Navigating the tables and forms of the Veteran Affairs Office can sometimes feel like a job in its own right, but being persistent and diligent is important to getting the treatment and the compensation for someone with a disabling condition. While it’s frustrating, it’s important.
And fortunately, it doesn’t need to be nearly as frustrating as it may seem. The Veteran Affairs Office publicly posts their rates online, but the format can be hard to parse for someone who isn’t intimately familiar with the intricacies of how disability insurance is handled within the VA. But there are other resources that can calculate your rates and offer more besides.
How VA Disability Rates Work
First, a quick primer on how disability rates are calculated within the VAO. Every veteran is assigned a disability rating for their entire body that’s essentially a calculation of how much the disability on a specific body part impacts the overall ability of your body as a whole.
These disability percentages are then raised to the closest value of ten, and veterans are then awarded a percentage of the total maximum allowance depending on their own overall disability rating. To further complicate matters, the payments received can further be adjusted to account for any dependents.
How to Use a Disability Chart
Fortunately, all disability ratings are assigned in multiples of 10, so sorting through the charts is less complicated than it may seem. Simply find your disability rating, and then scroll to the matching number of dependents under your name. You’ll find the total amount owed to you by month in the appropriate cell of the chart.
How to Figure Out Your Disability Rate
A disability chart isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t have the necessary variables to pop into the formula. That’s where a VA disability calculator comes in. While it shouldn’t be considered a replacement for a formal disability claim, it can help you get a ballpark estimate of what your catastrophic injuries are worth. That can be very useful when you step into the office to make your claim or dispute a decision.
There are a number of great VA disability calculators out there, and we recommend you take the time to check them out before you start trying to use a disability chart. Even if you’re already receiving disability insurance from the VA, it could provide you with the information you need to increase the amount of money you get from your disability.
The State of Disability Rates in 2021
While the amount of disability insurance paid out to veterans tends to be largely standardized, there are fluctuations from year to year. These are made according to the COLA — or Cost of Living Adjustment. The COLA for 2021 has yet to be decided, but it’s assumed that the raise will fall somewhere in the range of 2.1 to 2.3%. The average veteran is estimated to earn an extra $26 a month, or $312 for the year 2021.
Of course, these numbers are subject to change. That’s why it’s important to find disability ratings that are accurate and timely. Knowing a change could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over time.
Get your VA disability rates from Berry law if you want the most accurate and reliable assessment of your rates for 2021. As a veteran-owned and -operated firm, they have the experience to help you navigate your issues with the VA, understand the options open to you, and provide a compelling case telling the VAO exactly what your service is worth.