How an Attorney can Help You Increase Your VA Disability Rating
Published May 27, 2019
As a veteran, there are certain situations in which you will be dissatisfied with your current disability rating and need to review and increase your rating score. This can occur because your condition has deteriorated since the initial disability rating review or because you believe that your service-related disability deserves a higher rating score than what was assigned. While the process can be complex, an attorney can help you through the process of adjusting your disability rating through an appeal or by filing a claim for an increased rating. Call or contact a disability benefits attorney in your area today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.
Filing an Appeal on Your Rating
During the initial application filing, if the VA accepts your claim for disability benefits, the decision will come with a disability rating and the effective date of the disability. If you believe that the disability rating assigned in your decision letter was too low, you can file an appeal for a higher rating. The law allows you one year from the date of receiving the notification letter to appeal the decision by filing a Notice of Disagreement with the VA appeals system.
If the first appeal is unsuccessful, you have three options for further appeal of your rating number. The first is through the higher-level review lane, where the regional office is asked to review your rating with a more experienced ratings specialist. No new evidence is allowed, and the review is done with the same documentation as the initial application. The supplemental claim process allows for further evidence to be presented, but it can take longer for a decision on your appeal. The last option is to appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals if the higher-level review and supplemental review are unsuccessful. A knowledgeable disability benefits attorney can help you navigate this complicated appeals process to increase your rating score.
Filing a Claim for an Increased Rating
In situations where you believe your rating has increased due to a deterioration of your condition associated with your service-related disability, another option is to file a claim for an increased rating. This is a good option for veterans who believe that a change in their rating is necessary after the one-year appeal window has passed. You can file a new claim for an increased rating score along with any supporting evidence that your condition has worsened, and the VA will treat this like any other claim for disability benefits.
Another option is to file a claim for a secondary service-related disability. Under this method, your rating score would not be increased, but the compensation awarded to you through disability benefits could increase. Depending on the severity of your disability, you might also qualify for Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability which could also increase your compensation for benefits.
Talk to a Lawyer Now
Your disability rating score can have a significant impact on your benefits. Call or contact a disability benefits attorney today to talk to a lawyer about your legal options for increasing your rating score.