Get the facts with a VA disability calculator
If you’ve been disabled due to your service in the military, you’re due some compensation. But just because you’re owed compensation doesn’t mean that it’s easier to figure out how much is due to you. To hear it briefly explained, it might not sound that difficult. Your disability is measured on a scale of 10 percent to 100 percent, which determines what portion of the maximum payout you’ll receive. But the VAO only measures these disabilities in multiples of ten. The Veteran Affairs Office uses some extraordinarily complicated “VA math” to figure out what they’ll payout as part of your insurance settlement. Here’s what that entails and why you’re best off using a calculator rather than trying to calculate your benefits on your own. Here are the most critical complicating factors.
Location of the disability
Rather than rating your disability as a whole, the VAO assigns a measurement for each part of your body and then calculates them together to determine your benefits. That means that damage to individual limbs, mental health issues, and neurological spinal injury are all measured as independent factors and then calculated into the larger pool. This can understandably be frustrating and confusing if you’re dealing with a complex condition or series of conditions that might affect different parts of your body.
If you have a spouse or dependents, it can result in more generous compensation. You’ll be asked to take into consideration dependents under and over the age of 18 separately. The former can provide a boost to your settlement. Though you can expect it only to be a small fraction of your overall disability compensation, it can be a factor. If you have older parents who are financially dependent on you, that could also be a determining factor in how much compensation you’ll receive from your settlement.
When using a disability calculator, you’ll also be asked to list whether or not you’re married. In most situations, whether or not you’re married won’t impact your disability settlement, but there are some instances where it will. For example, if your spouse is seriously disabled, your insurance rates could be increased even if your partner has never been a member of the military.
Disability before entering the service
The VAO only compensates active and former service members for injuries and conditions that can be traced directly to your time in the service. That could mean anything from being exposed to chemicals to suffering from a combat injury. Before you enter the service, you’ll be assigned a rating based on your existing conditions. And since the VAO measures a maximum amount of conditions at 100 percent, it could cut into the type of compensation you receive once you file a claim.
The reason for using a VA disability calculator is pretty simple: the calculations used to measure VA disability rates are exceedingly complicated. But keep in mind that using a calculator to determine your payments is just a fraction of what needs to be done. You may be required to take tests to demonstrate your level of disability, or you might find yourself denied claims for any number of different reasons. Things can become complicated if you’re trying to demonstrate a condition like PTSD that doesn’t have an obvious and measurable manifestation. That’s why it’s essential to do your research and have someone who knows what they’re doing at your back. Berry Law specializes in disability claims and specializes in helping veterans and active service members receive post-traumatic stress disorder compensation.