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VA Math, Confusing, Right? Calculate Your Final Rating Percentage!

If VA finds that a Veteran has multiple disabilities, VA uses the Combined Rating Table below to calculate a combined disability rating. Disability ratings are not additive, meaning that if a Veteran has one disability rated 60% and a second disability 20%, the combined rating is not 80%. This is because subsequent disability ratings are applied to an already disabled Veteran, so the 20% disability is applied to a Veteran who is already 60% disabled.

VA combined disability rating calculator

VA calculates your rating by rounding to the nearest 10%. This rating is then used to determine your monthly compensation payment.
Note: If you have two or more disabilities that affect both sides of your body, this may increase your rating and compensation payment. For your official rating, please refer to your compensation award letter.

 

If you have multiple service-connected conditions — VA will combine them using a process called VA Math. 

Here’s how it works:

VA starts with the premise that every veteran is 100 percent efficient, or not disabled. 

So, if a veteran has a disability rating of 20 percent, VA sees them as 80 percent non-disabled and 20 percent disabled. To include another disability rating of, say 10 percent, VA will take 10 percent of the 80 percent non-disabled portion, and add it to the existing 20 percent rating. 

This brings the veteran’s total disability rating to 28 percent, which will be rounded to 30 percent.

This process continues with each disability rating the veteran has.

“VA Math” is the way that the VA computes combined impairment ratings for multiple conditions in a Veteran’s compensation benefits claim – and it requires that you unlearn real math. When a Veteran has multiple medical conditions that are service-connected and the Veterans Affairs rates each at a different percentage, it would seem that they should just add up your percentages to get to a total body impairment rating.

“Chris, if you add up all my VA Ratings for all my disabilities, I’m over 250% disabled. Why am I still getting paid at a 90% level?”  This question – or one like it – pops into my inbox a few times a week. The short answer is this: when you have multiple ratings for multiple medical conditions, the VA doesn’t ADD the ratings together – it COMBINES them. The VA Combined Ratings Formula causes Veterans – and frankly, a lot of VSOs and attorneys a lot of angst. And it did for me, too, until I learned one thing: the Secret behind VA Math. Before I tell you the Secret to Understanding Veterans Affairs Math, let me show you the easy way to do combined ratings. From Chris Attig The Veterans Law Blog

The VA publishes a combined rating table to assist in these calculations. The VA Combined Ratings Table is a table that shows your total impairment percentage when you have more than one disabling service-connected condition. List your disabilities, highest to lowest, with the percentage of impairment next to it. Start with the highest, and then one-by-one, use the above linked combined rating table to combine your remaining rating.

“VA Math” is the way that the VA computes combined impairment ratings for multiple conditions in a Veteran’s compensation claim – and it requires that you unlearn real math. When a Veteran has multiple medical conditions that are service-connected, and the VA rates each at a different percentage, it would seem that they should just add up your percentages to get to a total body impairment rating. Things are not as they seem. If a Veteran has a 30% rating for condition A and a 40% rating for Condition B, the total rating is NOT 70%. The VA does not add multiple ratings to get a total rating; instead, they use a formula to get a combined rating. The VA computes the combined rating by considering each disability in order of severity, beginning with the highest evaluation. In the above example, the VA Combined Rating for the two conditions is 60%, not 70%. Here’s the secret to understanding the VA Combined Ratings Table. Your ratings are combined based on the concept of “Whole Person Remaining.” The idea is that if you have NO disabilities, you are a 100% whole person. If you have a 30% disability, you are 30% disabled and 70% whole. Each subsequent rating is a REDUCTION of the whole person remaining.

How does the VA get that combined rating? For example, where Condition A is rated at 30%, and Condition B is rated at 40%,
the VA math works like this: Most severe rating: 40% Second most severe rating: 30% Combined rating: 60%. Here’s how we got there: the second rating of 30% is multiplied by the % of the whole person remaining after the 40% rating. In this example, 30% (second rating) is multiplied by 60% (percent of whole person remaining after 40% rating). This means that while condition A limits the person to a 30-degree rate, it only limits 30% of the WHOLE person. So if the person is 0% impaired (has a 100% whole person value remaining), then the condition limits them to 30%. But if the person is already 40% disabled by another condition, Condition A can only limit the “whole-person that remains.” It’s a tough concept to grasp, but in a way, it makes some sense. So, in our example, the second rating of 30% has the effect of adding 18% to the initial rating of 40%, yielding a combined rating of 58%. The 58% rating is rounded up to 60%. Does this make sense? I don’t think so – this type of formula is a 50+-year-old calculation used by insurance companies in, commonly, workers’ compensation claims. Regardless of how archaic and non-sensical, the formula is, here’s the deal. It’s the way it is. And in the great mess of tangled red-tape that is the VA Bureaucracy, there are many fights we need to fight and win before going after this one.

If VA finds that a Veteran has multiple disabilities, VA uses the Combined Rating Table below to calculate a combined disability rating. Disability ratings are not additive, meaning that if a Veteran has one disability rated 60% and a second disability 20%, the combined rating is not 80%. This is because subsequent disability ratings are applied to an already disabled Veteran, so the 20% disability is applied to a Veteran who is already 60% disabled. Below you will find the steps VA takes to combine ratings for more than one disability and examples using the Combined Rating Table to illustrate how combined ratings are calculated.

  • The disabilities are first arranged in the exact order of their severity, beginning with the greatest disability and then combined with the use of Combined Rating Table below.

Combined Rating Table [10 combined with 10 is 19]

 102030405060708090
19273543516068768492
20283644526068768492
21293745536168768492
22303845536169778492
23313846546269778592
24323947546270778592
25334048556370788593
26334148566370788593
27344249566471788593
28354250576471788693
29364350576572798693
30374451586572798693
31384552596672798693
32394652596673808693
33404653606773808793
34414754606774808793
35424855616874818794
36424955626874818794
37435056626975818794
38445057636975818894
39455157637076828894
40465258647076828894
41475359657176828894
42485459657177838894
43495460667277838994
44505561667278838994
45515662677378848995
46515762687378848995
47525863687479848995
48535864697479849095
49545964697580859095
50556065707580859095
51566166717680859095
52576266717681869095
53586267727781869195
54596368727782869195
55606469737882879196
56606569747882879196
57616670747983879196
58626671757983879296
59636771758084889296
60646872768084889296
61656973778184889296
62667073778185899296
63677074788285899396
64687175788286899396
65697276798386909397
66697376808386909397
67707477808487909397
68717478818487909497
69727578818588919497
70737679828588919497
71747780838688919497
72757880838689929497
73767881848789929597
74777982848790929597
75788083858890939598
76788183868890939598
77798284868991939598
78808285878991939698
79818385879092949698
80828486889092949698
81838587899192949698
82848687899193959698
83858688909293959798
84868789909294959798
85878890919394969799
86878990929394969799
87889091929495969799
88899092939495969899
89909192939596979899
90919293949596979899
91929394959696979899
92939494959697989899
93949495969797989999
94959596969798989999
  • The degree of one disability will be read in the left column and the degree of the other in the top row, whichever is appropriate.
  • The figures appearing in the space where the column and row intersect will represent the combined value of the two.
  • This combined value is rounded to the nearest 10%.
  • If there are more than two disabilities, the combined value for the first two will be found as previously described for two disabilities.
  • The exact combined value (without rounding yet) is combined with the degree of the third disability.
  • This process continues for subsequent disabilities, and the final number is rounded to the nearest 10%.

Source: What’s the Secret to Understanding the Veterans Affairs Combined Ratings Table? Chris Attig The Veterans Law Blog

If there are three disabilities ratable at 60 percent, 40 percent, and 20 percent, respectively, the combined value for the first two will be found opposite 60 and under 40 and is 76 percent. This 76 will be found in the left column, then the 20 rating in the top row. The intersection of these two ratings is 81. Thus, the final rating will be rounded to 80%.

VA combined disability rating calculator

VA calculates your rating by rounding to the nearest 10%. This rating is then used to determine your monthly compensation payment.
Note: If you have two or more disabilities that affect both sides of your body, this may increase your rating and compensation payment. For your official rating, please refer to your compensation award letter.

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