How To Use This Site
Military Disability can seem extremely complicated and overwhelming. Our goal is to make it as simple and straightforward as possible. So here are a few pointers on using our site.
The very first thing you need to understand is how the DoD Disability Process and the VA Disability Process work. Their systems are different, and they both look at different things when rating disabilities, so it’s important that you understand each system.
A word we use a lot on this site is “rating.” A Military Disability Rating is given by Rating Authorities to every condition that qualifies for Military Disability Benefits. It’s important that you understand how ratings work and why they are essential.
Next, read up on the VASRD. The VASRD is the law that Congress passed that defines exactly how conditions should be rated. It’s important to be familiar with how the VASRD works and the various VASRD Principles and Musculoskeletal Principles that determine how the laws are to be applied in various circumstances. There is a lot of information here, but just go through it slowly and make notes of the principles that apply to you. Then you can just ignore the rest.
At the bottom of every condition page, we have a short-list version of the VASRD Principles that are most pertinent to the conditions on that page. That doesn’t mean that those are the only principles that apply; they are just the most common ones.
Once you’ve got the VASRD under control, you are ready to Find Your Conditions to see how they should be rated. You can search for your conditions by name or by the VASRD Code. We also have a full menu of the various body systems and conditions at the bottom of every page.
If you are unable to find your condition, visit the Analogous and Equivalent Codes page. The VASRD simply can’t list every condition on the planet, so it allows conditions to be rated under a similar condition. There are rules governing how this is to be done, so make sure you read up on it first. Conditions might also just be called something different, so we’ve provided a list of the most common alternate names.
Once you’ve found your condition, read our discussion carefully to figure out how it is rated. The discussion of each condition will begin with a code, followed by the name of the condition in bold and the discussion about the condition. Here is an example:
Code 7010: Supraventricular arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms, most commonly too fast, that are located in the heart’s two upper chambers. If episodes of abnormal heart rhythms occur 5 or more times a year, then it is rated 30%. A 10% rating is given if episodes of abnormal rhythm occur 1 to 4 times a year or if there is permanent atrial fibrillation with no evidence of other heart diseases or conditions. All episodes must be properly documented by an ECG test.
Each of the codes is linked to the original current VASRD text, so if you want to know exactly what the VASRD says about that condition, you can just click on the numbers. We’ve cross-referenced the original VASRD text with our discussions of the various conditions as well, so if you’re in the original VASRD text, you can just click on the code to get to our discussion of that condition.
Once you’ve found the ratings for all your conditions, you have to combine them to get a single Total Combined Military Disability Rating using VA Math (20 + 30 does not equal 50). The total combined rating is then used to determine the exact type and amount of Military Disability Benefits you should receive.
That’s it. If you follow these steps, you should have a working knowledge of the very complicated Military Disability system. If you are unable to find answers to your questions or have suggestions on how we can further improve this site, feel free to Contact Us.
We also offer an Advice From the Big Guy Blog for additional help and advice. Feel free to join in and recommend topics for future blogs. We love to hear from you!
You can also visit our Top News blog for the latest news in Military Disability.
We wish you all the best as you travel the road of Military Disability.