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  • Understanding how ratings for VA disability are combined, 1+1 does not allows equal 2.

VA disability provides monthly cash payments to veterans who have a disability that is connected to their military service. The amount of the monthly payment is determined by a table based on whether the veteran is married, how many dependents the veteran has, and the percentage pf disability rating awarded to the veteran.  VA regulations provide differing rating percentages for various types of disabilities.  The rating percentages are based on the VA’s determination of to what extent a disability will hinder the average veteran in securing ;employment, and not on the individual employability of the veteran.

A rating is obtained for each of a veteran’s disabilities.  Common sense would say that if the veteran has two disabilities, one rated at 40% disabled and the other at 30% that the combined rating would be 70%, but this is not the case.  VA math is not normal math.  To determine the combined rating, the VA starts by considering the veteran to be 100% able.  The highest rating of 40% is then applied, leaving the veteran at 60% able.  The second disability of 30% is applied to the remaining 60% of ability, to leave 42% percent.  The 42% is subtracted from 100%, to arrive at 58%, which is rounded up to 60% disability.  There are calculators available online that assist in making these complex calculations.

It is not uncommon for the VA to deny a veteran VA disability, provide a lower rating than what is justified under the law, or use an incorrect date for back payments.  Veterans who have received less than they are owed or have been completely denied should hire an accredited VA attorney to handle the appeal.