteran, and they will tell you that VA Math is confusing, and does not make a lot of sense. The purpose of this blog is to walk you through the VA Rating scale, and hopefully give you a better idea of how you get rated for multiple disabilities. (View the scale in the link above to better assist you with this blog.)
Let’s say you filed for PTSD and were granted 50%, and filed for your shoulder and were granted 20% for that disability. Most of us would say that your combined rating is 70%, but not according to the VA. According to the VA chart, your total combined rating would only be 60%. You are probably reading this and wanting to know why the rating came out this way.
First, a couple of notes about VA Math: They take into account your highest rating first. So, if your highest rating is 50%, like in the example above, then that is the bench mark for the rest of your claim. Second, when you are given a bilateral condition, like knees for instance, an additional 10% is figured into your rating for compensation. (Examples of this will be explained later.)
This next example looks at what happens if you have four service connected ratings. In this example, you are connected for PTSD at 50%, 30% for a knee replacement, 10% for headaches, and finally 10% for Ischemic Heart Disease. In everyday life, that would equal 100%, but not in the world of the VA. According to the scale, that total is only 70%. So, how did we come up with this conclusion? On the scale, your highest rating is 50%, we then combine that with your second highest rating, which is 30%, and that equals 65 on the scale. (One again, you can view the scale here)We take 65% and find out where that lines up with 10% on the scale. On the scale it equals 69%. We then take that % and find where it lines up with 10. The final answer is 72%. Due to the fact that the VA only pays in increments of 10, this is rounded down to 70. Thus, the VA would pay you at 70%. As a side note, this person would possibly be eligible for Individual Unemployability.
Our last example will look at what happens when we add in a bilateral condition. In this example, you have a bilateral leg condition in which your legs are rated at 20% each. On the scale, 20 and 20 meet up at 36. You take 36, and multiply it by 10%, which equals 3.6. You would then take 36, add the 3.6, and would get a total of 39.6, which rounds up to 40%. In this example, you would be service-connected at 40%.
This is obviously a confusing ordeal for anyone to figure out on their own. If you would like to learn more about what the experienced attorneys and staff of Jan Dils Attorneys at Law can do for you, give us a call today: 1-877-526-3457.