The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) establishes whether the disability is connected to service before assigning a rating. The VA disability rating reflects how severe your disability is and reflects how the impairment impacts your ability to do your work. VA considers the listed factors when establishing your disability rating.
Range of Movement
Range of motion is a significant factor that VA considers when establishing a disability rating. It applies to back, neck, arms, legs, shoulders, and hip injuries. The range of movement is the primary factor in establishing disability ratings for spinal fusion, back strain, dislocations, and vertebrae fractures. The VA assesses how far victims can turn their heads, how far down and up they can look, and how far they can tilt their heads sideways. For back injuries, VA assesses how far you can bend sideways, how far you can twist your waist, and how far you bend over. Your doctor will determine how far you can straighten or bend your knee to establish a knee injury rating.
Disabilities may sometimes be bilateral, impacting both or one side of your body. These conditions apply to your eyes, ears, hips, legs, or feet. The VA disability calculator on PTSDLawyers.com rates these conditions based on loss of eyesight, hearing loss, and even loss of eyes. Bilateral disabilities may be a primary factor in musculoskeletal issues affecting your knees, hips, feet, and ankles. Victims can apply this factor if they have two conditions that impact both sides of the same joint, including a foot with minimal range of motion and an amputated foot.
The Degree of Incapacitation
VA assesses how your overall disabilities incapacitate you before awarding disability ratings. VA’s approach to defining incapacitation varies depending on the disorder, but victims should seek immediate medical care to qualify for compensation. Incapacitating episodes are present in multiple disabling conditions, and victims can see this in back pain disorders, arthritis, seizure disorders, or respiratory conditions. These criteria also apply to skin conditions, diabetes, and immune disorders.
Veterans who lose their limbs during their military service can apply for a claim to receive disability compensation. The disability rating depends on what limb you lose and how much of it gets lost in the process. This applies to lost fingers and toes, and VA considers how much of their limbs victims lose, when establishing their disability rating. Victims who lose three or four toes or fingers and those who lose their thumb receive a higher rating than those who lose just one finger. Victims who lose their dominant hand will also receive a higher rating than those who lose a non-dominant hand.
There are multiple conditions that VA considers presumptive situations. This means veterans don’t have to prove specific service connections for their disabilities. The VA presumes that specific disabilities are related to your service if you serve in specific areas and during specific times. Agent Orange’s presumptive conditions include everything from diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, cancer, peripheral neuropathy, and heart disease.
Chronic, Continuing Conditions
Your disability rating may be based on the incapacitation level of your disease. Certain conditions with no cure may lead to a permanent disability rating in the presumed eventual state if they get severe over time. Conditions under this category include ALS, neurodegenerative diseases, and Parkinson’s Disease. Victims may receive up to a 100% disability rating, saving them from applying for additional compensation as their conditions progress.
Numerous factors determine a VA disability rating. Understanding how the entire process works gives you a rough idea of the amount of compensation to expect. Hire a reliable attorney to file or appeal your VA disability compensation claim.