How to File for an Increase in VA Disability

You need to fill out the appropriate form and submit it to VA or use their online portal to apply for an increase in VA disability. The difficulty of the process depends on the method you choose. But overall, hiring a VA-accredited lawyer or VSO if the matter gets too complex is an option.

The worsening of your disability is one of the only valid reasons you can get an increase in your payment. However, if you need to submit a Pact Act claim or new disability surfaces that may be connected to your service, those can also be reasons behind higher compensation.


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How to File for a Higher VA Disability Compensation: Two Methods

It is possible to file for a higher VA disability compensation in one of the two ways. There is the traditional method, and then there is the modern way. Let us explain.

Filing for a Higher Disability Compensation Using Paperwork

If you want, you can file a claim using paperwork. However, a reminder that this one is way more complex than using the online portal. But overall, this is how it goes-

  • First, you collect all the necessary evidence, information, and other papers to validate your claim. You can get proof of your worsening condition or the symptoms of any new disability by getting medical reports from a VA doctor or private ones, like VA Disability Coach.
  • Send all your information, along with your letter, to the following address-

Department of Veterans Affairs

Evidence Intake Center

PO Box 4444

Janesville, WI 53547-4444

  • Once they check your request, they may ask you for further and specific information or evidence. They will usually give you a time limit to do so.
  • After you’ve given them what they wanted, they may take a while before contacting you.

Filing for Higher Disability Compensation Using eBenefits

VA recommends that everyone use their eBenefits site to file any claim since it is the easiest. If you follow this method, you need to perform the following tasks-

  • Go to eBenefits and sign in with your VA account (or sign up if you don’t have an account).
  • Fill out the VA Form 21-526EZ. It includes everything VA needs to evaluate your claim. It is ideal to submit any medical report to prove your request like the other method. You can also add any letter from your family or friends, subscribing to your claim.
  • Wait for VA to respond, which often takes only 48 hours.

Note that you should have an account on the eBenefits site when filling out a form. Once you start filling it, you have a year to complete it. However, all your progress can be lost at any moment without an account.

Paperwork or Online: Which Method is Better?

It is without saying that among paperwork and online portals, the latter is the better option by a long shot. Here are some reasons why-

  • The online form is easier to fill, edit, and submit.
  • The form will tell you everything you need to validate your claim. So it is more precise and clear. Since you are adding most of the necessary information, VA is less likely to ask you for further details, saving you time.
  • According to VA, it has some new method that allows them to respond to online portals within as fast as 48 hours! Meanwhile, its real-life counterpart may take from days to weeks.

VA is moving many functions from eBenefits to their official VA site. So, while it didn’t happen so far, they may also shift the part of ‘filing a claim’ to the latter.

Events After Filing for a Higher VA Disability Payment

Once you submit your claim, VA will take a while to evaluate it. Afterward, they will call or mail you for a physical or mental reexamination to check your current disability condition. You are to respond within 60 days. They will fix a date for you; you must attend on that reexamination date. Otherwise, VA has the right to reject your claim.

After the examination, if the results go in your favor and VA puts a higher overall disability rating on you, they will automatically start to pay you an increased amount the next time. They will notify you about it.

Adding a Dependent for an Increase in VA Disability Payment

You may add a dependent to the VA disability payment, and if everything is okay and VA approves it, they will send a certain amount for each dependent. It can be your spouse, parents, or children. However, your disability rating must be at least 30%, and there need to be other criteria to match for that to happen.

The amount of payment for dependent will depend on your disability rating too. You need to file a claim the same way, which is possible online. Remember that the added compensation for dependents is only for usage on them.


If you are facing a worsening condition or new disabilities have appeared, you deserve a higher compensation rating from the VA. Not filing a claim for it will be quite a loss since it doesn’t take any money. Even hiring a VSO is often free! But the increased amount that you will be missing is pretty high. So, take an eligibility rating from the VA Disability Coach and use the report to prove your claim. Go for the online portal for a quicker result.