VA Disability Calculator for Service-Connected Conditions

Category: Veterans Disability Law

Article by Daniel J. Tuley

VA Disability Calculator for Service-Connected Conditions

If you develop a disability as a result of your military service, you will receive a rating from VA that determines how much monetary compensation you are entitled to each month. If you are suffering from two or more disabilities as a result of your military service, the rating gets slightly more complicated.

You may receive a rating that you do not understand or have difficulty figuring out how it was calculated. This VA disability calculator can combine ratings and help you comprehend how VA does its computations.

How Does a VA Disability Rating Calculator Work?

The VA benefits calculator on this page combines ratings using a specific equation to tell you your final combined disability rating. You simply input the specifics about your service-connected injuries, and we will do the necessary math to compute a total score.

Depending on what stage of the claim process you are in, you may just be double-checking to see why you got the rating you did, or you could be trying to predict what rating you will receive from VA. Either way, this VA calculator can help provide insight as to how combined ratings are decided.

The Math Behind Combined VA Disability Ratings

VA uses its own specific formula to calculate final ratings through the VA calculator. Different ratings are not added together as a flat amount as you might expect at first glance. Instead, successive disability ratings are added to the highest rating as a percentage of the remaining percentage. Then the total combined disability rating is rounded to the nearest 10%. This formula can be used to calculate the rating for any number of disabilities.

For example, let’s say you have a back injury rated at 60%, and a right leg injury rated at 40%. The VA combined rating calculator begins with your highest percentage (60%) then adds the percent of your next highest rating as a percent of the remaining value between your first rating and 100.

In this case, the total rating (100%) minus your first rating (60%) equals the remainder (40%). Your second rating will be added as a portion of the remainder, 40% of 40%, which is 16%. Therefore your final rating would be 76%, which rounds up to 80%.

If you had three separate service-connected disabilities, you would need to repeat this process once more. The ratings are added from greatest to least. Taking the numbers from the last example, let’s say you were also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at 30%. Even though the running total rounds up to 80% for your first two disabilities, the actual value is 76%, so that’s your starting number.

Your third rating will be added on as 30% of the 24% that remains. 30% of 24% is 7.2%, 7.2% added to your total of 76% brings your combined total disability rating of these three conditions to 83.2%. This will still be rounded down to 80% for a total rating. As you can see, successive disabilities have a lower impact on your rating the further removed they are from the primary condition.

Depending on the numbers you have to work with and your proficiency level with math, this calculation strategy can get very complicated and sometimes confusing. There are also other factors that can change the total amount of money you receive for any given disability rating.

Luckily, we created a VA disability calculator that will do the hard work for you so you can worry about more important aspects of your VA disability claim.

VA Compensation Benefits

Your VA disability rating determines the amount of compensation you are awarded. Benefits are typically paid out monthly, with 100% being the highest possible amount you can receive. Rates change from year to year based on cost of living adjustments (COLA). The 2024 VA compensation rates can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Receiving Maximum Benefits

The maximum VA disability rating you can receive is 100%. One way 100% disability benefits can be achieved is through TDIU. TDIU, or Total Disability for Individual Unemployability, is awarded when an individual cannot work as a result of their service-connected disabilities even though the rating may not equal 100%.

Another way to receive a 100% rating is if your disability is considered permanent and total (P&T). This means that your service-related disability prevents certain employment and that you have no outlook for recovering during your lifetime. If you think you might qualify for TDIU or P&T benefits, check out our article on how to get total and permanent disability from the VA.

Applying for VA Disability Benefits

Applying for VA disability benefits can be an arduous process with a lot of complicated hoops to jump through. It can also be a very easy process that’s relatively straightforward depending on how much research you do and whether or not you are working with an experienced VA disability attorney.

If you are struggling with a condition that you believe was either caused or worsened by active military service, reach out to one of our VA disability lawyers for assistance.

If you’re not sure what conditions might qualify for compensation, check out our list of the 10 most common VA disability claims to get an idea of what counts.

VA Benefit Timeline

As of April 2024, the entire claims process averaged around 155 days. Even though you might not be paid until the end of that process, as soon as you are approved for benefits you will begin accruing money from your effective date. VA will provide you with a lump sum payment for any payments you may have missed between your effective date and the time you start getting paid.

Tuley Law Office

The attorneys at Tuley Law Office have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process and language of VA. If it’s your first time in the system and you’re dealing with a disability that makes it hard to get things done, hiring legal counsel can be an essential part of compiling a strong case. Contact us today to gain the compensation you’re entitled to.

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