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Understanding The Combined Disability Rating Chart: A Comprehensive Guide

June 14, 2023

The combined disability rating chart plays a critical role in determining the compensation received by veterans for their service-connected disabilities. It is, however, a complex system that often leaves many veterans puzzled. This guide is designed to help you understand the combined disability rating chart.

Understanding The Combined Disability Rating Chart

The combined disability rating chart is used by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to calculate the overall disability rating for veterans with multiple disabilities. This rating determines the amount of compensation the veteran receives.

It's important to note that VA does not simply add together individual disability ratings to get a combined rating. Instead, they use a system of "successive ratings," which takes into account the impact of each disability on a veteran's overall health.

For instance, if a veteran has a 50% disability, the VA considers them 50% disabled and 50% able-bodied. If another 30% disability rating is added, it applies to the remaining "able-bodied" 50%, resulting in a 15% increase, not a straightforward 30% increase. Therefore, the combined disability rating in this case would be 65%.

How The Combined Disability Rating Chart Affects VA Claims

In VA disability claims, the combined disability rating chart has a direct influence on the compensation received. A higher combined rating typically leads to more compensation.

However, the calculation method can result in combined ratings that are less than the sum of individual ratings. This often creates confusion, especially among veterans who expect their compensation to correspond directly with the sum of their individual disability ratings.

Navigating Challenges With The Combined Disability Rating Chart

Despite its importance, understanding the combined disability rating chart can be a challenge due to its complexity. The successive ratings calculation may lead to perceived inconsistencies and potentially lower-than-expected compensation.

Moreover, not all disabilities are rated equally. Certain conditions have a maximum rating, while others are evaluated based on the severity of symptoms and impact on daily life.

FAQs About The Combined Disability Rating Chart

Why doesn't the VA simply add up my disability ratings?

The VA uses a successive ratings system to reflect that each subsequent disability impacts a smaller portion of an individual's overall health, given that they are already partially disabled.

Is there a maximum combined disability rating?

Yes, the maximum combined disability rating is 100%.

Can I appeal if I disagree with my combined disability rating?

Yes, if you believe there's an error in your rating, you can file an appeal with the VA.

Last Words On Combined Disability Rating Chart

Understanding the combined disability rating chart is vital for veterans filing for disability compensation. Despite its complexities, with accurate information and perhaps a bit of assistance, veterans can navigate the system successfully and ensure they receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.

Michael Blair contributes his expertise to help veterans access government benefits and resources. Through his informative articles and guides, he plays a vital role in empowering veterans and improving their quality of life.
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