I recently came across an informational paper from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) concerning the number of disabled veterans in the United States. According to BLS, in August 2020, there were 18.5 million veterans. Of those, 4.7 million (26% of all veterans) are disabled vets with a service-related disability- this includes those with a 0% rating.
This matters; while 4.7 million is a large number, not all of them are receiving compensation for their injuries sustained while in the service of the government. The sad part of this is that it isn't a complicated process to start independently. So even if you think you don't have a case, it's best to at least get into their system. Here is the VA's dedicated compensation page. Take a look.
What is VA disability compensation?
The VA will evaluate your injuries and compare them to anything you've sustained while in service. Everything from headaches to knee aches to shoulder pain to foot (even toe) pain. Straight from the VA's disability page,
"VA disability compensation (pay) offers a monthly tax-free payment to Veterans who got sick or injured while serving in the military and to Veterans whose service made an existing condition worse."
The point is if you were in the service and you've been in pain for as long as you can remember, you may be able to submit a claim.
How are ratings rated?
The rating system isn't black and white, but there is a lot of gray areas. That's not to say the ratings are hard to understand. You just need to go into a compensation appointment with a clear understanding of what the doctor is looking at. Lucky for you, the VA lays this out.
Through the VA's website, you'll find the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR, Title 38) which lists all of the ailments the VA can rate, how they're rated, and the different rating levels which are dependent on factors such as mobility, pain, etc.
There are also a few other reasons one might want to be rated. For instance,
You could receive federal hiring preference,
Extended education benefits,
Partake in the Transition Assistance Program,
Property tax exemptions, or
No-cost health care and prescription medications.
There are a lot more too. Here's a pretty extensive listing of 68 different programs you can take part in.
Don't wait, file your claim today!