VA Disability Rating System, Part 1

When veterans apply for disability benefits through the VA, a benefits rating system is used to determine how much the veteran will receive in disability payments.

Each disability has a predetermined rating that corresponds to the average reduction in earning capability. This list of disabilities and rating is known as a rating schedule, and it is a fairly comprehensive list of possible disabilities a veteran might have. A higher rating means the veteran has a more serious disability, which will result in a higher payment.

The ratings are on a scale of 0%-100%, and ratings typically increase in increments of 10%. If a veteran has a disability with a 0% rating, known as a non-compensation rating, the veteran will not receive any benefit payments. When a veteran receives a 100% rating, they are considered to be totally disabled.

In the event a veteran has a disability that is not listed on the schedule the VA will call in a rating specialist. This specialist will compare the veteran’s symptoms to other symptoms and disabilities already listed on the schedule to determine what rating to give the veteran.

A visit to a doctor may be required if the VA cannot properly assess the severity of a veteran’s disability. If you had a disability or condition prior to participating in active military duty that was worsened due to your service, the rating will only apply to the degree of disability that was caused by serving.


If you have questions about the VA disability rating system call a local West Virginia VA benefits lawyer. Jan Dils Attorneys at Law can explain how the system works, guide you through the application process and fight for you if you need to appeal a denial.

Be sure to look out for our next blog, “VA disability rating system part 2” for more detailed information.

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