Tricare Roundtable Discussion The Good The Bad And How To Improve Tricare
About Ryan Guina
Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet’s founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.
Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.
Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.
Featured In: Ryan’s writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine , Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.
Convert Your Conditions Severity To Points
The Department of Veterans Affairs uses a disability rating system to determine the level of benefits you are eligible for. The VA will first assess the severity of your disabilities and then convert that into a points value. The more severe your disabilities, the higher the points value will be.
For example, a 10% severity rating would be worth 4 points, while a 40% severity rating would be worth 16 points. The VA will then use your total points to determine your benefits package.
The more points you have, your monthly benefit payments will be higher. In addition, the VA may also provide other benefits, such as healthcare or education assistance, depending on your total points score.
Calculate Combined Disability Ratings Using Va Math
The VA uses a descending efficiency scale for its calculations. The VA will give each injury or illness a numerical rating.
When it comes time to determine the overall rating, the VA will start with the highest rating, then work its way down. You will always begin with an efficiency rating of 100. Each new disability gives you a new baseline.
We start by racking and stacking the disabilities. In the example above, we have ratings of 30%, 20%, 10% and 10%. We start with the 30%, then factor in the 20%, the 10% then the final 10%.
Again, we arent subtracting here were doing VA math.
You start with your efficiency rate of 100, multiply it by your disability rating, then subtract the result from your original rating.
In this case, you would multiply 30% times 100 and get 30. You subtract that from 100 and come up with 70.
Your new efficiency rating is 70, and your disability rating is 30.
This is the starting point for the next calculation. You repeat the process for the next rating. You take 20%, multiply it by 70, and come up with 14. You subtract 14 from 70, and you get 56.
Your new efficiency rating is 56, and your disability rating is 44. You repeat the process for each additional disability rating.
Caption: The VA rounds final ratings to the nearest 10 . Approximately symbols in the example above indicate rounding to the nearest whole number.
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About 2022 Va Disability Compensation Rates
Your 2022 VA disability compensation is a monthly tax-free payment from the Department of Veterans Affairs paid to former military service members who sustained an illness or injury during their time in service. Veterans with preexisting conditions exacerbated by their time in service, or who develop service-connected disabilities following their time in service, may also apply for benefits. Veterans may also receive additional benefit due to extenuating circumstances, including their number of dependents, loss of limb or other severe injury, or by having a disabled spouse.
It is important to note that this benefit is not permanent, and it may be subject to review. On a wider scale, the VA may change its rating schedule at any time, but it may also reexamine your individual claim to judge whether your disability has improved or worsened, thus affecting your benefit amount. In case of the latter, you would want to initiate the review yourself to ensure they receive a higher benefit for a worse disability.
About Va Disability Ratings
We assign you a disability rating based on the severity of your service-connected condition. We use your disability rating to determine how much disability compensation youll receive each month, as well as your eligibility for other VA benefits.
If you have multiple disability ratings, we use them to calculate your combined VA disability rating. Calculating your combined disability rating involves more than adding up your individual ratings. Thats why your combined rating may be different from the sum of your individual ratings.
Also Check: The Americans With Disabilities Act
How Does The Va Determine Your Disability Percentage
One topic in military law important to many veterans is Veterans Affairs disability. Federal law established the US Department of Veterans Affairs with several important missions to serve our veterans. One of those missions is to provide disability benefits to eligible veterans who are disabled due to injuries or illnesses that have been caused by or made worse through the veterans military service.
What Is VA Disability Compensation?
The VA defines disability compensation as a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. The VA also provides additional compensation benefits such as dependency and indemnity compensation, special monthly compensation, adapted housing grants, service-disabled veterans insurance, and veterans mortgage life insurance.
How Do I Begin the VA Disability Process?
Who Determines If I Am Eligible For Disability Benefits?
How Much Will I Be Awarded For My Injury?
It is easy to determine the correct percentage of some injuries as they are clearly specified in the CFR. The following are examples:
How Do I Get Va Disability Benefits
You can start your VA disability claim by filing the requisite paperwork in person at a VA Office near you, or by sending them in the mail, or by filling them out online. You will need to gather supporting documents like medical records from a VA Hospital or private medical records. You can also provide supporting documents from friends, family, clergy, or fellow service members. Keep in mind that you will only have one year to submit all your documentation and supporting documents.
As mentioned earlier, even if you think that your VA disability rating will be below 10%, you should still file a claim. If your condition worsens or prevents you from working, it will be easier to file for VA benefits later, as your documentation will be in order with the VA. Additionally, you cant be entirely sure what VA disability rating will be assigned to you, so its always worth filling out the paperwork and getting documentation together.
Remember that the average amount of time it takes for the VA to process a disability claim and render a decision is 106 days roughly a third of the year so the longer you wait, the more you jeopardize getting the monthly benefits you need. Moreover, supporting documentation from other service members, family, friends, and clergy can build your case. If you wait too long, the possibility to leverage this supporting documentation may disappear, due to memory or even death.
Also Check: How Many 100 Percent Disabled Veterans Are There
What Factors Does The Va Take Into Account For Disability
To be eligible for VA disability benefits or compensation, you must:
- Have served on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training and have a current illness or injury that affects your mind or body.
Additionally, at least one of the following situations must be true:
- You got sick or injured while serving in the military and can link this condition to your illness or injury
- You had an illness or injury before you joined the militaryand serving made it worse
- You have a disability related to your active-duty service that didnt appear until after you separated from the military
- You have one of the VAs presumed disabilities:
- Chronic illness that appeared within one year of your discharge
- Illness caused by contact with contaminants or other hazardous materials
- Illness caused by time spent as a prisoner of war
When deciding on a disability claim, the VA considers the above eligibility requirements, as well as how your condition affects your daily life, activities and employability.
How Can The Bilateral Factor Affect Tdiu Eligibility
Total Disability Individual Unemployabilitywith the acronym TDIUis part of the VAs disability compensation program. If a veterans disabilities prevent them from being able to get and keep a job, TDIU allows them to have their disability rating raised to 100% even though the rating on their service-connected disabilities do not equal 100%. Unemployability is the VAs way of acknowledging that some veterans with disability ratings below 100 are unable to work due to their impairments.
To qualify for TDIU with multiple impairments you must have two or more disabilities with a combined rating of 70% or more and one them has to be rated at 40% or more. Then you must show you are unable to maintain substantial gainful employment as a result of your disabilities. The bilateral factor can be included with the schedular ratings to reach the 70% threshold.
Are You Considering Filing for Benefits or Was Your VA Disability Claim Denied?
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With Dependents Including Children
Find the dependent status in the left column that best describes you. Then look for your disability rating in the top row. Your basic monthly rate is where your dependent status and disability rating meet.
If you have more than one child or your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits, be sure to also look at the Added amounts table, and add these to your amount from the Basic monthly rates table.
|Dependent status||30% disability rating||40% disability rating||50% disability rating||60% disability rating|
|Dependent status||Veteran with 1 child only||30% disability rating||504.39||40% disability rating||722.28||50% disability rating||1020.44||60% disability rating||1,288.03|
|With 1 child and spouse||30% disability rating||563.39||40% disability rating||801.28||50% disability rating||1,118.44||60% disability rating||1,407.03|
|With 1 child, spouse, and 1 parent||30% disability rating||607.39||40% disability rating||860.28||50% disability rating||1,192.44||60% disability rating||1,496.03|
|With 1 child, spouse, and 2 parents||30% disability rating||651.39||40% disability rating||919.28||50% disability rating||1,266.44||60% disability rating||1,585.03|
|With 1 child and 1 parent||30% disability rating||548.39||40% disability rating||781.28||50% disability rating||1,094.44||60% disability rating||1,377.03|
|With 1 child and 2 parents||30% disability rating||592.39||40% disability rating||840.28||50% disability rating||1,168.44||60% disability rating||1,466.03|
Who Is Entitled To Va Compensation For Medical Issues
Veterans who apply for VA disability compensation must have medical conditions that are the result of an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated while on active duty or active duty for training or from injury, heart attack or stroke that occurred during inactive duty training, according to the VA.
Such disabilities may apply to medical conditions such as Lou Gherigs Disease, mental health issues including post-traumatic stress disorder , and more, according to the VAs guidelines.
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Applying For Va Disability Benefits
Applying for VA disability benefits can be an arduous process with a lot of complicated hoops to jump through. It can also be a very easy process thats relatively straightforward depending on how much research you do and whether or not you are working with an experienced VA disability attorney.
If you are struggling with a condition that you believe was either caused or worsened by active military service, reach out to one of our VA disability lawyers for assistance.
If youre not sure what conditions might qualify for compensation, check out our list of the 10 most common VA disability claims to get an idea of what counts.
Who Is Hill & Ponton
At Hill & Ponton, a team of va disability lawyers, we have reviewed our veterans ratings by hand over the last 8 years. We finally developed a disability rating calculator to combine all the veterans ratings and give the final combined rating. After the calculator determines the rating, then you can put in the number of dependents and it gives you the monthly compensation rate that VA should be paying you. This calculator has helped us a lot when we can double-check the ratings of our veterans. As a result, we decided to put it on our website so that others can benefit from it too. The calculator cannot make the VA get the right rating but it can help you understand where you stand. A foundation of where you are in your claim will better help you get to where you want to go.
Please call for an appointment before visiting:
Mail Processing Center: P.O. Box 449, Deland, FL 32721
Orlando, FL: 605 E. Robinson Street Suite 635, Orlando, FL 32801Deland, FL: 1607 South State Road 15A Suite 12 Deland, FL 32720
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What Exactly Is The Bilateral Factor
The bilateral factor comes into play when a veteran has a service-connected disability that impairs both arms or both legs or paired skeletal muscles . When you have this level of disability the ratings for your disabilities will be combined for each side and then an additional 10% will be added to your overall rating. This is the VAs acknowledgement that the severity of a bilateral disability seriously limits a veterans ability to function in daily life and makes it difficult to get a job.
The exact definition of the bilateral factor can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations § 4.26, which states a partial disability results from disease or injury of both arms, or of both legs, or of paired skeletal muscles, the ratings for the disabilities of the right and left sides will be combined as usual, and 10% of this value will be added before proceeding with further combinations.
Calculate Your Total Points
The Department of Veterans Affairs uses a point-based system to determine eligibility for VA benefits. The VA will consider your military service, disability, and financial need when awarding benefits.
To calculate your total points, the VA will first assign point values to different factors, such as length of service, type of discharge, and disability rating. Then, they will add up all the points values to get your total points.
The higher your total points, the greater your eligibility for VA benefits. You can contact your local VA office or visit their website if you have any questions about how the VA calculates benefits.
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Factors That May Affect Your Monthly Compensation Payments
Yes. We may increase your monthly payments if one or more of the below is true:
- You have a very severe disability or loss of limb, or
- You have a spouse, child, or dependent parent and your combined disability rating is 30% or greater, or
- You have a spouse with a serious disability
Yes. Your compensation may end up being less than it otherwise would be if either of the below is true:
- You receive military retirement pay, disability severance pay, or separation pay, or
- You’re incarcerated in a federal, state, or local facility for more than 60 days for conviction of a felony
Yes. Were required by law to match the percentage of cost-of-living adjustments made to Social Security benefits. These adjustments help to make sure that the purchasing power of your benefits keeps up with inflation.
Review current compensation rates that may apply to your family if your child has spina bifida or certain other birth defects linked to your or another parents service in South Vietnam or the Republic of Korea.
How Do I Determine My Va Disability Compensation
To determine your disability compensation, you need to file a claim with VA. The VA rates your disability by severity after reviewing every piece of evidence in your claim.
You may only receive compensation for a single diagnostic code per condition, even if that condition satisfies more than one diagnostic code. However, those with more than one condition may receive additional compensation based on the combined rating system.
You may receive additional compensation if:
- You have very severe disabilities or loss of limb
- you have a spouse, children, or dependent parents
- you have a seriously disabled spouse
Note: If you have more than one child or your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits , be sure to include the figures from the “Add” row.
Did you know: Veterans can use their disability income in conjunction with their VA loan benefits. Speak with a home loan specialist to see how much you can afford.
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