You have received your VA Rating Decision letter and want to know what’s next. Understanding your VA disability Rating Decision is not always easy. This page explains how to read your VA disability Rating Decision letter and some of your options.
If you have questions after reading through the information below, give us a call. There is a never a charge to talk to us about your claim. For help, please call us toll-free at (866) 232-5777 or fill out the online contact form and we’ll call you.
About Your VA Rating Decision Letter
Does your VA disability Rating Decision letter not seem right? The VA makes some wild mistakes: we have seen veterans receive other people’s VA disability Rating Decision letters. We have even seen VA disability Rating Decision letters that include impairments that the veteran did not have. Just remember this, your VA disability Rating Decision letter is not final.
On your VA Rating Decision letter, you should expect:
1. The VA will decide if your impairments are service-connected: Your VA Rating Decision letter will inform you of whether or not the VA considers your impairments service-connected. The VA should have considered your secondary service-connected disabilities as well. Make sure all your impairments are listed on the Rating Decision. Double-check the VA’s work.
2. Your impairments will receive a VA rating: In your VA Rating Decision letter, the VA will give all your service-connected impairments a VA disability benefits rating. Believe it or not you can receive a 0% rating. That means your impairment is service-connected, but not “bad enough” to be compensable by law.
3. Your VA rating will determine your monthly payments: Your VA Rating Decision letter should inform you how much money the VA is going to send you monthly. Your VA Rating Decision letter should also let you know when your are going to start receiving your VA disability payments.
FAQ: VA Rating Decision Letter
What if I don’t agree with my VA Rating Decision letter? Many veterans disagree with their VA Rating Decision letter. You may now be able to appeal the VA’s decision. You can read below about appealing your VA Rating Decision letter.
What if my VA rating is too low? A large number of veterans initially are low-balled by the VA. You can appeal and try to increase your VA disability rating. The VA often gives veterans 10% and 20% ratings when they may really deserve 40% or 50% ratings.
What if the VA denies my secondary service-connected conditions? You will want to appeal with evidence connecting your secondary conditions. Some veterans use VA disability benefits “buddy statements” or medical experts. You will now want to present evidence to the VA that your conditions are secondary to your service-connected impairments.
What if my VA Rating Decision letter does not have all my impairments listed? Sadly, this happens all the time to veterans. The VA makes a lot of mistakes and sometimes your VA Rating Decision letter is missing mental and physical conditions. First, check your application to make sure you didn’t make the mistake. Second, contact the VA or a lawyer to find out why your other impairments were not listed. There are procedural options available if your VA Rating Decision letter is missing impairments. You can also see your claim at eBenefits.
Should I have a lawyer review my VA Rating Decision letter? There is no cost to have our veterans disability lawyers review your VA Rating Decision letter. We highly suggest you discuss your VA Rating Decision letter with a VA-certified disability lawyer. You can ask questions and we’ll answer them for free. Learn your rights as a disabled veteran.
Individual Unemployability and Your VA Rating Decision Letter
Veterans that are unable to work from their service-connected disabilities may be eligible for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits. Your VA Rating Decision letter may or may not let you know if you are qualified for Individual Unemployability benefits.
TDIU benefits pay the same as a 100 percent veterans benefits rating but you do not have to be rated that high. If you think you are eligible, but your VA Disability Rating Decision letter did not address it, you may want to consider an appeal. If you are considering doing this, we highly suggest you talk with our Individual Unemployability lawyers first. It’s free and we can offer advice.
Appealing Your VA Rating Decision Letter Low-Rating
The current veterans disability benefits timeline can be discouraging to veterans. We all know filing VA benefits appeals is no short process. Our VA benefits appeals lawyers always want veterans to know that you are going to need persistence and patience.
First, you have one year from the date the Rating Decision was made to file your appeal. However, our VA disability compensation lawyers always suggest you don’t wait until the last minute to file your appeal. This is a long and complicated process and you want to get it right the first time!
Second, you are going to have to file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) with the VA. This lets the VA know you intend to challenge their VA disability Rating Decision letter.
Third, if you don’t know how to file VA disability appeals, get help. If you have a relatively simple claim like tinnitus, you should seek out a free VSO. However, if you have a complicated claim, you should talk with a VA disability lawyer.
VA Rating Decision Letter Denials
If you flat out had your VA disability denied, you can also appeal. Remember, your veterans benefits Rating Decision letter is not final. If your claim was wholly denied, you have one year from when the veterans benefits Rating Decision was made.
If your claim is later approved, you should receive a VA disability benefits retroactive payment. That is a lump sum payment of the money you should have been receiving if the VA had not denied your claim. Some veterans find their VA disability back pay goes back years.