Generally, VA will rate a veteran’s service-connected disability by use of its rating table. Occasionally, however, a veteran displays a unique disability, and the symptoms listed on the rating table do not contemplate the symptoms that the veteran displays. In those very rare cases, VA has the authority to assign an extraschedular VA disability rating.
In a new decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims found that, when considering whether to assign an extraschedular rating, it is acceptable for VA to look at each disability individually, rather than the combined effect of all of the veteran’s service-connected disabilities. The veteran in this case had service-connected heart and knee conditions, and he wanted VA to consider the entire disabling nature of these disabilities when considering an extraschedular rating. Two judges dissented; they recognized that “multiple disabilities may collectively affect earning capacity when each disability considered individually may not.”
Need Help with the VA Disability Rating System?
If you are seeking veterans disability compensation, we encourage you to learn more about the disability rating system and how it works. Disability ratings are the VA’s way of measuring the potential that any given impairment has to decrease your ability to earn a living. The criteria that the VA uses to establish disability ratings are complicated in even the most straightforward-seeming cases and much more so if more than one service-connected disability is involved.
Have questions about your case? Complete our free, online veterans’ disability evaluation form!