Military Disability Rating
Military Disability Rating
A “Military Disability Rating” refers to the percentage assigned to a medical condition by the Rating Authorities. Both the VA and the DoD use Military Disability Ratings to determine the amount of Military Disability Benefits a Disabled Veteran should receive for his conditions.
The percentage of the Military Disability Rating is intended to reflect the degree to which the condition impairs the veteran’s ability to work, or, in the case of mental health conditions, the degree to which the condition impairs a service member’s ability to interact with others in a social setting. All Military Disability Ratings range from 0% to 100%, rounding off to the nearest 10 (you can’t get a 33% Military Disability Rating—it would be rounded down to 30%). The higher the percentage, the worse the disability.
Basically, if a condition is extremely serious and the veteran is unable to perform at all in an occupational or social setting, he will receive a 100% Military Disability Rating. If the condition is not serious and the veteran is able to work and perform the required tasks of daily life with no real problems, he will receive a 0% Military Disability Rating.
Military Disability Ratings Given to Individual Conditions
Each condition that qualifies is given its own Military Disability Rating. All conditions must be service-connected to qualify, although conditions must also make the service member Unfit for Duty to qualify to receive a Military Disability Rating through the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) for DoD Disability.
There are also a number of laws in place to determine whether or not a specific condition qualifies to receive a Military Disability Rating. These laws are discussed throughout this website, and as you research your conditions, you should be able to figure out which qualify and which don’t. To give you a head start, though, check out the VASRD Principles and the Conditions That Are Not Ratable pages.
The Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) is the law that determines exactly what percentage (or “rating”) a particular condition of a certain seriousness is given. We discuss each condition in detail. Find Your Condition on our site to determine what Military Disability Rating it should receive.
The Total Combined Military Disability Rating
Once all the conditions a veteran has that qualify are assigned their Military Disability Ratings, then all the Military Disability Ratings are combined using VA Math to give the veteran a single overall Military Disability Rating. This total combined Military Disability Rating is then used to determine the exact type and monetary amount of Military Disability Benefits the veteran receives.
DoD Ratings vs VA Ratings
The DoD gives Military Disability Ratings only once: at the time a service member is separated from the military. These ratings are based on the severity of the service member's conditions at the time of separation. If the veteran does not agree with the Military Disability Ratings for DoD Disability, he can submit an appeal to have his ratings changed, but they will only be judged based on their severity at the time of separation.
The VA first gives Military Disability Ratings after a service member is separated from the military, but these ratings can continually be updated to reflect any changes to the conditions over time. If a condition is expected to worsen or improve, the VA may schedule periodic re-evaluations in order to update the rating. If they’d like, the veteran can also contact the VA at any time to have their conditions re-evaluated and the ratings updated.
If a veteran does not agree with his Military Disability Ratings from the VA, he can submit an appeal to have his ratings changed.