How VA Assigns Disability Ratings
Find out how we determine your disability rating.
What is a disability rating?
We assign you a disability rating based on the severity of your disability. We use this rating to determine your compensation rate.
What does VA use to decide my disability rating?
We base your rating on:
- The evidence you give us (like a doctor’s report or medical test results), and
- The results of your VA claim (C&P) exam (if we determine you need this exam), and
- Other information we may get from other sources (like federal agencies)
If you have more than one disability, we use a Combined Ratings table to calculate your disability percentage.
View the Combined Ratings table.
To learn more about how disability ratings work, you can watch our video about how we decide your rating:
Compensation 101: How did I get this rating?
How do ratings work for a disability I had before entering the service that got worse because of my service?
If you get disability benefits for a disability that you had before entering the military that got worse because of your service (called a preservice claim), the amount of compensation (monthly payments) you’ll get will be based on the level of aggravation, or how much worse your service made your disability.
For example, if you had an illness or injury (also known as a condition) that was 10% disabling when you entered the military, and it became 20% disabling due to service, then the level of aggravation would be 10%.
Can I get increased payments if I have a severe disability or dependents?
Yes. We may increase your monthly payments if one or more of these is true for you. You have a:
- Very severe disability or loss of limb, or
- Spouse, child, or dependent parent and your combined disability is 30% or greater, or
- Spouse with a serious disability
Is there anything else that might affect my compensation amount?
Yes. Your compensation may end up being less than it otherwise would be if either of these is true. You:
- Receive military retirement pay, disability severance pay, or separation pay
- Are incarcerated in a federal, state, or local facility for more than 60 days for conviction of a felony