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When a VA Combined Disability Rating Doesn’t Add Up

If you’re a veteran with multiple service-connected ailments, the math may not add up traditionally on your disability rating from the VA benefits system. For example, if you have one injury with a 30% rating and a mental illness impairment also rated 30%, you’d think this would add up to a 60% combined disability rating.

But that’s not necessarily how the VA operates. They configure combined ratings on a different scale. To them, these numbers are not “additive” but are determined according to their own scale electronically, which can be frustrating for many veterans. The Vietnam Veterans of America have put together a handy program that calculates this figure.

According to their website, “the highest percentage to the lowest percentage is used. The highest minus 100% gives the ‘efficiency’ for the highest degree of disability. Then the second is computed and so on to derive at a combined disability. The combined rating is then rounded up or down to the nearest 10%.” This equation is based on Title 38 in the Code of Federal Regulations. There’s also a table on the VA website that may be helpful in explaining their calculations for combined ratings.

But if you’re still confused, rest assured that even professionals with years of experience still have difficulty grasping the VA’s special math.

If you are a veteran with questions about your disability claim, the expert staff of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, can help. Call us toll-free at 1.877.526.3457 or send us an e-mail to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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