When your conditions get worse, it’s important to increase your VA Rating so you continue to receive the benefits you deserve.
Medical conditions, however, are rarely stable. In many cases, conditions caused by your military service can get worse over time, resulting in a more severe impact on your ability to work and daily life.
If the impact has increased, then it makes sense that your rating should increase as well.
If you have a condition that has worsened since it was last rated, let’s discuss the steps you should take to increase your VA Rating.
1. Check to see if the condition now qualifies for a higher VA rating
The first thing you need to do is check to see if your condition now qualifies for a higher rating. Just because the condition is worse does not mean that it meets the requirements for a higher rating. It will be a waste of time to apply for an increase when your condition does not yet qualify for one.
So first, Find Your Condition on our site. Search by the four-digit VASRD code the VA used to rate your condition originally. If you have an eight-digit code, search by the last four digits as that is the code the VA used to rate the condition. Once you find your code, you can review all of the current rating requirements and compare them to your current symptoms.
If your symptoms still qualify for the same rating you already have, then it is not yet time to apply for an increase. If, however, your symptoms do qualify for a higher rating, then you can apply to increase your VA Rating with confidence.
2. Gather Evidence to Increase your VA Rating
Now that you know that your condition definitely qualifies for a higher rating, you need to gather the evidence to prove this to the VA. Make sure to get copies of all medical records that clearly show that you meet the rating requirements for the higher rating.
If you do not have medical records showing this evidence, you need to make an appointment with your physician to have the current severity of your condition fully examined and recorded. Do not apply to increase your VA Rating until you have this evidence. The VA must have sufficient evidence that your condition does qualify for a higher rating.
You can also include letters from friends, family, employers, etc., that address the current severity of your condition and how it affects your ability to work and function in daily life.
After you apply to increase your VA Rating, the VA will have you attend a C&P Exam. The evidence you submit with the claim, along with the evidence gathered at the C&P Exam, will work together to provide the VA with a clear picture of the current severity of your condition.
3. Apply to Increase your VA Rating
If using VA.gov, you can find your condition and then click the “Request Increase” button next to it. Follow the instructions, uploading your evidence when requested, and then submit it.
If using the paper claim, list your condition as it is noted on your original Rating Decision, and then put “increased evaluation” following it. Makes sure to include copies of all of your evidence and then mail the claim to the address on the form.
4. Submit Additional Forms for Special Circumstances
- For Aid and Attendance, submit VA Form 21-2680 for at home care or VA Form 21-0779 for nursing home care.
- For Individual Unemployability, submit both VA Form 21-8940 and VA Form 21-4192.
- For Specially Adapted Housing, submit VA Form 26-4555.
- For Auto Allowance, submit VA Form 21-4502.